We’ve all been there. You close your car door, only to see your keys sitting almost tauntingly on the driver’s seat – a frustrating sight that can ruin a perfectly good day!
The locking mechanisms have been carefully designed to offer maximum security against potential thieves, but unfortunately, this also means car lockouts are a common mishap.
Luckily, with a bit of foresight and a few savvy habits, you can prevent this vehicular faux pas. Our team at Car Key Rescue have provided eight handy tips to avoid finding yourself locked out of your car.
Why is it So Common to Get Locked Out of Your Car?
The age-old adage ‘prevention is better than cure’ certainly rings true when we talk about car lockouts. But before we delve into the arsenal of preventive strategies, let’s take a moment to understand the beast we’re trying to tame.
Car lockouts usually occur when we’re rushing, distracted, or our minds are elsewhere. Maybe it’s the hurried Monday morning when you’re late for a meeting, or perhaps it’s the distraction of managing an armful of grocery bags while also corralling your toddler.
Whatever the scenario, our keys end up trapped in our cars, while we stand locked out, staring helplessly at them.
These scenarios share a common theme – a momentary lapse of attention. It’s in these unguarded moments that our keys, loyal and dependable, slip from our grasp (or pockets) and end up imprisoned within our vehicles. Interestingly, these incidents tend to happen more frequently in familiar environments like home or work, where our guard is usually down.
Now that we’ve identified the common situations leading to car lockouts, it becomes clear that prevention primarily lies in our hands (quite literally when we’re talking about keys!). By altering our habits and introducing a few simple routines into our lives, we can effectively thwart these unwelcome lockout scenarios.
Our Recommendations for Avoiding Locking Yourself Out of Your Car
1. Always Have a Spare Key
Let’s start with the simplest yet most effective tip: have a spare car key available. Sounds obvious, right? Well, many drivers underestimate this basic preventive measure.
Store your spare key in a secure, easy-to-remember location at home. Also, consider giving a duplicate to a trusted friend or family member. In this way, even if your primary key decides to take a “staycation” inside your locked car, the spare key can come to the rescue.
Don’t have another key on hand? Speak with our mobile locksmiths about arranging a spare car key today.
2. Establish a ‘Keys-Check’ Routine
Here is a habit that is as simple as it is effective.
Before leaving your vehicle, take a few moments to develop a little, habitual “keys-check”.
When stepping out, stop to physically hold your keys and actually register in your mind that they are with you. Feel the cold metal between your fingers; this tangible confirmation ensures your keys aren’t someplace they shouldn’t be. Make this a ritual, like checking the rear-view mirror or fastening your seatbelt. With time, it will become second nature.
It might seem silly at first, but it could end up saving you a lot of time, hassle and money!
3. Use Keychains or Lanyards
Adorn your keys with a distinctive keychain or lanyard. Not only will this jazz up your keyring, but it also serves a practical purpose. A conspicuous or bulky keychain is more noticeable, less forgettable, and easier to spot if dropped. Choose something unique, perhaps a vibrant colour, a quirky design, or even a noise-making accessory that jingles every time you move – an audible reminder to keep your keys close.
4. Practice Mindfulness
Before you start rolling your eyes, take a moment to consider that, in our fast-paced world, it’s easy to go through the motions without truly being present. Practising mindfulness – the act of consciously focusing on your current task – can be the easy method to prevent a lockout.
Concentrate on turning off your car, removing the key, and placing it in your pocket or bag. Sure, mindfulness makes you less likely to leave your keys behind in the rush of life’s next moment – but it also gives you a better appreciation of the world around you!
5. Create a Car Exit Checklist
You might be familiar with pilots’ pre-flight checklists. Why not borrow this concept for exiting your vehicle? Create a mental or even written checklist that includes key retrieval. This could include actions like ‘TRUCE’:
- Turn off the car
- Remove keys
- Unbuckle your seatbelt
- Check the backseat
Following this list religiously can turn key retrieval into an ingrained habit, reducing the risk of lockouts.
6. Leverage Technology: Key Finder Devices and Apps
In the digital age, there are gadgets galore to help us. Consider investing in a key finder device or app. These nifty tools connect to your keyring and emit a signal that can be tracked on your smartphone. If your keys are missing in action, you can quickly locate them using the app – yes, even if they’re locked in the car!
7. Carry Your Keys On Your Person
Make it a rule to always carry your keys on your person, not loosely in your hand, in your bag, or bundled with a slew of other items. Designate a consistent pocket in your clothing specifically for your keys. By assigning your keys a ‘home’, you reduce the chance of them being forgotten or dropped.
8. Education and Training for Young Drivers
All of this might sound a bit redundant, but parents, guardians and teachers should consider integrating these tips into the driving education of young or new drivers. Again, prevention is always better than a cure, so teaching new drivers the importance of diligent key habits from the get-go can save them (and you!) future headaches.