Category Archives: Automotive News
Every car in Des Moines, IA is at risk for theft. So it’s up to us Des Moines motorists to make our cars a less appealing target and more of a challenge – hopefully sending potential thieves to look elsewhere.
The National Insurance Crime Bureau recommends a layered approach to protecting vehicles:
- Common sense
- Visible and audible devices
- Immobilizing devices
- Tracking devices
Let’s review each of these. First, common sense: you would be surprised how many vehicles are stolen in IA where the keys were left in the ignition with the doors unlocked. Always take your keys and lock the doors. In fact, in some places it’s against the law to leave a vehicle unattended with the keys in the ignition.
And don’t leave spare keys in the car or hide them outside – because a thief will find them. Des Moines motorists would be wise to park in well-lit areas that have a lot of foot traffic. If possible, park near the end of a row and near a light. Back your car into a parking space or your driveway to make your car more visible to passersby and harder for a thief to work under the hood without being seen.
Des Moines auto owners should know that it’s important to roll up their windows completely and avoid leaving their car in public lots for a long time. If you park in a lot that has an attendant, only give them the ignition key.
Keep valuables out of sight: purses, wallets, cell phones, clothes and even change are attractive “smash-and-grab” targets. And pay to have your Vehicle Identification Number, or VIN, etched into your windows – it makes your car less attractive to a thief who wants to send your car to a chop shop.
There are lots of important visible and audible devices available for Des Moines auto owners. A steering wheel lock is highly visible and will deter some thieves. Loud alarms can alert you and others that your vehicle is being tampered with. But if your alarm does go off, be careful. Observe what’s going on; get descriptions of suspicious people and vehicles, including license plate numbers.
Now, if you catch a thief in the act, call 911 but don’t approach the person. Your safety is more important than the car.
And here’s a great one – immobilizing devices. They actually shut off your car’s electrical or fuel supply. So without a key, or knowing where the hidden switch is located, a thief can’t drive your car away.
Finally, Des Moines auto owners can also get a tracking device that allows Des Moines police to track their car down and recover it quickly.
Remember, where you live, work and drive around Des Moines, IA has a great impact on your decisions. If you’re in an area with high theft rates, you may want to spend more money on security systems. And check with your Des Moines, IA auto insurance company to see if they offer discounts for adding any of these items.
Of course, the common sense suggestions from Des Moine BDG don’t cost anything and go a long way toward keeping your car safe from thieves. Take a look at the attached video auto tip from AutoNetTV.
Come see us at Des Moine BDG in Des Moines for practical advice on keeping your minivan safe.
Screeching tires, crunching metal – it’s an accident! If you’ve ever been in a car accident in Des Moines, even a minor one, you know how upsetting it can be. It’s hard to think straight and know what to do.
Let’s review what Des Moines drivers should do in case of an accident:
When an accident occurs, you should always stop. Leaving the scene of an accident in Des Moines is considered a crime – even if it’s not your fault. And hit and run penalties are fairly severe, possibly resulting in steep fines, loss of your IA driver’s license or even jail time.
Your jurisdiction may require that you try to help someone who is injured by calling for help or performing first aid if you are able. Warn other Berwick and Grimes motorists by putting out flares, using your flashers or lifting your hood. Call Altoona emergency services as soon as possible. Tell the operator if medical or fire help is needed.
Des Moines auto owners should always file a police report. It’s tempting for Des Moines motorists to skip this if everything seems to be ok. But without a police report, the other guy can say whatever he wants about the accident later, and you’ll not have an objective report to help defend yourself. Discuss the accident only with the police. Emotions are strong after an accident and we naturally want to talk about it – don’t. Never admit fault or guilt to anyone including the Des Moines police officer. Sometimes we may feel at fault, but in the eyes of the law, the other guy is responsible.
Truthfully give the officer the facts: such as “I was going thirty miles an hour” not “I wasn’t speeding”. Remember, anything you say to the officer or anyone else can be used against you. Also get the officer’s name and ID number and ask where you can get a copy of the accident report.
Get the facts on the driver and owner of the other vehicle:
- Phone number
- Date of birth
- Driver’s license number and expiration
- Insurance information
Also take down a description of the other Des Moines vehicle, license plate and vehicle identification number. Most IA auto insurance companies don’t record license plate numbers, so the VIN number is the best way to track a vehicle in IA.
Ask witnesses, including passengers, to wait for the police. If they can’t wait, ask for contact information and request that they write a brief description of what they saw. If someone refuses to leave their name, write down their license plate number so the police can track them down later if necessary. Always call your insurance agent or your insurance company. Call or see a physician if you think you may have been injured. For vehicle repairs, call Des Moine BDG at 1.800.LET.NAPA
Contact Des Moine BDG to learn more about what do do in case of an auto accident.
You can find us at:
2222 East Douglas Ave
Des Moines, IA 50313
Or call us at 1.800.LET.NAPA
Des Moine BDG and AutoNetTV hope that you never have to use this information and wish you happy Des Moines travels.