How To Prevent Vehicle Theft
July is Vehicle Theft Prevention Month and SMART Safety wants to ensure that you are taking every step you can to protect your vehicle, belongings and person.
Automobiles have become a staple transportation method in the U.S. and millions of people depend on their vehicles every day to complete important tasks. Considering how dependent most people are on their vehicle, it is important to take precautions to keep it from being stolen. Imagine how chaotic life could become if you woke up and your car was nowhere to be found.
In 2017 alone there were 773,139 vehicles stolen in the U.S. The number of thefts per year has significantly decreased since 2008 when there were 959,059 vehicles stolen. Vehicle manufacturers continue to increase safety features and security in vehicles, but thieves are often just as creative and continue to find ways to break in and steal vehicles.
There are many ways that someone could steal a car, a few of them include:
-Hacking into your vehicle's computer system(s)
-Distracting you, jumping in your vehicle and driving away
-Breaking in the window or door
Vehicle hacking is relatively new with the increased technology and can happen in many different ways. A hacker could trigger certain icons to encourage you to pull over and then attack that way, or in extreme cases, with self-driving vehicles, can take control of your vehicle and cause a collision.
Although these cases are still rare, with the increased use of computer technology within modern vehicles it is something to consider. The majority of car thefts are still happening the same way have been for decades and can often be prevented by driver awareness.
Awareness is key when it comes to vehicle safety. Always be aware of your surroundings and park your car in well-lit, safe environment when possible. Avoid high-crime areas and choose more safe routes to decrease the chances of being exposed to carjackers.
Ensure all windows, sunroofs and doors are closed and locked when you are not in the vehicle and never leave your keys in the car, even if you will be back in a few seconds or minutes. Thieves are always watching to find their next victim.
If your car does not already have an anti-theft security system you should have one installed. Things like car security apps, tire locks, steering wheel locks, hood locks and GPS tracking systems can help increase vehicle theft prevention and security.
SMART Safety encourages everyone to take extra time this month to secure your vehicle and increase your awareness for potential hazards. Car thieves are always searching for easy targets and the more time you spend on prevention methods the more safe you and your vehicle will be.
For additional prevention tips on carjacking, check out Safety 1st Driving School’s What to Do if Someone Tries to Carjack You.