July is National Vehicle Theft Prevention Month, and we want to share some important and useful tips for keeping your car right where you left it last.
Lock your doors.
In a 16-part series of studies performed across four countries, researchers found evidence that locking car doors does a better job of preventing theft both from and of a vehicle. While leaving your car-doors unlocked may result in a broken window, and subsequently, items missing, most thieves are found to prefer the easiest targets. Leaving car doors unlocked, especially depending on the crime rate in your location, provides an easier target.
Remove your keys.
Leaving your keys inside your vehicle, even if out of sight, will likely also prevent you from locking your doors. If your keys are inside an unlocked vehicle, thieves may come looking for easy things to steal from you, and end up with the entire car. Make sure to always remove your keys–even the spare–from your car before exiting.
Put your spare key in a safe place or give it to a trusted family member.
As mentioned above, you never want to leave a spare key in your vehicle. Put that spare to good use by entrusting it to a very close friend or family member. This way, if you ever lock yourself outside of your vehicle and do not have time to wait for a locksmith, your trusted friend may be able to assist you more quickly.
Keep your windows closed.
Feeling the breeze on your arms during a hot, summer day may be your preferred way to drive, but don’t forget to shut those windows every time you exit your vehicle. Even if you plan on only hopping out for a short time before getting back on the road, always remembering to roll windows up will quickly translate into habit. That way, you never have to wonder whether you remembered to do so before having your attention pulled in other directions.
Park in well-lit areas.
The darker your surroundings, the easier target your vehicle will be for thieves who would prefer to go unnoticed. Whenever possible, park as close as you can to the road, building, or lamps. Any parking space with higher traffic and brighter lighting will deter criminals.
Install an anti-theft device and alarm system.
Even having a simulated alarm system, such as a blinking red light on your dash, may deter thieves from attempting to enter your vehicle. If your vehicle was not made to include an alarm system, consider having one installed.
Use a tracking system.
If the worst case scenario does end up having, and your vehicle is stolen, having a previously installed tracking system on the vehicle will give the officers on your case the whereabouts of the criminal.
Keep valuables out of your car.
By removing valuables from your vehicle, you are reducing the lure for thieves who may be surveying their next target.
Always make sure you are actively aware of your surroundings. If the area you are in feels unsafe or unfamiliar, consider relocating before you exit your vehicle, especially if you are leaving it for a long time.
Invest in comprehensive car insurance.
The best way to protect yourself from the financial burden of having your vehicle or the belongings inside of it taken from you is to invest in a comprehensive auto insurance policy. Make sure to ask your agent about the guidelines surrounding theft so you can be optimally prepared for any disaster.