(LOS ANGELES, Dec. 17, 2008) --Southern Californian Auto Club members lock themselves out of their vehicles more often during the holiday-filled month of December than any other time of the year, according to statistics compiled by the Automobile Club of Southern California.
Last December, the Auto Club answered 76,346 calls for help by its members for keys locked in vehicles at shopping malls, retail centers, grocery stores and other locations. In all, there were 846,357 calls for "locked car-keys inside" help to the Auto Club last year.
The busiest "I'm locked out of my car" day of 2007 was Dec. 21 with 3,111 calls, followed by Dec. 20 with 2,991 calls for lockout help to the Club. Dec. 14 came in fourth place with 2,945 telephone calls to get the keys out of the vehicle. In fifth place was Dec. 18 with 2,889 for keys locked inside vehicles. (The last day of November took third.)
"Holiday stress, jam-packed schedules and harried shoppers, seem to make for a potent recipe for car keys stuck in vehicle ignitions, or ending up in trunks with shoppers' packages," said John Brower, the Auto Club's Roadside Service Operations Manager. "It's an inconvenient moment that many find themselves in at one point or another."
Brower says motorists can avoid being locked out of their vehicles this holiday season by following these tips:
- Never leave the car keys inside the vehicle compartment.
- Don't become distracted when getting into or out of your vehicle.
- Slow down while driving, or parking in or out of shopping centers.
- Put your keys in your pocket or purse when loading or unloading packages in your trunk.
- Create a good mental habit of exiting your vehicle with your key in hand and using the key fob security system to lock the doors.
- Never leave a spare ignition key hidden on the vehicle. Your car may be stolen or the key may fall out or off the vehicle.