The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently reported that vehicle thefts for 2011 vehicles are down considerably from the 2010 model year.
By assessing the amount of thefts of a particular model year vehicle within the current calendar year, the group is able to determine the rate of theft. Though we are in the 2013 model year (obviously), the rate is calculated a couple of years behind in order to have a reasonable sample size.
For the 2011 model year (calc. in 2013), theft rates dropped more than 91%, signaling evidence that modern technology is helping to curb auto theft rates.
In addition to the presence of improved anti-theft tools, other technologies such as “immobilizers” and “On Star” type utilities have helped to increase the risks associated with auto theft for potential thieves. Once we factor in the improved efforts by local law enforcement, the steep decline should come as no surprise.
Ways you Can Prevent Auto Theft
While many newer vehicles have alarm systems to deter would-be thieves, those owner older vehicles may not have the same integrated technology. This means that we must consider a few other avenues to ensure that our vehicles, and personal possessions inside them, are kept safe.
Consider these simple deterrents as a great way to decrease your chances of enduring a stolen vehicle fiasco:
(1) Secondary Anti-Theft Devices
We’ve seen advertisements for “The Club”, and other similar products, for years. The big question is, “Do they really work?” We don’t sell products like these, so we have no horse in this race.
The truth is most thieves will be deterred by these “steering wheel lock devices”, as they can just add an extra layer to the process involved in stealing a vehicle. However, if you are dealing with professional car thieves, these tools can actually increase the likelihood of theft, as they can be used as an extra lever to break the lock on the steering column.
Just a thought, but definitely worth noting…
(2) Paying Attention to Items in Plain View
Sometimes, the vehicle isn’t the real target. In fact, most thieves are interested in a “smash and grab” type scenario. In other words, they smash a window, grab what they can, and are gone before anyone has a chance to silence the ringing car alarm.
By taking note of anything that you may have lying in plain sight (laptops, tablets, mp3 players, etc.), you can help to reduce the overall “appeal” of your vehicle.
(3) Avoid Secluded or Hidden Parking Lots
This may seem like common sense, but we aren’t considering theft EVERY TIME we park our car or truck. But, by avoiding secluded parking lots, you can add an extra layer of protection to yourself and your vehicle. Auto thieves do not want confrontation, in most situations, so they will always seek out vehicles that are “easy targets”.
Lots that are in public view will often provide a bit of extra security for your automobile.
Auto theft is an issue that most automakers take into account as they develop new technology. While most new vehicles will include an alarm, GPS tracking, etc., those with older models may want to consider a few extra steps of protection.
Stay safe out there, and remember to always lock your doors!