Having a car is extremely convenient as a college student, and as such, you want to make sure that your car stays safe and running during your time as a student. Living on your own for the first time, you might not know what all you need to be doing to keep your vehicle— and yourself— safe.
Tip 1: Keep valuables out of the vehicle.
Car break-ins happen all the time, and it can happen to anyone. Do not leave any items such as a laptop, precious jewelry or other objects of considerable value in your car. According to Allstate, “One way to attract a thief is to leave a purse, cell phone or another high-value item in a highly visible area of your car. It's best to leave anything of value at home, but, if you must have something important with you, keep it out of sight. “
Tip 2: Keep the vehicle locked when it is not being driven.
According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports, over 773,000 vehicles were reported as stolen in 2017. While you might think locking your car isn’t always necessary, it is better to be safe than to risk it. As soon as you’re parked and you’re out of the car, lock the car immediately. This lowers the risk of someone breaking into your car, stealing it or trying to harm you. Additionally, don’t leave your windows rolled down, and never leave your unlocked car unattended. Some people will leave their car running in the winter while it defrosts, but this is an opportunity for anyone to easily steal it.
Tip 3: Look underneath and inside the back of your vehicle.
Being aware of your surroundings is always important, but especially around cars and in parking lots where there is ample room for potential attackers to hide. If you suspect someone is under or in your car, call 911 immediately. Stay out of your car and go into the nearest building to stay away from the intruder.
Tip 4: Keep up maintenance with your vehicle.
While this may seem like common sense, there are small things that you might not think about, but can make a big difference. Keeping your car in good shape is not only important for your car, but for your own safety as well. Make sure the tires are full of air and if they lose any, always fill it back up. Check for any abnormal noises or smells coming from your car. If you know a mechanic, take your car to their shop so they can check it for you if there are any problems.
Allstate has a checklist of things to look out for to keep your car running smoothly:
- Check tire pressure and rotate tires
- Check the motor oil
- Check other important fluids
- Test the headlights and taillights
- Check and replace windshield wipers
- Check the engine air filter
- Check the cabin air filter
- Test the battery
- Inspect the brakes
- Check belts and hoses
- Wash your car
There are a lot of things to keep in mind to ensure the safety of your vehicle and yourself. For more safety tips, click here.