By AAA of Western and Central New York
According to the latest figures from the FBI, there were an estimated 748,841 thefts of motor vehicles nationwide in 2018 resulting in a loss of $6.3 billion. Police in many regions in New York are reporting an up-tick in car thefts this year. 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 theft prevention:
1. Awareness: Nearly half of vehicle thefts could have been prevented by the owner according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. 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
√ 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. For more information, call your AAA insurance agent or insurance customer service, or visit your local AAA Travel & Insurance Center. Learn more at www.AAA.com/Insurance.
As upstate New York’s largest member services organization, AAA Western and Central New York provides more than 887,000 members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1900, AAA has been a leading advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. Visit AAA at www.AAA.com.