To help drivers keep their vehicles safe, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has marked July as National Vehicle Theft Prevention Month. Specifically, the NHTSA hopes to increase awareness of the stolen vehicle epidemic during this event. Vehicle theft prevention is highly important, as in 2020, vehicle thefts rose to more than 800,000 – a 9.2% uptick over 2019.
With this event in mind, there is no better time for drivers to take steps to protect their vehicles, both personal and commercial.
How to protect your vehicle
Several different types of anti-theft systems and devices exist and are designed to make vehicles more difficult to steal, as well as easier to trace and recover. Here’s how some of them work:
- Audible and visible devices
Car alarms can deter theft because they call attention to the vehicle should someone try to enter it without a key. Likewise, steering wheel locks and theft-deterrent decals warn a would-be thief to stay away.
- Immobilizing-type devices
This anti-theft system makes it nearly impossible for thieves to hot-wire your vehicle.
- Vehicle recovery systems
If your vehicle is stolen and has a vehicle recovery system, law enforcement may be able to tap into it and locate your vehicle.
Some insurance companies will offer discounts to customers if their cars are equipped with anti-theft or vehicle recovery devices or systems. For more information on your policy and to learn if you qualify for these discounts, call your FBinsure agent.
Additionally, most vehicle thefts are due to simple driver errors, such as leaving the keys in the vehicle. Don’t become a statistic and always protect your vehicle and belongings by:
- Always taking your keys with you. Close your windows, lock your doors and park in well-lit areas at night.
- Never leaving valuables in your vehicle, especially in plain sight. Additionally, never leave your car while it is running.
In the unfortunate event that your vehicle is stolen, there are a couple of steps you need to take to respond properly.
- Contact the police immediately to file a stolen vehicle report. You’ll need a copy of the police report or a case number to provide to your insurance company. You may be asked to provide your license plate number, the make, model and color of your vehicle, your vehicle identification number (VIN) and/or any identifying characteristics of the vehicle.
- Contact your insurance company no more than 24 hours after discovering your vehicle was stolen.
For more vehicle safety information and insurance solutions, contact your local FBinsure office today. Be sure to follow our social media pages for updates on when more helpful blogs like this are posted.