Motor vehicle theft is a prevalent and costly crime, affecting over a million drivers annually in the United States. In 2022, more than one million vehicles were stolen, amounting to a vehicle stolen every 32 seconds in the US. About half of the thefts were attributed to driver error and 74% of thefts were of passenger cars. This crime racks up billions of dollars in losses, totaling over $8 billion in 2022 alone. Beware, because theft rates are highest during the summer months.
To address this issue and help drivers protect their vehicles, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is holding its annual Vehicle Theft Prevention Campaign in July, designated as National Vehicle Theft Prevention Month.
To minimize the risk of vehicle theft, it is essential to employ common-sense measures when parking and exiting your vehicle. This includes taking your vehicle's key with you, ensuring all windows and doors are closed and locked, parking in well-lit areas whenever possible, and never leaving valuables inside your vehicle, especially if they are visible from the outside. Thieves target various vehicle parts and valuable items, ranging from radios and wheel covers to doors, engines, transmissions, airbags, GPS units, cell phones, laptops, and purses.
Fortunately, there are numerous anti-theft systems and devices available to make vehicles harder to steal or easier to trace and recover. These include audible and visible devices that draw attention to unauthorized attempts to steal or enter a vehicle, immobilizing-type devices that prevent hot-wiring, and vehicle recovery systems that utilize electronic transmission technology to help law enforcement locate stolen vehicles.
In the unfortunate event that your vehicle is stolen, it is crucial to act promptly. Contact the police immediately to file a stolen-vehicle report, ensuring you obtain a copy of the report or a case number for your insurance company. Provide the necessary details such as license plate number, make, model, color, vehicle identification number (VIN), and any identifying characteristics. Within 24 hours, contact your insurance company to file a claim. If you happen to locate your vehicle before authorities do, notify the police and your insurance company immediately.
By implementing preventive measures and utilizing anti-theft systems, drivers can significantly reduce the risk of vehicle theft and protect their valuable assets. To learn more about preventing vehicle theft, reach out to an agent at Diversified, or visit: https://www.nhtsa.gov/road-safety/vehicle-theft-prevention
DII is your partner in vehicle protection and theft prevention. Our team of experts can work with you to understand the best ways to protect your assets from theft and what to do if you find something stolen. Please contact your DII representative for more information. #vehicletheft #NHTSA