This July, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is shining the spotlight on auto theft during National Vehicle Theft Prevention Month.
National Vehicle Theft Prevention Month
The NHTSA reports that in 2016, more than three-quarters of a million vehicles were stolen in the United States—and nearly half of those thefts were due to driver error. Vehicle theft is a multi-billion-dollar crime, with the cost of stolen vehicles coming in at almost $6 billion in 2016 alone—up from $5 billion in 2015.
Summer is the worst season for vehicle theft. To help drivers keep their vehicles safe, the NHTSA is conducting its annual vehicle theft prevention campaign and offers these tips:
A motor vehicle is stolen every 41 seconds in the United States.
The top 10 stolen vehicles in calendar year 2016:
- Honda Accord
- Honda Civic
- Chevrolet Silverado
- Toyota Camry
- Ford F150
- Nissan Altima
- Toyota Corolla
- Ford F250
- Ford Econoline
- Chevrolet Impala
We are all susceptible to vehicle theft.
Top 10 States for most vehicles stolen in calendar year 2016:
Use common sense when parking and exiting your vehicle:
- Take your vehicle’s key; do not leave it in or on your vehicle.
- Close and lock all windows and doors when you park.
- Park in well-lit areas if possible.
- Never leave valuables in your vehicle, especially if they can be seen from outside the vehicle.
Thieves want vehicle parts and valuable items, too.
Radios and wheel covers aren’t the only popular stolen vehicle parts thieves take. They want whatever sells, from the mandated labeled parts to those that aren’t. Some of the most popular vehicle parts or valuable items stolen from vehicles include doors, engines, transmissions, air bags, radios, GPS units, cell phones, iPads, laptops, and purses.
Protect Your Ride
There are numerous antitheft systems and devices designed to make vehicles more difficult to steal or easier to trace and recover. Here are how some of them work:
- Audible and Visible Devices: These devices, such as a horn alarm, deter theft by bringing attention to an unauthorized attempt to steal or enter a vehicle. Visible devices create a visual threat/warning/deterrence, such as the use of steering-wheel locks, as well as theft-deterrent decals, flashing lights, and window etching.
- Immobilizing-Type Devices: These prevent thieves from bypassing a vehicle’s ignition system and hot-wiring the vehicle. Some incorporate computer chips in ignition keys or disable the flow of electricity or fuel to the engine.
- Vehicle Recovery Systems: These devices use electronic transmission technology that help law enforcement reveal the location of stolen vehicles—and possibly catch the thief in the act.
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