Did you know that according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, a car is stolen every 45 seconds in the U.S. for a total value of $4.1 billion? Nearly half of those affected are due to driver error — common sense mistakes that give thieves an easy target.

But even common sense won’t necessarily prevent car theft. Smart moves like parking in well-lit areas, locking car doors and windows, and never leaving the keys in the ignition may not be enough to deter professional thieves. How can you prevent your car from becoming a statistic? Follow these proven precautions:

Become an Etch Artist — Have your vehicle identification number (VIN) etched into your windshield, windows and parts. This helps discourage thieves interested in your car for the stolen parts market.

Create an Obstacle — Make your car not worth the hassle by installing a physical deterrent. Locks available for the steering wheel, gearshift, hood and tires prevent access or movement, while a steering column lock prevents hot-wiring.

Shut Thieves Down — If your car didn’t come with a smart key or wireless ignition authentication system, prevent an easy getaway by installing an ignition kill switch, fuel disabler or tire deflator.

Install a GPS Tracker — Make it easier to recover your vehicle if it is stolen by installing a GPS tracking device. Some models even allow you to shut off the engine remotely using a smartphone app.

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