July is National Vehicle Theft Prevention Month

July is National Vehicle Theft Prevention Month

AAA Insurance offers four keys to car theft prevention
April S. Engram
aaa insurance car key

According to the latest figures from the FBI, there were an estimated 721,885 thefts of motor vehicles nationwide in 2019, that equated to a vehicle being stolen every 43.8 seconds. This resulted in a loss of $6 billion, and 75% of those vehicles were automobiles. For National Vehicle Theft Prevention Month, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) warns motorists that summers prove to be the worst season for vehicle theft. Often, vehicles are left running tempting a thief to take advantage of an easy target.

Using a little common sense and readily available theft prevention devices can minimize auto theft. The more layers of protection, the less likely your car will be stolen. AAA Members Insurance Agency of Western and Central New York, Inc. suggests these four keys to car theft prevention:

1.    Awareness
Nearly half of vehicle thefts could have been prevented by the owner according to the NHTSA. Whenever you leave your car, take a moment to check that you have:

  • Parked in a well-lit area
  • Locked the doors and closed the windows
  • Removed spare keys from inside the vehicle
  • Moved valuables and other items out of view 

2.    Deterrence
Vehicles that are easy to break into and allow for a quick getaway are attractive to thieves. Visible theft deterrents signal that your car could be difficult to steal. Consider using:

  • Steering wheel locks
  • Brake pedal locks
  • Theft deterrent decals
  • Audible alarm systems

3.    Immobilization
Immobilizing devices prevent a car from being hot-wired. Many late model vehicles come with immobilization devices standard, and some after-market options are available for earlier model cars. These include:

  • Smart keys
  • Fuse cut-offs and kill switches
  • Starter or fuel pump disablers
  • Wireless ignition authentication systems

4.    Tracking
A tracking device emits a signal to police or a monitoring station when a vehicle is stolen. Tracking devices are very effective in helping authorities recover stolen vehicles. Some systems employ telematics, which combine GPS and wireless technologies to allow remote monitoring of a vehicle. If the vehicle is moved, the system will alert the owner and the vehicle can be tracked via computer.

Auto liability insurance is required in all 50 states, but coverage against theft – the comprehensive coverage – is optional.

To find out more about automotive, motorcycle, or RV insurance, call AAA Insurance at 888-671-7044 or visit your local branch to see what discounts you may be eligible for and what type of coverage you might need.

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