Dropping bombs on your moms, f—- car alarms.
-Ice Cube

Do car alarms still serve a legitimate function in our society? Is our best theft-protection technology really just repeatedly emitting a loud, obnoxious noise?

According to some website, car alarms not only suck, they don't work:

A 1997 analysis of insurance-claims data from 73 million vehicles concludes that cars with alarms "show no overall reduction in theft losses" compared to cars without alarms. GM, Ford, and other auto-makers have begun to phase out factory installations of car alarms, calling the devices mere "noisemakers."

People don't respond to car alarms because the vast majority are false. Authorities estimate that 95% to 99% of all car alarms are false. The Progressive Insurance Company found that fewer than 1% of respondents say they would call the police upon hearing a car alarm.


The professionalization of car theft has made alarms obsolete. In the past 20 years, car theft has evolved from a juvenile pastime into a $8.2 billion a year business. Eighty percent of cars are stolen by organized crime. Alarms do not deter the pros.


I personally know of one car alarm that is not doing a particularly good job this morning.* Or maybe the car is being assaulted by an extremely slow, meticulous thief over the course of several hours, in which case the alarm is just playing it as it lays.


What really bothers me, though, about the steady robotic chirping I'm hearing is that it reminds me how far short the promises science has made have fallen in this area. WHERE ARE THE PROTECTIVE SNAKE HOLOGRAMS, ALREADY? YOU'VE HAD 20 YEARS TO WORK ON THEM.

*That's right, I'm just whining about a car alarm waking me up. Whatcha gonna do about it, tough guy?