New Year’s is the deadliest day for pedestrians

Watch out on New Year's, gentleman in the hat! (nafmo/Flickr)

Just about everyone in Washington is worried about stepping off the "fiscal cliff" on Tuesday. What they should really worry about, though, is stepping off the curb: New Year's Day is the deadliest time to be a pedestrian.

Researchers in the journal Injury Prevention counted 99 pedestrian deaths on Jan. 1 between 1986 and 2002, making it the deadliest day for pedestrians in the calendar year. Those deaths were more likely to occur in the early hours of the morning, with 48 percent happening between midnight and 6 a.m. Overall, only 20 percent of pedestrian deaths happen in that time frame.

New Year's Day isn't a great time to be in a car, either. Overall, New Year's Day has the fifth-highest number of car crash deaths (July 4 tops the list). 

Tomorrow's one saving grace? New Year's falls on a Tuesday, which, on average, is the day of the week with the fewest car crash deaths.

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Ezra Klein · December 31, 2012