Tracker urges drivers to beware when defrosting their cars this winter
Tracker, the stolen vehicle recovery (SVR) expert is urging drivers to avoid the risk of being ‘frost-jacked’, by staying with their car at all times if the engine is running. The crime known as ‘frost-jacking’ is usually an opportunist crime when thieves see an unattended car with the keys in the ignition as drivers wait to thaw out frosted windows and warm up cars on bitterly cold days.
Cases have already started to be reported, with two cars stolen in one morning last month when temperatures started to drop. However, many cases are as a result of organised by criminal gangs on the prowl, looking for an easy target.
Car-owners need to be aware many insurance companies are unwilling to pay out on frost-jacked cars.
If their car or one in their care is stolen while unattended, and running idle with the keys in the ignition, it is unlikely an insurer will cover the theft. Car-owners may be lulled into a false sense of security thinking their car is safe on their driveway with the engine running while they nip back inside to stay in the warm for a few more minutes. But the reality is, it isn’t.
The crime was so rife that the Central Motorway Police Group, covering Staffordshire and West Midlands, was forced to post a tweet urging motorists to stop leaving their running cars unattended after a car was stolen every five minutes one recent winter,” says Clive Wain, Head of Police Liaison for Tracker.
“Motorists also need to be aware they can be fined and face other penalties for failing to de-ice their car windows properly in freezing weather. So while it is imperative they fully defrost the windows, they need to be vigilant in never leaving their car unattended and unprotected with the keys in the ignition.”
One way to protect the car is to fit a tracking unit, which can significantly increase the chances of a vehicle been recovered if it is stolen. Tracker is the only SVR provider offering vehicle tracking systems that are supported nationwide by UK police forces. Tracker’s SVR solutions work like an electronic homing device. A covert transmitter is hidden in one of several dozen places around the vehicle. There is no visible aerial, so the thief won’t even know it’s there. The combination of VHF with GPS/GSM technology, unique to Tracker, makes its units resistant to jamming, confirming Tracker as a superior security defence against determined thieves.
Six practical tips for defrosting a car safely
1. If a frost is expected, cover the car windscreen the night before with cardboard or cloth. Don’t use newspaper as it’s too thin.
2. If you are leaving the engine running, stay with the car at all times. If you do need to leave the car, switch the engine off and lock the car.
3. Use a de-icer and/or a scraper to clear windows. Do not use just-boiled or hot water to clear glass. Not only could it crack the window, but it can freeze quickly.
4. The ice may cause windscreen wipers to stick to the windscreen. Do not put them on until you are sure they are fully defrosted.
5. Make sure all snow is cleared off the car, including any snow on the roof and front grille.
6. Only drive when the windows are completely clear and the car is free from snow.