Valuable Auto Safety Tips
According to the crime statistics reported in 2012 in the FBI annual report, there were an estimated 721,053 thefts of motor vehicles nationwide. That is a loss of $4.3 billion or an average of $6019 per vehicle. That amounts to 2,500 cars stolen per day, almost 2 cars a minute.
In certain parts of the country the rate is much greater and every city has its high risk areas. In this blog post we are going to discuss some tips that will help prevent car theft, carjacking and general tips to protect your vehicle.
Car crime seems to run in cycles. Summertime is, generally speaking, the busiest time of year for automobile break-ins and car theft. The reason for this seems fairly obvious. School is out and so many unemployed youngsters have little else to do. So let’s break into a car. Sounds like fun to me!
Here are some general tips to prevent automobile crime.
- Keep the windows rolled up in your car and keep it locked even when it’s in front of your home or in your garage.
- Never leave your car running when it’s unattended. Last week we saw a story about somebody who stopped at a convenience store to get a cup coffee. While he was in the store someone entered his car (which he had left running) and drove away. That’s an expensive cup of coffee.
- Don’t hide keys in your vehicle. That is as big a mistake as leaving the key to your front door underneath your doormat.
- Don’t leave valuables in plain view in your car. Leave them in your trunk-locked. If at all possible, put valuables in your trunk before you reach a destination such as a park or a beach. Criminals might be observing!
- And we learned this the hard way. Carry your registration and insurance card in your wallet or purse-don’t leave it in your car. The law says you have to present it if you are stopped. It doesn’t say it has to be in the car. Registration and insurance cards carry personal identification information like address and so on that is valuable for criminals.
- If you must have valuables in your car, make sure you have an updated record of them.
- Consider getting a car alarm or anti-theft device such as a mechanical locking tool-one that locks the steering wheel, column or brake to prevent your car from being turned more than a few degrees.
- And carry a roadside kit for emergencies just in case! Make sure you have a self-defense weapon in your glove box. We have found that a powerful stun flashlight makes the best choice.
Tips Minimizing Risks Of Carjacking
Carjacking occurs when someone takes your car by force or threat of force. It is not a common crime but it can happen, so here are some preventative action tips that can reduce the risk.
- Any car can be a target of carjackers.
- When you approach your car have your keys in your hand and always look around and inside the car before getting in.
- Keep your windows rolled up and your car doors locked at all times when driving.
- Be especially alert at intersections, gas stations, ATMs and other windows of opportunity for criminals. One technique that we recently were made aware of was when a customer was gassing up at a local station, a criminal would enter the car from the opposite side, find the keys and drive off-all in a matter of seconds.
- If you are victim of a carjacking, don’t resist. Frequently these perpetrators are armed, and your life is worth much more than your car.
If you follow these valuable auto safety tips, you’ll be way ahead of the game in protecting your car.
Has your car ever been stolen or broken into? Please share your experience. We want to hear your thoughts.