Most of us plan to hit the road for our summer vacation this year, according to AAA. It’s a great way to see the sights and unwind without breaking the bank. Unfortunately, not everyone on the road is looking for family fun. Some are looking for easy targets to break into cars. Those who go on vacation are particularly susceptible to car break-ins during the summer, and that’s why July is Vehicle Theft Prevention Month. You shouldn’t let this phenomenon deter you from taking that trip you’ve been anticipating, however. Instead, you should use it as an opportunity to be sure you are taking the simple steps to protect your most essential part of that road trip — your car! The experts at Alta Mere can help by outfitting your car with an alarm or keyless entry accessories, and giving you tips to using them effectively and safely.
Here’s an eye-opening stat: One car is stolen every 45 seconds throughout the United States. Thieves who know what they are doing can strip a vehicle of parts in less than 30 minutes, and they can do it right where the car is parked. They are after things they can sell for big money. Older cars are often targeted for parts like flashy wheels, catalytic converters and even airbags. Newer model cars are often resold with phony vehicle identification numbers and paperwork to unsuspecting buyers.
It’s largely a crime of opportunity, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that nearly half of all the stolen vehicles are taken when drivers simply make it easy for the thieves. They have some simple steps you can take to keep your car safe on the road and at home:
- Park in a well-lit area.
- Park in a garage if possible. Don’t leave the garage door cracked open in the summer. That can be an invitation to thieves.
- Don’t leave your keys in or on your car. You may not think you’d do this, but a lot of drivers who have the new keyless entry fobs — which don’t require you to actually insert a key in the car — tend to just leave it in the cup holder or glove box.
- Close and lock all the windows and doors when you park your car.
- Never leave valuables in your car, especially in plain sight. Portable GPS units, phones, iPads, laptops, purses and shopping bags are all attractive targets. If you must leave something in your car, leave it locked in the trunk.
- Don’t program your home address into your GPS under “home.” Use another name.
- Have your car equipped with an anti-theft device. Alta Mere has automotive alarms that can act as a deterrent for potential thieves who don’t want to attract attention to themselves. These systems can come with glass break protection, flashing parking lights and loud sirens to prevent a break-in and keep your car safe.
The National Insurance Crime Bureau recommends taking it a step further and using a layered approach to protecting your car. The harder you make it to steal, the more likely it is that a criminal will move on to another target. The first layer is using these common-sense steps. The second layer is to add an alarm as a deterrent. The experts at your local Alta Mere can help you find the system that can help you protect your car at home and on the road.
Enjoy your summer road trip, knowing that you and your valuables are safe and protected!