Baltimore car accident injury lawyers like us know all too well from our work with clients: Anything can happen when you pull out of your driveway and hit the road in Maryland. Car, truck, and motorcycle accidents can and do happen, often without warning. And, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), your vehicle itself is more at risk in Maryland as compared to the majority of states.
NHTSA reports that Maryland is among the top 10 states for motor vehicle theft. In fact, Maryland ranks number 8 on the government’s list of states where your car is more likely to not be there when you return to it. The states with the most stolen vehicles are…
1. California 2. Florida 3. Texas 4. New York 5. Illinois
6. Georgia 7. New Jersey 8. Maryland 9. North Carolina 10. Nevada
What’s more, NHTSA reports that a motor vehicle is stolen every 43 seconds in the U.S. The most popular vehicle stolen? According to 2008 theft rate data: It’s the Dodge Charger. American cars are popular targets for car thieves. The top 10 cars stolen are, according to NHTSA, the Dodge Charger, Pontiac G6, Chevy Impala, Chrysler 300, Infiniti FX35, Mitsubishi Gallant, Chrysler Sebring, Lexus SC, Dodge Avenger, and Kia Rio.
The top two months for vehicle theft are July and August, and 40 to 50 percent of vehicle theft is due in part to “driver error.” How many times have we read in The Baltimore Sun or other Maryland newspaper that someone’s car was stolen with the keys left in the car? In addition, thieves are interested in what’s in the car — from loose change to laptops to iPods to GPS devices. And some cars make for easy parts in illegal “chop shops,” which are then sold illegally. Air bags have become a popular item for thieves, and anyone who’s had one ripped out of their car knows they are not inexpensive to replace.
Maryland vehicle thefts jumped by 143 percent between 1984 and 1994, prompting the formation of the Maryland Vehicle Theft Prevention Council. See link below to PDF of the group’s report on car theft prevention in Maryland — along with statistics on when, where, and how car theft in Maryland occurs. For example, the Council reports that…
“…vehicle thefts often occur in two distinct areas that conform to a time frame. In most circumstances, thefts occur either in residential areas in the late evening and early morning hours, or in commercial areas in the midday hours. In both cases, the perpetrators easily elude observation.”
So watch where you park — not only in Baltimore City but anywhere you travel in Maryland. This includes at home and at work. Don’t leave your car in a secluded or dark area that provides easy cover for thieves. Don’t leave valuables in your car. And for goodness sakes, lock your car! The days of leaving cars and homes unlocked without worry are, sadly, in the past.
Related Maryland Injury Attorney articles:
Maryland Vehicle Theft Prevention Council (homepage)