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Cars are only getting smarter, and the security measures that come standard on new models are no exception. Many new rides offer keyless start, and locks that work based on the proximity of your “fob,” the dongle that has effectively replaced conventional keys.
But humans are forgetful creatures — no amount of technology will change that. If you’ve never locked yourself out of a car and lost the key, pat yourself on the back. Most people will have to endure this terrible predicament at least a few times, and it can be anything from a minor annoyance to a major buzzkill.
Thankfully, some of the forgetful folks who’ve been through this trial are also resourceful. Let’s take a look at some of the clever ideas out there for how to keep track of your keys or right the situation if you do get locked out:
Have a Spare Key
It seems obvious, but if you don’t have an extra key for your car, make it a point to get a few made. Stash one somewhere away from your vehicle, and use a hide-a-key device on your car if you get locked out frequently.
Put a Tracker on Your Keys
The old adage, “there’s an app for that!” can now be applied to lost keys. There are several small tracking devices you can attach to a key or keychain to help locate them.
Subscribe to Roadside Assistance
This approach might be more viable for owners of newer cars that include network features like OnStar. It’s a great backup in case you’re somewhere remote, and allows a support agent to unlock your car for you.
Keep a Locksmith in Your Phone
Have a quick-responding lock service easily at hand. Find a locksmith in your area, like Ernie’s of Maryland, who commit to arrive within 10 minutes of your call.
Make Your Keys Noticeable
Sometimes the simplest answer is the best one. Use a brightly colored keychain, or one that makes noise when you put it in your pocket or purse. You’ll be amazed at how much a part of your routine the keys become. If you miss them, hopefully those queues will alert you that something’s wrong.
Put Your Keys in the Same Place
If you — like many folks — spend all day at work and only see your keys in the morning and evening, put them in the same pocket or location every day. Pretty soon, this will become muscle memory and you’ll always know to expect them there.
Stash a Key With a Friend
You’ll have to follow through with number one to see this work, but sometimes it’s safest to bet that if you’ve lost a key, your friend won’t. In a pinch? Call your pal and ask them to let you in.
It seems like no matter how smart cars get, we’ll always find a way to make things difficult. Things are getting better though, thanks to tracking apps and intelligent keys that won’t allow you to lock them in the car. Keep these seven tips in mind and you stand a good chance of overcoming the situation next time you’re locked out.