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MassDOT, MAPFRE Insurance Reminder: Tips to Prevent Motor Vehicle Theft

Summer travels are underway, and more people are out on the roads. While we are focused on summer fun, it isn’t a time to become complacent and leave cars unsecured. Not finding your car where you parked it is a gut-wrenching feeling and is unfortunately a common experience. Auto theft is on the rise, and with July being Vehicle Theft Prevention Month, we are here to make sure you don’t become a victim!

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), research shows that in 2020 alone, 804,400 vehicles were stolen in the United States, which is an 11.8% increase from 2019. Within that number, passenger cars made up more than 74% of all stolen vehicles, with only 56.4% of all stolen vehicles being recovered. On average, a motor vehicle was stolen every 39 seconds. These motor vehicle thefts cost vehicle owners more than $7 billion.

With better technology being developed for motor vehicles, you may believe that cars today are theft-proof, but that is not the case. Use the tips below, offered by NHTSA and Autotrader, to prevent motor vehicle theft and educate your community on the dangers involved:

  • Park in well-lit areas
  • Close and lock all windows and doors when you park
  • Hide valuables out of sight, such as in the glove box or trunk
  • Do not leave your keys in your vehicle
  • Do not leave the area while your vehicle is running
  • Get a good car alarm
  • Add a car-theft tracking device

According to the Insurance Information Institute (iii), in Massachusetts, there were 6,835 motor vehicle thefts in 2020. Don’t wait to take action, it could happen to you. Keep yourself and each other safe. If you or someone you know is a victim of vehicle theft, follow these steps recommended by NHTSA:

  • Contact police immediately to file a stolen-vehicle report: You will need a copy of the police report and/or case number to provide to your insurance company. Be sure to provide the following information: license plate number, make, model, and color of the vehicle, and Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
  • Contact your insurance company to file a claim within 24 hours of the vehicle being stolen
  • If you find your vehicle before authorities do, contact the police and your insurance company immediately

MassDOT’s Highway Assistance Program, sponsored by MAPFRE Insurance, is on patrol to help all motorists, including motorcyclists, on the highways. Patrol operators monitor some of the state’s busiest highways around Metro Boston, Worcester, Springfield and Cape Cod (seasonal). The Highway Assistance Patrol covers 13 major state highways and interstates, the Emergency Service Patrol covers the Mass Pike (I-90) from New York to Boston and the Incident Response Operators cover the Metropolitan Highway System and tunnels. The Highway Assistance Patrol is in service Monday–Friday between the hours of 6 am–10 am and 3 pm–7 pm During holidays, there are extended routes in heavy traffic areas. On I-90, and in Boston’s tunnel system, assistance is provided 24 hours per day, 7 days a week.

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