Like electricity, we take them for granted.  Just like when we flip on a switch and expect the light to come on, we expect that when we open the doors of our homes or workplaces our cars will be there to take us where we want to go.

But unlike electricity, we have an emotional attachment to our cars.  They become our friends because when we want to go somewhere, they take us there.  Not only that, they become our home away from home.  I've known many people who have given their cars names.  My best friend had an old Chevy that she named "Paula the Impala".

That's why it's such a traumatic experience when your car is stolen.  According to Southern States Insurance, a car is stolen every 43 seconds in the U.S.  Nearly 750,000 cars are stolen each year, costing Americans $4.5 billion.

This is especially significant because we are in the middle of prime car-theft season. Thieves look forward to the hot summer because motorists make mistakes they ordinarily wouldn't in cooler months.  Those are leaving the windows rolled down, and leaving the car running.  We all want to avoid the blistering heat inside our cars after they've been sitting in the sun, but these two practices are just an invitation for thieves. A car thief can unlock your car through an open window and steal your car in seconds.

So, what's the most stolen vehicle in the U.S?  The Honda Accord.  50, 427 of them were stolen last year.  In Louisiana, the theft of choice is a Chevrolet Full-Size Pickup. Shreveport/Bossier City has one of the highest car theft rates in the state, which is not surprising because it's the third largest metropolitan area, and it sits astride one of the busiest interstates in the country.

There are some good practices to adopt that can be a deterrent to car thieves. Southern States Insurance provides these tips:

  • Roll up your windows.
  • Park in a well-lit place.
  • Don't leave valuables in plain sight.
  • Never leave your car's engine running when you're not in it.
  • Invest in anti-theft protection devices.

Your car is like a member of your family, and by taking a few precautions you can help keep it safe from thieves this summer.