Auto Theft Information

What if Your Car is Stolen?

Think about this: what would happen if your car suddenly disappeared? Victims of auto theft often find it difficult, if not impossible, to go on with everyday life. That is why auto theft protection is so important.

The Most Stolen Cars in United States

The most stolen cars are NOT expensive sports cars or multi-purpose passenger vehicles. In fact, the most reported stolen cars are ordinary passenger cars.

According to NHTSA, the (2012) most reported stolen models are:

  1. Mercedes Benz CL-Class
  2. Mitsubishi Eclipse
  3. Mazda 6
  4. Chrysler Dodge Charger
  5. Nissan Infiniti FX35/FX50
  6. Chrysler Dodge Avenger
  7. Chrysler 300
  8. GM Chevy Impala
  9. Mitsubishi Galant
  10. GM Chevy Captiva

Did you know that every 45 seconds a car is stolen in the United States? Only half of them (54%) are recovered. Thieves can strip a vehicle in less than 30 minutes. They can make 2-4 times a vehicle’s worth by selling its individual parts.

Didn’t you find your model in the list? See The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 2012 Theft Data for a complete list.

States with the Most Stolen Vehicles

The following are the 10 U.S. States with the most stolen vehicles:

  1. California
  2. Florida
  3. Texas
  4. New York
  5. Georgia
  6. Illinois
  7. New Jersey
  8. North Carolina
  9. Ohio
  10. Nevada

The auto theft rate in these states has a significant effect on auto insurance premiums in those states.

How to Protect Yourself from Auto Theft

There are some simple steps you can follow to beat the thieves at their own game and protect yourself from auto theft.

First, get anti-theft systems and devices that make your car more difficult to steal and easier to recover. Most vehicles today come with audible warning devices. They may deter random auto theft by loud sounds. VIN-etching your vehicles windows/glass and even parts, is a simple and inexpensive protection. Electronic devices that prevent thieves from bypassing your vehicle’s ignition system are also effective. There are other electronic devices that disable the flow of electricity or fuel to the engine. You can also get simple GPS devices that can help law enforcement reveal the location of your stolen car.

Secondly, always park your car in a safe place. If you have a garage, use it. Hide your valuables. Always close all windows and lock the car. Never leave your car with the key in the ignition.

Get more information from The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Crash Scene - NHTSA

Traffic Deaths in 2014 Hit New Record Low

The number of traffic deaths in Pennsylvania totaled 1,195 last year (2014). This is lowest number since 1928, when record keeping began. While fatalities dropped in many types of crashes, there were significant drops in crashes involving unbuckled drivers/passengers and drinking-driver-related crashes. Fatalities where safety belts were not used dropped from 425 to 383. Deaths in drinking-driver related crashes declined to from 342 to 294.

Traffic deaths involving drowsy or sleeping drivers, on the other hand, increased slightly. This is also true about fatalities involving drivers ages 65 and older. At JustDrivePA.com PennDOT offers information for this age group, including Mature Driver Improvement courses that are available statewide, a brochure on talking with mature drivers, and other safety tips.

Zero Deaths Vision and Safety Investments

This continues a favorable trend towards the nationwide goal of zero fatalities.

“PennDOT continuously strives to drive down crash and fatality numbers, and we ultimately want to reach zero deaths on our roads,” acting PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards said when releasing the new numbers.

Every year, PennDOT invests about $20 million in safety education and enforcement efforts statewide. Over the last five years, PennDOT has also invested $50 million in low-cost safety countermeasures like centerline and edge-line rumble strips.

Pennsylvania Crash Statistics

PennDOT has released a Crash Information Tool, which is accessible at dotcrashinfo.pa.gov. With this tool you can search data from police reports including number of crashes, people involved, or vehicles involved. The tool will not show personal data or specific police crash reports.

Texas DPS Written Test - Dallas - Copyright: Kan Khampanya

Texas DPS Written Test Practice on YouTube

Permit practice tests for Texas can now be found on YouTube. The three first videos, based on our full Texas DPS practice tests have been uploaded this week. The YouTube videos are ideal for quick reminders of the most important DPS test questions and answers. As always, you should start by reviewing the Texas Driver Handbook – eventually there will be a new version released in 2015. We suggest you continue by taking a few daily Texas practice test on driversprep.com for at least 2-3 weeks to fully learn and understand the contents of the Driver Handbook. The YouTube videos may serve as flash cards or quick reminders to boost your confidence before the real Texas DPS written test.

The initial DPS Practice Videos

The first set consists of three videos. Additional Texas DPS written test videos are planned later this spring. Be sure the check out the Texas DPS Knowledge Tests playlist on YouTube.

Remember, driving is a privilege that you must earn. Read the driver handbook carefully to fully learn rules of the road and safe driving techniques. Do not just memorize phrases or words from practice tests. Make sure you fully understand the answers. Safety one the road is everyone’s responsibility. Take the driver handbook and the practice tests on Driver’s Prep seriously. Really understanding the rules of the road and safe driving can save your life one day.

In Texas, applicants under 25 must successfully complete an approved driver education course. This gives you a chance to discuss things you do not fully understand. Take it.

Our Texas practice tests are also ideal for immigrants and everyone else who must convert an out-of-country license to a Texas Driver’s License. You will get the answers to some of the most tricky questions.

You Will Pass – Guaranteed!

In Texas, applicants under 25 must successfully complete an approved driver education course. The Texas DPS knowledge test will be part of that program.

When you use our Texas DPS Written Test practice you will have a much better chance to pass the Texas DPS examination the first time. For license holders who are forced to re-take their knowledge test, the pass rate is almost 100% after using this site. This means that reviewing the Texas Driver Handbook and taking the free online practice tests at driversprep.com is worth your while.

Our practice tests also get high ratings by high school programs, universities, and commercial driving schools. We always strive to give you the questions and answers that are accurate and up-to-date. When you are having trouble with a question you can use the report function after each answer and get additional feedback. You can also join us on Facebook and get additional info, feedback, and new questions.

Share with Your Friends

If our practice test helped you to prepare and to pass your examination, let others know! By helping us spread the word to your friends, we have a chance to become even better!

Currently Online (March 2015)

Driver Student - Copyright : Warren Goldswain

Are Online DMV Practice Tests Good or Bad?

Derek Thompson, a retired driver instructor from Pennsylvania, does not like our online DMV practice tests. He says that the explosion of online practice tests for DMV exams have created a new generation of young people who master the DMV examination, but have no a clue about rules of the road.

We, of course, got curios and had to find out what he means.

Not Meaningful Learning

If young people pass their DMV tests the first time with the help of online permit practice tests, isn’t that a good thing?

Derek: Just recognizing questions and answers from an online DMV practice test may help you pass your examination, but it will not make you a good driver. It is not meaningful learning.

So what is meaningful learning?

Derek: Memorization is useful when it comes to numbers and vocabulary – like when you are learning a new language. When you are learning about safety and driving, you need to understand the whys and the hows. To me, it is all about knowledge and attitudes. Sorry to say, many teenagers today don’t get the most important message of all: driving is a privilege, not a right. They only focus on their written exam, and lose the big picture.

The DMV Sample Tests are Different

Nearly all state departments dealing with motor vehicles, licensing or public safety have some sort of sample tests, like the ones on PennDot You also have several private websites. Isn’t variety good?

Derek: The sample tests on the DMV homepage just shows you a glimpse of how a test is constructed and what you should expect. They don’t lure you into thinking that you will get all answers for free and without having to study.

We always stress that anyone using our website must read the driver handbook and fully understand the content.

Derek: But do they?

I believe most students do. But there will, of course, always be people who wants to cheat on high-stakes tests. For different reasons. That will happen with or without online DMV practice tests, won’t it?

Derek: Teenagers will not work hard when they have a perfectly good excuse for being lazy. Any parent knows that. To me, tests on internet are that excuse.

How Important are the Written Knowledge Tests?

But studies show that safe driving and security has very little to do with the written knowledge tests. States with more, and perhaps harder, questions don’t get better drivers on the road.

Derek: I disagree, true knowledge and safe driving are strongly correlated. A driver with knowledge, skill, and the right attitude has a much lower risk of being involved in accidents. Otherwise, we wouldn’t invest so much in safe driving classes.

I agree that attitude and conscientiousness play a significant role.

Derek: A knowledge test is supposed to focus on that as well. But if you are just repeating things you have seen on an online practice test, there is no real impact on your attitude and conscientiousness. You have, sort of, missed the point.

The Solution?

So what is the solution?

Derek: 25 questions on a knowledge test and 15 minutes behind the wheel on a road test is not enough to evaluate a person’s knowledge, skills, and attitude. I think sites like this have taken DMV a bit by surprise. They need to adapt and change, making DMV practice tests like this less important. The Graduated Driver program is as step in the right direction. Otherwise DMV tests in US haven’t changed much in several decades. It is time to rethink a lot of things. I hope that will happen soon.


Photo copyright: Warren Goldswain.
Photo is illustration only and does not show people in this post.

Green River, Wyoming - Photo: CGP_Grey

Cutting Down on Your Road Trip Costs

For families and lovers of the American road, a road trip is a great idea. Some of us older people set out with goals of summoning Steinbeck or Kerouac, in search of the heart of America. Others are just looking to see a few cool places while saving on the costs of airfare.

Whatever the case, if you are going to head out on a major road trip, you probably want to save a buck or two. These trips can be budget savers as long as you plan ahead and think about what you’re doing. Here are some tips for keeping your road trip costs down.

How to Save on Gas

Avoid gas stations in cities and around national parks. Gas prices will naturally ebb and flow. You’ll want to road trip when the prices are at their lowest. What you’ll find, however, is that gas is consistently higher in cities and around major national landmarks. If you want to keep those costs down, then you should fuel up in the suburbs.

Go into New York City looking for gas and you’ll pay almost a dollar more than you might have surrendered in outlying New Jersey. If you can be diligent in your fill-up efforts, you’ll save major cash over the course of a trip.

Make your Own Meals

Carry a cooler and make your own meals. Fast food and roadside restaurants might not seem like a major expense. They really add up if you’re not careful, though. If you are a group of five, that fast food stop will add up to $40 or $50 if you’re not careful. You’ll be much better off carrying a cooler and buying some sandwich meat.

Enjoy fruit and healthy snacks. In addition to saving money, you will have a healthier trip and feel better about yourself.

Camping in National Forests is Free

If your road trip includes camping, then try to find places where you won’t have to pay. National parks can charge $20 or $30 in some cases for entry and overnight camping. National forests, however, provide free camping and parking for those who are looking to save money.

While these forests might not have the broad appeal of a Yosemite or Yellowstone, they can help you save money while giving you an opportunity for a bit of seclusion.

Check Your Vehicle before You Go

You should invest time – and maybe some money – into vehicle maintenance before hitting the road. It is much cheaper to get those new brake pads, for instance, than to experience an accident or failure out on the highway.

Invest in Roadside Assistance Service

The more you drive, the greater your chances of running into a roadside incident. So even if you invested in vehicle maintenance, incidents may happen.

In such a case, carrying AAA protection can be extremely helpful. AAA Road Service helps you in an emergency when your vehicle becomes disabled. The service is also a good protection if you happen to run out of gas, lock your keys in your vehicle, or have a dead battery.

You can also get this protection from your auto insurance company. GEICO’s Emergency Road Service, as an example, offers the same protection and help you with these hassles and inconveniences. Progressive also has a rroadside assistance program you can add to your police. Just to mention a few.

Whatever service you choose, it is a good idea to invest in some kind of road assistance protection when you are away from home. Being stranded somewhere is no fun, and towing costs can become expensive, adding a lot to your overall road trip costs.

If something happens on the road, you’ll be glad that you spent a little bit of money up front in order to avoid those gnarly charges.


Photo: CGP Grey