By on October 19, 2016

Kafziel at English Wikipedia [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

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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