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Motor vehicle-related deaths around two major holidays in South Korea
  1. Kitae Sohn
  1. Correspondence to Professor Kitae Sohn, Department of Economics, Konkuk University, 120 Neungdong-ro, Gwangjin-gu, Seoul 05029, South Korea; ksohn{at}


South Korea has consistently exhibited high rates of motor vehicle-related deaths (MVDs) since the late 1980s. This study investigated the number of MVDs around two major public holidays in South Korea—Lunar New Year's Day and Thanksgiving Day. MVDs from records of all individual deaths in 1997–2014 were extracted; then, MVDs per day from 14 days before and after each holiday (ie, 29 days in total) were summed across the years. Eventually, the 3-day mean values of MVDs before and after the holiday were compared, when holiday-related traffic peaks. The 3-day mean before Lunar New Year's Day was 385 fatalities, but dropped to 324 after the holiday; the corresponding figures for Thanksgiving Day were 494 and 413. These results are contrary to those of other countries. It appears that the severe congestion of highway traffic around the holidays resulted in a decrease in MVDs.

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