How To Help Prevent Auto Theft
There’s no doubt that auto theft is not just a financial hit on the insurance industry, it’s also costing innocent consumers when you consider the associated costs of insurance deductibles and rising premiums, so what can we do to help prevent this crime from happening in the first place?
According to our partners over at the Insurance Bureau of Canada a vehicle is stolen every 6 minutes and, as you can well imagine, the cost to the average car owner is staggering. Yes, a properly insured vehicle owner will be covered for such a peril but just because an insurance company pays for such a loss the overall effect will ultimately be a lot of wasted time, energy and money to everyone involved.
And, when you consider the associated costs and distraction of services such as law enforcement, health care and the justice system, you’ll see how this crime is a burden on society and why we all need to play our part to prevent auto theft from occuring in the first place.
Five Quick Tips To Help Prevent Auto Theft
Do Not Leave Your Vehicle Running With the Keys In It!
Sure, it sounds pretty straight forward but when the cold weather arrives, the tendency for some car owners is to start their vehicles and pop back in to the house while the vehicle warms up. Thieves know this so well that they simply drive around a neighbourhood looking for running vehicles, whereby an accomplice will jump out and simply walk up to a running car looking for an unlocked door and keys in the ignition before before making off like a bandit.
Lock It Or Lose It!
Again, it sounds like such a little thing but an open door or window is just an invitation to a thief to target your vehicle. Not that a locked vehicle guarantees your vehicle will be safe but the more impediments you put up, the less likely you are to be a victim.
Park To Prevent!
If you have a garage, park your vehicle inside. If not, park in a highly visible and well lit area. Same goes for when you’re out and about, shopping or visiting friends. You may have to walk a bit further afterward but finding a well lit parking spot in a higher traffic volume area may save you a lot of hassle later. Much like the lock it or lose it suggestion, thieves look for vehicles that are easy targets so do what you can to make it difficult or riskier for them.
Use A Steering Wheel Lock!
Just the sight of an anti-theft device attached to your steering wheel will likely send the average thief on his way, looking for an easier target. Though they’re not as visible and thereby less of an initial deterrent, brake pedal locks will at least add another layer of protection should a thief get in your vehicle.
Car Alarms And Visual Deterrents!
A car alarm will definitely do a good job but any blinking light inside your vehicle, even if it’s just your remote starter indicator, is a visual warning that the vehicle may have some form of an alarm and that can be enough to make the vehicle less appealing to the thief.
Technology Can Be A Problem But Also A Good Tool!
Unfortunately, the use of technology that makes vehicle ownership and driving a much better experience also means that thieves can use it to their advantage, so to prevent theft follow these suggestions….
Disable Your Vehicle!
You can install a disabling device on your fuel pump, ignition or starter to immobolize the vehicle and prevent thieves from hot-wiring it when they bypass the ignition system.
Use a Remote Starter For Warming Up The Vehicle!
Some vehicle manufacturers now offer built-in remote starters but there are plenty of aftermarket versions available to consumers as well. These devices allow you to start your vehicle from inside the comfort of your home or office and keep the vehicle locked, plus switch off the car when a would be thief touches the brake pedal. Many offer the option of allowing you to drive to a destination and hit the remote start function, then remove your key and exit the vehicle, leaving it running but protected by the disabling feature. Just be aware that many cities have much needed anti-idling bylaws that restrict the amount of time you can leave your vehicle running.
Protect Your Fob!
Those fancy keys are a real convenience that allow remote entry to your vehicle but they’re also an access point for thieves, who can intercept the wireless signal and use it to hijack your car. This means that even if your key/fob is inside your home, savvy auto thieves can get close enough to the home and use special devices to steal the signal. Do not leave a key or fob in your vehicle and store them in specially designed boxes or bags that prevent the signal from being intercepted.
This technology is so advanced now that it is even available in a personal device like a watch, so having one installed in your vehicle may not necessarily prevent theft but certainly make it easier to track down the vehicle and recover it in a timeley fashion, before any real damage is done.
Remember, we are all partners in the prevention of auto theft and by using these tips you can help avoid the trouble and stress of this crime and save everyone a lot of time, energy and money at the same time.
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