It is so crazy cold outside that many of us are warming up our cars in the driveway before we head out to drop the kids at school and/or drive to work. After all, we don’t want to put an infant in a freezing car seat now, do we? So we leave the keys in the ignition and oftentimes the doors unlocked. Apparently automobile thieves are scouring neighborhoods, looking for that little puff of exhaust fog coming out of the car’s tail pipe. And, those crooks move in fast. Some say they only left the car running for a minute. And now they have your car and the keys to your home! We all know that you should never leave an unattended car running (unless, of course, there’s a body in the trunk that you need to dispose of, and someone to pin the blame on).

My parents live in a small town in the Midwest. They’re very cavalier about leaving their car parked in the driveway with their keys in the ignition and the windows down. Incidentally, they always know where to find their keys. I live in a large city where we would never even dream of leaving the keys in the ignition. Or would we? I do recall, in the past, running to the 7-11 to get milk. I left my dog in the car with it running and the air kicked on high, but the doors were locked. I thought I would only be in there for a minute, but someone wrote a check and I was in there forever! Who the heck writes checks anymore?

That’s why it is against the law to leave an unattended car running. If it is stolen, thieves will take crazy risks in it, damaging other property and putting other people in harm’s way. Police may be dispatched to chase down the crooks, putting their lives in danger and damaging their own vehicles in the pursuit. So, it just makes sense why not only leaving the car running, but just leaving your keys in the ignition are both against the law. And insurance companies may not cover any damages to your vehicle and the property that your vehicle damages in the pursuit.

Most cars come with a keyless remote for this reason. If someone does try to drive away in your car, unless the put the key into the ignition, it will stall when put into gear. If you have an older model car that does not have this feature, just save yourself some grief by never leaving your car running while it is unattended. Again, in the end, it may cost you more than just your car.

Until next week…

Daun Thompson
Writer / Comedienne / Artist

An Unattended Car – Comedy Defensive Driving