January 1st is the number one day of the year and the number one day for the most vehicle break-ins and theft.
With holiday shopping on lunch breaks or in the evenings and merchandise left in vehicles or in car trunks, it would be logical more car break-ins would occur in December over the holiday shopping season. However, rates of vehicle theft are highest on New Year’s Day. $1.26 billion in valuables are stolen from cars and trucks annually, according to Nationwide Insurance.
How can you prevent your vehicle from being damaged or stolen? Our Raleigh car accident lawyers created 10 Tips to Prevent Vehicle Theft:
- Park in well-lit areas near lots of pedestrian traffic. Some people prefer to park far away to reduce the risk of getting their vehicle scratched by neighboring car doors, but choose a visible lit area every time.
- Keep valuables completely out of sight. Start a habit of leaving items in your trunk as soon as they are purchased – this will prevent thieves from seeing where the items are kept when you park at your next destination.
- Wipe down windows that may be marked from GPS systems. (This could be a sign your GPS is still in the car and tempt someone to break in.)
- Store all charging devices in the glove compartment or under your seat. Thieves who see your chargers may take it as a sign there are more items you left in the car.
- Subscribe to a vehicle locating service like LoJack.
- Keep windows entirely closed. Leaving windows open even a crack is enough space for an experienced criminal to open the door, and it also prevents some car alarms from sounding.
- If you have an aftermarket sound system, detach the face and either carry it with you or store it out of sight.
- Locking car doors may be an afterthought around the holidays. With visiting relatives, shopping and many other distractions, try not to lose focus and remember to lock all doors.
- Invest in a brake pedal lock, steering wheel lock, or other anti-theft products that prevent thieves from leaving with your vehicle. You may have a damaged car, but at least it will still be there.
- Don’t keep spare keys in your vehicle. Thieves commonly pop trunks and easily find a spare key with a spare tire. Ask a nearby trusted friend to keep a copy or store one in your desk at work.
What happens if a thief is successful in stealing your vehicle and then gets into an accident and injures someone? Learn about what can happen if someone else gets into an accident with your car here.