Here are 5 of the best anti-theft devices to keep your car safe

anti-theft devices
welcomia/123RF
There are over 263 million cars in the U.S. and in 2015, 707,758 were stolen nationwide, according to FBI: Uniform Crime Reporting. When you consider the measures you can take to prevent your car from being stolen, ask yourself these questions: How often do you get out of your car and leave the keys in the ignition? Do you drive without locking the doors or with the windows down? Have you parked next to a big van or returned to your car to find a big van parked next to it? Do you leave valuables in plain view on your seats? Doing any one of these things increases the chance that your car will be stolen. When it comes to preventing a carjacking from taking place, there are countless anti-theft devices that can help keep your car, and yourself, safe from carjacking. Here are five of our favorites.

Steering Wheel Lock

A steering wheel lock attaches to the steering wheel of the car to lock it in place, preventing someone from driving away. There are two main styles for this lock. The first goes across the steering wheel horizontally and attaches to the wheel at the 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock positions. On one side the lock extends farther, preventing the wheel from turning very far. The second style attaches to the top of the wheel with the end extending over the front dash to prevent the wheel from turning. Either way, steering wheel locks are easy to install and are a great way to deter most thieves. Another idea is to use a removable, quick-release steering wheel. A car without a steering wheel is hard, if not impossible, to drive.

Buy now from:

Amazon Walmart

Tire Lock

You have probably seen these used by police if a car is parked illegally, but they are also useful as an anti-theft device. If you have space in your trunk, a tire lock (or boot) is a great way to prevent a carjacking. This is only feasible if you are parking your car for an extended amount of time though. It just doesn’t make sense to attach a boot if you’re filling up with gas or being a good Samaritan by helping someone with a broken-down car. That said, a tire lock prevents someone from driving off with your ride should you park it overnight or in a garage while shopping.

Buy now from:

Amazon

Baby Monitor

A funny and practical anti-theft device is a baby monitor. There are many monitors that are wireless and have night vision and audio, which allows you to leave the monitor in your car and get live feedback of what is happening. Battery “charge-packs” are also available so you don’t have to take the monitor out of the car, just replace the battery to keep monitoring. Most car thieves will refrain from stealing a car if there is a video camera visible through the window, and if that doesn’t scare them off, you will have video footage to help get your car back. Make sure you have the audio turned up on the receiver, that way you will hear a window getting smashed in.

Buy now from:

Amazon

Kill Switch

One of the more advanced anti-theft devices is a kill switch. A kill switch disrupts the flow of electricity to the fuel pump or other critical systems, making it impossible to start the car without flicking the switch. Simply frustrating a car thief will most likely motivate them to move on to the next car, so keeping the kill switch hidden out of view typically does the trick. However, if you want a little more protection, installing several kill switches and designating an order that they must be flipped in makes your car virtually theft-proof. Installing a kill switch is difficult, though, so we suggest installing this device only if you, or a friend, has intimate knowledge of the vehicle’s wiring systems.

Buy now from:

Amazon

Electronic Tracking System

The harsh truth of carjacking is that if a thief really wants your ride, they’ll find a way to take it. While this is not an anti-theft device, it will help police find your car after it has been stolen. Using GPS, electronic tracking systems can typically locate cars even if they are in parking garages or heavily wooded areas. The LoJack, one of the leading electronic tracking options, has a 90% recovery rate and is integrated with many police systems. This device costs just under $700, making it the most expensive option on our list, but it’s a reliable way to track down your car after it has been stolen.

Buy now from:

Amazon

Remember, your safety is more important than your car. Don’t fight with the carjacker (they could have a concealed weapon), and don’t jump in through the window to wrestle over the steering wheel, you could fall out and get run over.

Hopefully your car is never stolen, but if it is, calling the police and waiting for their help is your best option.

Cars

Ford imagines a future without traffic lights or stop signs

Ford is using vehicle-to-vehicle communication (V2V) tech to allow cars to pass through intersections without stopping. The experimental "Intersection Priority Management" system basically acts as air traffic control for cars.
Mobile

The best Pixel 3 screen protectors to keep your phone Pixel perfect

The Pixel 3 is equipped with the hottest hardware and a beautiful 5.5-inch P-OLED display protected by Gorilla Glass 5. But it's not invincible. Here are the best Pixel 3 screen protectors to keep it safe.
Emerging Tech

Here’s all the best gear and gadgetry you can snag for $100 or less

A $100 bill can get you further than you might think -- so long as you know where to look. Check out our picks for the best tech under $100, whether you're in the market for headphones or a virtual-reality headset.
Movies & TV

Stay inside this summer with the best shows on Hulu, including 'Castle Rock'

It's often overwhelming to navigate Hulu's robust library of TV shows. To help, we've put together a list of the best shows on Hulu, whether you're into frenetic cartoons, intelligent dramas, or anything in between.
Deals

The best iPhone deals for October 2018

Apple devices can get expensive, but if you just can't live without iOS, don't despair: We've curated an up-to-date list of all of the absolute best iPhone deals available for September 2018.
Cars

The supersized BMW X7 is coming with a grille you can park a 2 Series on

BMW will soon expand its lineup with a new range-topping SUV named the X7. The first-ever BMW X7 is shaping up to be the 7 Series of the SUV world in terms of size, price, and image.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: DIY smartphones and zip-on bike tires

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Cars

Can't see all of a sudden? Our quick guide on defogging your car windows

Did you suddenly lose exterior visibility while driving because of foggy windows? Don't panic! Here's our quick guide on defogging your car windows in a safe manner while on the go, and a few steps on how to prevent them.
Product Review

The 2019 Volvo V60 proves it's still cool to drive a station wagon

With the 2019 V60, Volvo argues the station wagon segment isn't as moribund as most other automakers say it is. The company goes as far as arguing we're on the cusp of a wagon revival, and the V60 is poised to lead the charge.
Product Review

Volvo’s redesigned 2019 S60 sedan is the best kind of remix

The 2019 Volvo S60 borrows almost everything from other recent Volvo models, but that’s not a problem. From its infotainment system to an available plug-in hybrid powertrain, the S60 takes the best bits from a lineup of great cars.
Cars

Carbuying can be exhausting: Here are the best used car websites to make it easier

Shopping for a used car isn't easy, especially when the salesman is looking to make a quick sale. Thankfully, there are plenty of sites aimed at the prospective buyer, whether you're looking for a sedan or a newfangled hybrid.
Cars

Are European-style self-dimming and glare-free headlights coming to the U.S.?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) proposes to allow adaptive LED headlights on vehicles sold in the U.S. Adaptive LEDs automatically lower headlight intensity when they detect pedestrians or oncoming vehicles.
Cars

Porsche upgrades German factory to build Taycan electric cars

A Porsche factory that currently builds the automaker's popular sports cars will soon begin churning out Taycan electric cars. In preparation, Porsche is upgrading the factory to be high tech and low emissions.
Cars

Vanderhall Carmel adds creature comforts to the basic three-wheeler formula

The Vanderhall Carmel is the fifth three-wheeler from Utah-based Vanderhall Motor Works. It takes the basic design of the Vanderhall Venice and adds a handful of creature comforts, as well as a more powerful engine.