How Safe is Your Car from Thieves?
The sad truth is that your car is really not safe from car thieves.
It does not matter whether you have luxury car, live in a nice neighbourhood, or lock your doors.
Car thefts have been increasing in almost every major UK city and the trend is far from being over.
You must take preventative measures to protect your car before it gets stolen. Here are some tips to prevent your car from being stolen.
Never leave valuables in your car
A lot of cars are being targeted today just because they have valuables inside of them.
Car thieves are not only looking to steal the car itself, but they also want to find cash, GPS units, mobile phones, and mp3 players. Having any of these items in plain sight in your car alone will increase the chance that you car will get stolen or broken into, so you should either remove them from the vehicle or hide them at the very least.
In terms of hiding the items, you should put them in the boot, under the seat, or at least cover them with a blanket.
Install a kill switch
If possible, you should install a kill switch on your vehicle. A kill switch is a button in your car that will stop the power from flowing to your ignition to start the car. This means that if a car thief tries to steal your car, it will stop the car from starting in the first place.
It is likely that you will need to have it installed by a repair technician and it will probably cost around £100-£200.
The thing is that you should make sure that the kill switch is well hidden inside of the vehicle so potential thieves can not find it and turn it off.
Speak to your local garage about the feasibility of installing the switch.
Always lock your car
Although this may sound like common sense, thousands of cars are stolen like this every year.
Some people will not lock their doors because they plan on leaving it unattended for a few minutes or maybe it is because they think the area is safe.
Whatever the reason, it is a completely dangerous practice that will not only increase the chance of the car getting stolen, but it will also endanger you because someone could be hiding in the car when you return.
Always lock your car every time you exit because it will only take a few minutes for someone to steal your stuff, the car, or hide inside of it.Cars have been stolen whilst the owner has being paying for petrol.
In the few minutes the car may have been left unlocked, the thief can steal the car or your possessions.
Always keep your windows closed
This is another way that thieves steal cars quite easily. Even if the doors are locked, they can still accomplish the same goal if the windows are down.The windows do not even have to completely down because it only takes a small crack to allow them to put a probing tool into your car to unlock it.
They could also reach into the vehicle and snatch any valuables they can find. It is understandable that some people leave the windows open because they may have children or pets in the car, but it is best that you take them with you inside of the location or leave them at home.
Keep the title and registration of the vehicle on your person or at home
It is essential that you either keep the title and registration with you or leave it at home because they can use that information to sell your vehicle more easily.
It will already be bad enough if they get a hold of your vehicle, but it will be even worse if they have those documents because it will be much easier for them to sell the vehicle and make everything seem legitimate.
Park in safe, well lit areas
Take the time choose a good parking space for your vehicle because it can make a difference.
Make the effort to find a parking space that is near the door or at least in a well lit area.
Your car should not be isolated and there should be other people and places near the car so people can see what is going on. This is especially important if you are parking in a large lot or parking garage.
Install a tracking system
Sometimes it is helpful to install a tracking system to help the police track your vehicle if it has been stolen.
You will be able to locate the vehicle any where as long as you have a tracking system.
Their does tend to be a monthly fee for using the tracking service once the actual tracking device has been fitted.
Obviously, it is recommended that you let law enforcement handle situation even if you know where the car is located.
Never leave your car running
This is yet another obvious tip that many people do not follow.
Never leave your car running under any circumstances if it is unattended.
People have not only had their cars stolen like this, but some people have actually had their kids stolen along with the car because they were in the car when it was stolen.
Leaving your car running eliminates all of the hassles thieves have to go through to get in and get the car started, so all they have to do is drive off. You may be tempted to start the engine in very cold conditions to warm the interior and defrost the windows and wait inside your home.
This is a bad practice as car thieves are aware of this during the colder months. They will look for the opportunity to steal you car, complete with keys.
A high profile footballer recently lost a very expensive car recently due to this practice.
Make your car hard to tow
Some car thieves will use tow trucks to steal cars and it can be more difficult to protect yourself against them.
What you can do is make the car more difficult to tow by parking a little bit differently. Backing into the parking space can make it more difficult for your car to be towed since most cars only have front wheel drive. You can also turn your wheels toward the curb when you park to make it more difficult for the car to be towed.
Unfortunately, car thefts have become quite common and it is not always easy to protect your car from thieves.
You will have to be street smart and take all of the precautions each and every time you leave your car whether it means hiding your valuables, locking your doors, or closing all of your windows.
Be sure to stay safe and contact law enforcement if you find yourself face to face with a car thief.
If you are involved in an accident or collision:
- Stop your car as soon and as safely as you can.
- Try not to leave your car blocking the entire road if possible. If the collision has been particularly hard, your car may not be able to be moved.
- Activate your hazard warning signal lights if your vehicle is causing an obstruction.
- Your fist concern should be if any injuries have been sustained. Check yourself and your passengers.
- Leave the car and immediately move to a safe location, the pavement, hard shoulder or verge. People in a state of shock may wander into the road or around the car to inspect the damage.
Consider carrying an Emergency Life Hammer in your vehicle.
This device is designed to quickly cut jammed seatbelts to free trapped people. It is also able to very quickly break the vehicles windows to allow escape should the doors be stuck from the collision or if the vehicle is submerged under water.
An emergency Space Blanket will be very useful in an emergency situation to maintain body heat in colder conditions or to keep injured people warm. They are supplied very tightly packed and will easily fit in the clove compartment of most cars.
If any injuries have been sustained, immediately summon aid via the emergency services. It is also prudent to carry a First Aid Kit in the car for minor injuries.
Speak to the other driver (or drivers) to exchange insurance details and gain the registration details of all vehicles involved. Do not admit liability at this stage even if you believe it may be your fault.
Some insurance companies insist as part of their terms and conditions that you must not admit liability until the collision has been investigated.
Make notes of the position of all the vehicles involved and take photos if possible. It is also a good idea to take photos of the other vehicles damage to prevent claims being inflated or exaggerated at a later date.
You may need to supply details of the vehicles positions, direction and speed, road and light conditions to your insurance company.
Consider contacting the police. You should not dial the emergency number ‘999’, but the non emergency number ‘101’ unless urgent assistance is required.
All accidents should be reported to the police within 24hrs.
Try to remain calm and do not respond to other drivers in an aggressive manner. This will only escalate an already stressful situation.
If you feel threatened, inform the police immediately by phone using the emergency number ‘999’.
If the road surface or other street furniture has been damaged, the police must be informed.
If your car is not in a safe condition to drive, arrange for recovery by a local garage or contact an emergency breakdown service you may belong to.
Remember to remove any valuables and secure the vehicle. Thieves tend to look on unattended accident damaged vehicles as easy targets. Recovery should be arranged at the earliest opportunity.
As soon as practically possible, contact your insurance company to inform them of the incident. They will then commence the procedure to settle any claims for damage from you or from third parties.