FBI records show that in the year 2014, 689,527 cars were reported stolen throughout the United States. This number is down 1.5% from 2013, though it is still astronomical by any account.
While some of these thefts were unavoidable, in many cases you can take steps in protecting yourself and your vehicle.
- Keep your doors locked at all times. This includes both when you are not in the car as well as when you are. Carjackings accounted for about 3% of the thefts in 2014.
- Never leave your car running while unattended. This is an open invitation for thieves to simply hop in and drive off.
- Try not to leave valuables in your car or, at a very minimum, keep them out of sight from passersby.
- Be aware of your surroundings when you travel. Car thefts increase in high-crime urban environments.
- Park your car in a well-lit area. Thieves generally prefer to work at night, in the dark. Parking in an illuminated area will dissuade them if they feel there is the potential to be seen.
- Install an anti-theft system in your car if you don’t already have one. Thieves are reluctant to approach cars with such systems. In some cases, your insurance company may offer discounts on your policy if you have one installed.
- If you are ever in a carjacking situation, comply with the assailant. While your car can be replaced, your life is worth much more.
The best advice when trying to avoid having your car stolen is using common sense and observing those around you. Be alert. Be aware. Be safe.
For more information on how to protect yourself and your car, as well as any general insurance questions you may have, contact the team at Burkhart Insurance today!