Auto Club Holiday Shopping Tip: Have Your Keys with You Before, During and After Shopping

Automotive
(LOS ANGELES, Dec. 12, 2009) – If the 2008 shopping season is an indicator, December will bring the highest volume of requests for help by people who have locked themselves out of their vehicle, according to Auto Club member roadside assistance statistics compiled by the Automobile Club of Southern California.
 
In December 2008, the Auto Club answered 73,790 calls for help from members at shopping malls, retail centers, grocery stores and other locations, or about 9 percent of all 814,454 lockout calls.  When comparing different months, the December 2008 lockout call volume is nearly 20 percent higher than September 2008. Overall, lockout calls made up about 17 percent of all roadside assistance calls for last year.
 
The top four busiest days for lockout services all fell in December during 2008:
 
  1. Dec. 19 (the last Friday before Christmas)…..3,010 calls
  2. Dec. 23……………………………………….2,859 calls
  3. Dec. 12……………………………………….2,852 calls
  4. Dec. 18……………………………………… 2,790 calls   
 
"More than 50 percent of Southern California households have an Auto Club member, so this issue really pertains to all of Southern California,” said David Lang, vice president of Automotive Services.  “Harried shoppers with packed schedules make for a potent recipe for car keys stuck in vehicle ignitions, or ending up in trunks where shoppers’ packages are stored.  Remember to take a moment when exiting a vehicle to be sure you have your keys.” 
 
Lang says motorists can avoid being locked out of their vehicles this holiday season by:  
 
  • Never leaving car keys inside the vehicle’s passenger compartment.
  • Staying focused. Don’t become distracted when getting into or out of your vehicle.
  • Trying not to speed or rush while driving, parking or walking into or out of shopping centers.   
  •  Putting keys in your pocket or purse when loading or unloading packages in your trunk.
  • Creating the habit of exiting your vehicle with your car keys in hand and using the key fob security system to lock doors.   
  • Never leaving a spare ignition key hidden in or attached to the vehicle because it could be used to steal your car. 
 

Media Contacts

Elaine Beno
(714) 885-2324
Beno.Elaine@aaa-calif.com