Car theft is still a prevalent problem in the U.S. The FBI reported that 773,000 cars were stolen in 2017 and the Insurance Information Institute claims that a motor vehicle is stolen every 40.9 seconds in the U.S. That’s a lot of cars!
Even as motorists take increasingly sophisticated measures to protect themselves from car theft, some thieves find ways to defeat them.
Here are 8 things that you can do to prevent car theft and reduce your insurance premiums, too.
#1 Lock Your Doors and Close Your Windows
Get into the habit of always locking your car doors and closing your windows when you leave your car. Don’t make it easy for potential car thieves to reach into your car and help themselves.
Also, always keep your doors locked and windows closed when you’re in your car to deter would-be carjackers.
A parking lot may be slower speeds but that doesn’t mean it’s any less dangerous. (And many people still fly through the rows.) A slower driving pace doesn’t always guarantee a safer time. Cars are moving in more directions and pedestrians are crossing all over. Following basic safety guidelines is crucial.
Be aware of– and obey– arrows, signs, and lines.
Keep an eye out for cars reversing in and out of parking spaces.
When reversing yourself, double check both ways, go slow and be prepared to brake suddenly.
Pay special attention to small children and people in wheelchairs who may not be as immediately visible
Go the Distance
While it might be tempting to cut down the walking time – resist the urge. Parking further away – and away from the hubs of activity – greatly reduces the risk of getting hit. The farther the spot, the emptier the lot, usually. And that means less objects and people posing a threat. Plus, you’ll get in a few more steps for your day, keeping you healthier to boot!
Windy, blustery days mean doors are more likely to fly open and shopping carts are more likely to roll away. And in the close quarters of parking lots, that means a higher chance of bumps, dents and dings. Be prepared by knowing the conditions, holding tight and looking out for wind born obstacles.
Keep Your Car in Check
Be aware. Be very aware. Staying hyper vigilant and aware of your surroundings in a parking lot is the best defense you can have. Scan your surroundings intensely. And, if your car has the technology, make use of it. Things like backup cameras and blind spot detectors come in handy when you need to see in all directions.
When it comes to that technology, though, you need to make sure it is well maintained and accurate. Things like hitting a pothole could throw cameras out of alignment. If there is a lot of salt on the road due to inclement weather, that can create a film of salt over camera lenses. Part of keeping aware means making sure your bells and whistles are in perfect working order. Keep cameras clean and make sure your computer is working right.