National Campaign Against Auto Theft
This month, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is working to remind motorists of the threat of vehicle theft. In 2019, nearly 750,000 vehicles were reported stolen throughout the United States. The NHTSA estimates that approximately half of those thefts could have been prevented if the owners had taken precautions. The cost of stolen vehicles that same year was around $6 billion.
Summer is the season in which reported vehicle thefts are the highest. As such, the NHTSA uses the month of July to promote its yearly Vehicle Theft Prevention Campaign.
Vehicle Theft Statistics
In 2019, every 44 seconds, a motor vehicle was stolen across the country. Here are some common-sense steps to take when parking and leaving your vehicle that may help you avoid becoming a statistic:
- When you park, close and lock all doors and windows.
- Whenever possible, park in a well-lighted and populated area.
- Do not leave the key in the vehicle; take it with you.
- Do not leave valuables in your car, especially if they can be seen from outside.
Here are some vehicle-related items that are among the most stolen:
- Vehicle doors
- Catalytic converters
- Stereos, speakers, and other audio equipment
- Loose items left in the car such as cell phones, tablets, GPS units, purses, laptops
Protecting your Vehicle from Theft
New anti-theft vehicle technology emerges constantly. Additionally, there are tried-and-true devices that work as well. Here are some of the anti-theft devices available that can lessen the chances of having your vehicle stolen:
- Horn alarms with flashing lights
- Steering wheel locks, e.g., The Club
- Vehicle immobilizing systems
- Vehicle recovery systems
What Should I Do if my Car is Stolen?
The first thing to do after the unfortunate discovery that your vehicle has been stolen is to contact the police and file a report. Your insurance company likely will require that a report be made in order for you to file an insurance claim, and you will need to provide the adjuster with the police report number. Other information you will need when reporting a vehicle stolen, or initiating an insurance claim for a stolen vehicle include:
- The vehicle’s license plate number
- The Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
- The color, make, model, and any other identifying characteristics of the vehicle.
After filing a police report, the second call you make should be to your automobile insurance company to file a claim.
If you are subsequently able to locate your vehicle, immediately notify the police and your auto insurance company.
Watch the YouTube video. The clip below discusses the NHTSA’s tips for preventing auto theft.
Winters, California Personal Injury Lawyer
Hello – thank you for visiting our legal blog and reading about the NHTSA’s efforts to curb vehicle theft. I’m Ed Smith, a Winters, California personal injury lawyer. There are many dangers and responsibilities that come along with owning a vehicle – the threat of theft is only one. Every road trip represents a risk, especially with the number of negligent drivers that take to the roads and highways around Northern California. If you or a family member has suffered injuries as a result of a collision with a careless or reckless motorist, you may be able to recover financial compensation for the losses you incurred. Call to speak with one of our experienced injury lawyers to set up a no-obligation consultation to go over the details of your potential case. We can also simply offer free and friendly advice. Call us at (530) 392-9400 from within the local area, or toll-free at (800) 404-5400 from other regions of Northern California.
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