With car technology growing by the minute, it’s not crazy to assume that modern security systems are enough to keep your car safe from theft. But thieves advance their tactics alongside technology, leaving your car vulnerable to theft even with the most up-to-date security. In fact, there are about 2,500 cars are stolen per day, which averages to approximately two cars every minute. Although these statistics can be alarming, there are many extra measures you can take to ensure your car is safe, whether you’re out and about or relaxing at home.
Lock Your Car
This may seem like simple common sense, but really… lock your car. It’s easy to forget to lock it if you’re running late, in a hurry, or trying to squeeze in some errands in a short amount of time. But roughly half of the total number of cars stolen per day are left unlocked, so it’s vital that you are absolutely positive that it’s locked before walking away. Car thieves often circumnavigate parking lots to keep an eye out for people forgetting to lock their cars.
You may think you’re safe once you’ve heard the little “click” noise the car makes when it locks. But believe it or not, the more tech-savvy car thieves have gotten hold of devices called locking jammers, which are able to remotely block the signal between your keys and the car, leaving it open even after you’ve pressed the button. While these craftier thieves are fewer in number, it certainly doesn’t hurt to physically pull on the door to see if it’s locked before you leave. If you start doing this every day, it will eventually become habitual, and you won’t even think about it.
We’ve all been there – circling a crowded parking lot before finally landing that coveted open space. If this is your situation, you should obviously take the spot. But if you have the time and can expend the extra effort, you can decrease the chances of having your car broken into by parking strategically. For example, thieves are less likely to break into a car that is parked amidst a high volume of foot traffic for fear of being caught.
A car parked close to the front entrance of the grocery store is less vulnerable to a break in than, say, a car parked at the far end of the lot, secluded from other cars and people. If it’s dark out, try to park in well-lit areas. If you happen to be in a rural area, try to park near a store, restaurant, gas station, or any place where there might be people around.
Don’t Leave Valuables In The Car
Having valuables such as a phone, a wallet, keys, or jewelry visible in your car is the number one identifier that will attract a car thief. If you absolutely cannot take your valuables with you, hide it well – under the seat, in the glove compartment, or, if possible, locked in the trunk. Be aware of the less obvious items that could also attract thieves. For example, you may have an empty shopping bag from a relatively expensive store laying in the back seat. While you may know it’s empty, a thief sees that and automatically recognizes a high potential gain from breaking in. If you frequently need to keep valuable items in your car for whatever reason (work, travel, etc.), consider installing tinted windows as an extra security measure.
Consider Using A Smartphone App For Enhanced Security
There are several smartphone apps available that can enhance your car’s security by incorporating your smartphone into the car’s alarm response. Here are a few that are worth checking out:
Viper SmartStart – allows you to remotely lock, start, and locate your car
CarLock – alerts you directly on your smartphone if someone is breaking into your car
Hum by Verizon – features include vehicle diagnostics, pinpoint road assistance, emergency assistance, and automatic GPS navigation
At the end of the day, there is nothing you can do to be completely impervious to a potential car burglary, so it’s important that you familiarize yourself with the alarm system your car already has and make sure it works. But as long as you enlist common sense, keeping your car safe from theft is a highly achievable goal.