Car theft hits a 20-year low thanks to new technology

Grand Theft Auto

Thanks to technological developments, vehicle theft has fallen to a 20-year low, even as the number of vehicles on the roads have doubles. According to estimates by the FBI, 956,846 vehicles were stolen in 2008 – that comes out 315 cars for every 100,000 people. That’s less than half the rate in 1991 when a total of 1.66 million vehicles were stolen – or 659 for every 100,000.

Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers spokesman Charles Territo says that there are more than 245 million vehicles on the road today, up from 122 million in 1989.

“It’s a much tougher job to be a car thief today,” Russ Rader, spokesman for Highway Loss Data Institute told the Detroit Free Press. “The technology in new vehicles makes it much harder to make off with a car.”

Automakers now routinely build cars with¬†ignition immobilizer – the technology makes it hard for the car to start without the owner’s key. Also, may cars now include other theft-prevention technologies, such as alarm systems and GPS tracking devices.

The GPS technology “didn’t exist 20 years ago,” Territo says.

– By: Omar Rana

Source: Free Press