“Smart keys” for cars are cool. They’re the fobs you leave in your pocket or purse that automatically open your doors as you approach, and let you start the engine with the push of a button. But there’s one thing they don’t do: Keep you from getting locked out of your car!
That’s because, instead of keeping the smart key in a pocket, a lot of drivers drop them in the cup holder - and forget them when they get out of the car. Also, because you don’t have to turn a key to turn your car OFF, a lot of people are walking away while their car’s engine is still running. And raising the risk for stolen cars, and runaway, driverless cars.
There’s also an increase in lockouts due to drivers allowing the fob’s batteries to run down. And the lockout issue is so common that automakers are experimenting with Smartphone apps to allow drivers to unlock and start vehicles.
But until someone comes up with a foolproof system, experts recommend we get into the habit of manually locking our doors with the fob. That way, we know the car is turned off and locked, and that we can get back in.
And police auto-theft experts recommend that if you’re going to rely on a back-up key, put it in your wallet – NOT somewhere on your vehicle because car thieves know all the hiding places.