One in five drivers will have their keys stolen at some point in their lives, 26% will lose them, and both of these things can ultimately result in car theft. There is good news, however. Fewer people are stealing from cars. “The 700,000 vehicles stolen in the United States in 2013, the most recent full year for which data is available, reflect a whopping 58% drop from 1991,” according to the Traverse City Record-Eagle. More impressively, car thefts are at an all-time low, with today’s thefts at the lowest rate since 1967.

Unfortunately, that does not mean that Americans are 100% in the clear. Thefts can and do happen, even if they are significantly less likely nowadays. Here are a few things to do to make certain that your car and belongings remain reliably locked up and safe:

Lock Your Car
What is the leading cause of car thefts? While 20% of us have lost keys at work, 15% at the mall, and 13% at friends’ and families’ houses, this loss is not the driving factor of car break-ins. What is? Leaving your car unlocked. Most thefts occur when people forget and/or neglect to lock their vehicles, and this is when thieves swipe some more expensive items — like GPS units, laptop computers, tablets, and cameras. Always lock your car, and double-check (or triple-check) if you are uncertain that you locked it in the first place.

Car Keys You Can Trust
Auto locksmiths share two key tips. First, if you have a newer vehicle with a keyless fob or smart lock, replace it at least once every two years or however often the manual recommends. Failing to do so may result in the fob failing, and it may compromise the safety of your vehicle. On the other hand, if you have misplaced or lost keys, local locksmith services advise upgrading to a higher grade lock. This will ensure the lock is different than the last one, and add an extra layer of security.

Good news: Car thefts are becoming increasingly rare. In any case, auto locksmiths remind drivers to always lock their cars, maintain keyless fobs if applicable, and change locks after misplacing keys.

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