7/8/2014 - Peak Season for Vehicle Theft
Being sure to lock the door has come to be a habit for automotive owners as a basic strategy to guard against theft, but these and other safety strategies are particularly important to follow in the summer, as it's consistently the peak time of year for car crime.
July is National Vehicle Theft Prevention Month. Along with August, more vehicle thefts take place around now than during any other period on the calendar, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Since 2003, no fewer than 721,000 cars have been stolen on an annual basis, based on FBI statistics collected by the Insurance Information Institute. However, since 2008, the prevalence of this illegal activity has consistently fallen from the previous year, perhaps because technologies and awareness has improved.
To help ensure that 2014 is another year of declining automotive theft incidents, NHTSA put together a variety of theft prevention strategies for motorists to follow.
For instance, while it may seem common knowledge, perhaps the best move of all is to always lock the doors whenever leaving the vehicle. Between 40% and 50% of all stolen car incidents are due to driver error. Failing to lock all the doors makes it easy for unsavory individuals to get away quickly.
Never exit the car without keys
Another common driver error is leaving the keys in the ignition. Whether forgetting to take them out or doing this intentionally - such as making a quick stop at a corner store - this dramatically increases the risk of a car being purloined by a thief lying in wait.
Something else to avoid doing is leaving valuables in the vehicle. By peering in through one of the passenger windows, newly purchased or highly sought after products can be a draw for someone trying to gain entry into a car forcibly. Always remove valuables from a vehicle after parking or hide them, such as under the seat or in the trunk.
Some automotive brands have proven to be more likely to be stolen than others. For instance, according to Insurance Information Institute statistics collected from the National Insurance Crime Bureau, Honda has consistently been among the most frequently purloined nameplates, particularly the Accord and Civic models. In 2012, nearly 58,600 Accords were stolen nationwide, in fact.
For more tips and strategies regarding how to guard against theft, visit NHTSA's website.
Fortunately, motorists do have a recourse they can turn to if they're victimized by theft, as only about 52% of vehicles are ever recovered. With a comprehensive policy in place, auto insurance reimburses policyholders so they can purchase another vehicle.
Be sure to speak with a local Selective agent for more details on why comprehensive coverage is worthwhile.