One of the most expensive (single item) anyone would purchase is a car. Car theft is alarmingly one of the most rampant security issues humans deal with on a daily basis. In this age of social-media glitz and glamour, everyone wants to have a car, therefore, whoever is fortunate to have one, luxury or not, is a potential target for car thieves. There are preventive measures that can be taken to protect the vehicle from theft. These include but are not limited to;
- Engaging the central lock: Ensure all doors are locked whilst driving, it makes it impossible for criminals to gain entry into vehicle especially during slow traffic periods. Avoid leaving the vehicle unlocked when you run errands or you quickly have to stop outside a shop because the first thing a car thief does is check to see if a vehicle is locked. An unlocked vehicle will not only give him easy access but also a speedy exit, often down the road.
- Late Night Drives: When driving at night or even early in the morning before daybreak avoid leaving the interior light on. With an illuminated interior, occupants can easily become targets for criminals and street urchins. As often as possible, using different routes to same destination when driving, it will make it difficult for criminals to predict . It is also very important to avoid late night drives when possible..
- Protect Valuables: Moving around with luxury goods or expensive gadgets? Avoid placing them in sight, ensure they are well hidden or get the vehicle windows tinted. A permit is required to drive a vehicle with tinted window around in Nigeria. Car snatchers will do all it takes to steal the car once they know that the car’s original documents are usually available in it. It is recommended to always keep valuables out of sight when is parked. Items should be placed in the boot before parking, as criminals may see what is being packed in the boot and attempt to steal from it.
- Avoid being trailed: It is important to always look through mirrors to you’re not being trailed . If there is any sign of such, drive to the nearest police station. When a suspicious car overtakes you whilst driving, let it go! Trying to drag-race or overtake, might endanger your life.
- Be careful when offering help and avoid hitchhikers: Car thieves sometimes pretend to be stranded or in dire need of help, when waved down by a stranger on an isolated road, follow you gut feeling about stopping to assist, or not. It is better to be safe, than sorry! Offering lift to strangers, seems like an act of kindness, it however can be a very bad idea, should criminals pose as hitchhikers . If you must do it, then extreme caution must be exercised to avoid falling victim of organized crime.
- Driving on The Highway: When pulling over along the highway, it is best to turn off the engine and pull out the car key. Do not alight from the vehicle with the key still in, car thieves can easily snatch a car if the key is in ignition.
- Install Car Tracking Devices: There are numerous security devices that can be installed on a vehicle, from trackers, alarms, steering locks amongst others. These devices help to deter criminals and sometimes secure vehicle. Should a vehicle be stolen, security officials can easily track down a vehicle equipped with a geo-location tracking system. It is however very important that factory installed safety and security features of the vehicle is not compromised while installing these auxiliary/aftermarket equipments.
- Avail your Credentials: When driving, ensure that documents, such as driver’s license, valid ID and other essential credentials. As a driver, it is mandatory to be in possession of your driving license when driving around town for easy identification in case there is trouble.
- Stay Alert: Stay Woke! Should a flat tyre ever occur under suspicious conditions, do not stop, instead drive the car to the nearest safe spot, probably a Gas station. Forget about the damage that will be done to the rim, avoid stopping when you suddenly get a flat tyre under a suspicious condition or in an unknown environment, it could be a setup. Don’t sit in the car or stay close to the car when it breaks down on an isolated road, you can be attacked especially when you are alone in the car.
- Use Secured Car Parks: It is important to confirm that where you intend parking your car is safe before parking the car. Park in a visible and well-lit area, this is very important, especially at night. Do not violate the rules and regulations that govern any car park.
The priority should always and remain the safety of lives. Proper Insurance should purchased to cover the vehicle, in the event of damage or total loss.
Here is wishing you safe and happy motoring.