Count yourself lucky if you’ve never had the misfortune of having your vehicle stolen. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that more than 700,000 vehicles were stolen in the U.S. in 2019.
That number doesn’t include items that are snatched from cars, or parts like catalytic converters that can be cut off of vehicles in a matter of minutes, even as you’re taking a quick stop at the grocery store.
Having a stolen car is more than just a headache. It can be a huge financial burden and life disruption, especially if you live in a place where public transportation is not widely and rapidly available (hello most of the United States!)
That’s why it’s important to take the steps we can to prevent car theft. Here are some tips to keep your valuables and your car safe.
If it sounds obvious not to leave your key fob in the car or to roll up the windows and lock the car doors, then it may surprise you to hear this: About half of all vehicles stolen in the U.S. happened because of errors the driver made. In fact, in 2018, more than 81,000 vehicles were stolen using the driver’s keys, USA Today reports. So make it one step harder for people who want to take your car on a joy ride, and take those keys inside the house with you.
Even if your car is secure, thieves can be skilled at picking locks, busting through windows, and hot wiring vehicles. But there are some measures to stop or slow-down their process. Consider getting locks to put around your steering wheel, installing alarms, flashing lights, or etching your windows with your car’s vehicle identification number. You can also get GPS-type tracking for your car, such as LoJack, that can alert local law enforcement to your car’s location if it is taken.
Keep your car parked in well-lit areas and in places with high visibility. There may be a lot of room in the very back of the parking lot under a shady tree, but that just gives thieves more cover. Keep valuables out of view so that thieves don’t suspect there’s something worth stealing in your car.
Questions about automobile insurance? Contact a Sea Mountain Auto Insurance Specialist.