As parents of teen drivers, we focus our conversations on safe
driving behaviors. But what about safe
parking behaviors that help protect your car from theft?
No. 4 nationwide for motor vehicle thefts, with a car disappearing off its streets roughly every 15 minutes. Many are what law enforcement calls "complacency thefts." That is, cars that are left either unlocked, running (to warm up or while the driver dashes off for a quick errand) or with the keys inside.
Auto theft is often a crime of opportunity. Your goal is to make stealing your car more trouble than it's worth. Check out the video for five park-smart basics to pass along to your family.
A worry-less thought for newer car drivers
Overall, car thefts nationwide are
down 54% from their peak in 1991*. But the number of cars stolen with the keys left inside
climbed 88% from 2013 to 2018. Could newer cars' keyless fobs somehow give us a false sense of security? Maybe. But whatever the reason, the takeaway message is the same: Before you leave your car, lock it and take the keys (or fob) with you.
*Comparison statistics from 2016, the latest year available.