If you don't spend much time worrying how safe your car is, maybe you should.
A scary statistic from the San Jose Police Department says that a car is stolen every 21 seconds in America.
Police have a long list of tips to help keep your car safe, and of course most of them are pretty obvious. You should park in busy, well-lit areas with security cameras, keep valuables stowed in your trunk, and always lock your car.
Maybe if you're really worried about your vehicle, you can invest in a wheel lock, or j-bar, which prevents thieves from driving off with it.
But it turns out there are some easy and free ways to prevent your car from being stolen that most people never even think about
Michael Fraser is a former thief who now works as a security expert. He recently shared some clever tips to protect your car with The Sun, and they shine a light on just how lazy criminals can be.
Turning your wheels, cleaning your windshield, and even the direction you park your car can all help to deter burglars and thieves.
Fraser explains the key to keeping thieves at bay is making your car a hard target, which doesn't require any fancy high-tech alarms.
1. Turn your wheels to the curb
When you parallel park, turning your wheels towards the curb makes it harder to steal the vehicle.
"Turning your wheels in towards the curb or another vehicle makes it harder for a thief to make a getaway," Fraser explains.
"Firstly, the wheels will get stuck in the car wheel well on the side of the road and, secondly, if you do this once you’ve taken your keys out of the ignition it will activate the cars’ automatic wheel lock."
2. Park facing your garage
If you reverse into your driveway, leaving your car facing the road, it's easy for thieves to make a quick getaway.
3. Wipe down your windows
When you park, you might take your expensive GPS device off your windshield, but it's also important to wipe the window down to hide any suction cup marks. Thieves train themselves to spot these marks as they hunt for valuable technology.
“Members of the public could also be unaware that high valuable technology inside vehicles won’t be covered on car insurance policies," Fraser warns, "unless the driver has made the insurance provider aware of the items being left in the car."
4. Break up your routine
If you park in a secure lot with cameras and guards every day, there's nothing wrong with sticking to your regular spot. But on a city street, having a consistent routine makes your car vulnerable to thieves. Use different spots every few days.
5. Look confident
Thieves may sit and stake out a line of parking spaces, looking for an easy target. Fraser suggests that just stopping to look around noticeably after parking your car is enough to scare away would-be thieves.
In the end, it turns out first impressions can offer just as much protection as your car's security system.
If thieves see a car that's locked, with no valuables left inside, positioned to block a clean getaway, they're sure to leave it alone.
Pretty smart! Will you be using any of these tips?
[H/T: The Sun]