Why You Shouldn’t Sit at a Red Light With Your Car Door Unlocked

Author: PeopleFinders on December 20th, 2018
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If your commute is especially long, you drive for a living, or you live in a very populated area, you probably spend a substantial amount of time sitting at red lights. While traffic lights are necessary to keep city streets organized and (relatively) accident-free, it can still be annoying to have to sit there for long periods.

While sitting at that red light, there’s a chance that your doors are unlocked. Many people don’t think about leaving their doors unlocked while driving. It’s a common practice. But it shouldn’t be, as you’re actually leaving yourself open to danger. Here are some things to think about before you leave your doors unlocked at red lights again.

Your Car May Be a Target

A number of factors relate to whether you’ll be the victim of a car-related incident. While most surround pedestrians, cars aren’t exempt from these factors–even when you’re in one. Carjacking is more common than many people think it is. And carjackers are always looking for the most vulnerable car available.

Many car models also have a small pop-up lever that shows if a car is locked or not. If you’re sitting at a stop light with all your doors obviously unlocked, you’re making yourself an inviting target.

Conversely, when someone sees that the car is locked, he or she is less likely to try anything. The very act of having your car visibly locked can keep you safe in this situation. And even if they do still try, as long as your car doors are locked, there’s no way a carjacker can just open them and come inside.

You’re More Likely to Be Distracted

An astonishing number of people text or call while driving. It’s common knowledge that texting, calling, browsing social media, or playing games is a bad idea while your vehicle is in motion. But many people don’t believe the same rules apply when at a stoplight. Look over at a light nowadays and you’re likely to see those around you doing all kinds of activities on their phone that they’d never do while moving.

Being distracted in a moving car is a bad idea, but being distracted when your car is unlocked and vulnerable is just as bad. It’s a good idea to be aware of your surroundings in an attempt to avoid an accident. It’s equally important to be aware of what’s going around you when the car is stopped, as you’re much more likely to be a potential target. So, if you absolutely must check your phone while stopped at a light, check the door locks first to keep from being easy prey.

Your Neighborhood May Not Be as Safe as You Think It Is

Of course, you always want to believe that you live in a safe neighborhood. When they’re out and about, people in high-crime neighborhoods are often used to being a little bit more careful than those in typically low-crime neighborhoods.

It’s important to note that no neighborhood is immune to crime, and even some official statistics may misrepresent your specific neighborhood. Overall statistics can’t tell, for example, whether or not your neighbor across the street has a violent criminal history. To get that kind of in-depth information, you’ll want to use PeopleFinders.

PeopleFinders can help you determine how safe your immediate neighborhood is. When you start becoming friends with your neighbors, you can run a criminal records search on them and see if they’re hiding anything. PeopleFinders can help you in all aspects of life; just check the PeopleFinders blog for more ideas.


Sitting at a red light with your doors unlocked and your windows down is a recipe for disaster. However, it can all be rectified simply by remembering to lock your doors whenever you get into your car. Just like you do once you get out.

Locking your car doors won’t keep you safe when you’re going about the rest of your day, of course. To keep yourself safer in all aspects, make sure you use PeopleFinders to find out more about the people you spend time with and the neighborhood you spend time in.

Photo Credit: Christin Lola – stock.adobe.com

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Categorized in: Safety