Owners Beware: Halloween Is a Terrifying Time for Cars

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
owners beware halloween is a terrifying time for cars
As fun as it is to overhype the dangers of Halloween to frighten adults, we all know that poisoned candy and razor blade-filled apples are bunk. The odds of you finding an anthrax-laden piece of taffy are so improbable that they aren’t worth mentioning. You are statistically more likely to harm yourself by drinking a glow stick out of curiosity.That doesn’t mean there aren’t spooky things going on. Plenty of sinister automotive stuff happens on October 31, making Halloween a scary time for cars.Car thefts on October 31 tend to be higher than the status quo, at least in recent history. To prove it, the National Insurance Crime Bureau examined data from the National Crime Information Center’s stolen vehicle file from 2011 to 2015.Last year’s Halloween saw a 7 percent jump in car thefts over the daily average. But the largest increase during the study’s five year span came in 2011, with 2,328 thefts on Halloween compared with the daily average of 2,054 — a 13 percent jump. The only year included in the study that didn’t show a higher incidence of theft was 2012. However, that year saw more cars stolen overall.While more devastatingly sad than bone-chillingly spooky, children are traditionally much more likely to be hit by cars on Halloween. Accidents on that day go up in general, but 50 percent of the fatalities involve kids under fifteen. And drivers between 15 and 25 cause nearly a third of those fatal accidents.The good news, according to the Sperling’s researchers who compiled the data, is that accidents have trended downward in recent years. The bad news is that the number of drunk drivers involved did not. Roughly 23 percent of pedestrian fatalities on Halloween involve a drunk driver and almost half of those involved a driver with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 or higher.And if you’re thinking that you can avoid all of this by just staying off the roads on October 31 with your car’s battery removed and fuel tank drained, think again. Vehicular vandalism goes through the roof on All Hallows’ Eve.The Highway Loss Data Institute looked at insurance claims for vandalism made between 2008 through 2012. With a calculated average of 692 claims a day, Halloween raked in a whopping 1,253 — more than any other day of the year. That’s a lot of slashed tires, smashed windows, and body panels with freshly scratched-in curse words.Happy Halloween.[Image: Kafziel/ WikimediaCommons ( CC BY-SA 3.0)]
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  • Old Man Pants Old Man Pants on Oct 19, 2016

    I'll be out in the pumpkin patch as usual, freezin' ass and waitin' for the Great Pumpkin or Model 3, whichever shows first. Scoff all you like, Saracens.

    • See 7 previous
    • Drzhivago138 Drzhivago138 on Oct 19, 2016

      @28-Cars-Later That was a muted trombone, I think.

  • WildcatMatt WildcatMatt on Nov 18, 2016

    Back around 2000 I lived in a gated community of mostly retirees. One Halloween I went into Chicago to stay with a buddy and see George Carlin. I came home to find that while I was gone, someone drove their car over 100 feet down my driveway to rear end my Wildcat hard enough to pop the dash pad loose. Obviously whoever did it was never caught so I'll never know whether it was just some drunk who missed a turn or whether it had to do with the neighbor kid who liked to let "friends" into the development to break into cars and wound up having to pay me $1800 in restitution.

  • ToolGuy CXXVIII comments?!?
  • ToolGuy I did truck things with my truck this past week, twenty-odd miles from home (farther than usual). Recall that the interior bed space of my (modified) truck is 98" x 74". On the ride home yesterday the bed carried a 20 foot extension ladder (10 feet long, flagged 14 inches past the rear bumper), two other ladders, a smallish air compressor, a largish shop vac, three large bins, some materials, some scrap, and a slew of tool cases/bags. It was pretty full, is what I'm saying.The range of the Cybertruck would have been just fine. Nothing I carried had any substantial weight to it, in truck terms. The frunk would have been extremely useful (lock the tool cases there, out of the way of the Bed Stuff, away from prying eyes and grasping fingers -- you say I can charge my cordless tools there? bonus). Stainless steel plus no paint is a plus.Apparently the Cybertruck bed will be 78" long (but over 96" with the tailgate folded down) and 60-65" wide. And then Tesla promises "100 cubic feet of exterior, lockable storage — including the under-bed, frunk and sail pillars." Underbed storage requires the bed to be clear of other stuff, but bottom line everything would have fit, especially when we consider the second row of seats (tools and some materials out of the weather).Some days I was hauling mostly air on one leg of the trip. There were several store runs involved, some for 8-foot stock. One day I bummed a ride in a Roush Mustang. Three separate times other drivers tried to run into my truck (stainless steel panels, yes please). The fuel savings would be large enough for me to notice and to care.TL;DR: This truck would work for me, as a truck. Sample size = 1.
  • Art Vandelay Dodge should bring this back. They could sell it as the classic classic classic model
  • Surferjoe Still have a 2013 RDX, naturally aspirated V6, just can't get behind a 4 banger turbo.Also gloriously absent, ESS, lane departure warnings, etc.
  • ToolGuy Is it a genuine Top Hand? Oh, I forgot, I don't care. 🙂