Car alarms inevitable but annoying part of city life

Hadley Hudson

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Every night the same thing happens; I crack my bedroom window open to let the cool night air into my room. I lie down and turn off the lights and just as I’m about to drift off to sleep?WEEE WOO! WEEE WOO! I open my eyes very quickly and think, “What is going on!” But then I realize it’s just some idiot’s over-the-top, overly sensitive car alarm.

I have come to accept the sound of the car alarm as an ambient background noise to city life, much like a police siren or hip-hop from a bass system. So when I hear it I think, “Why did someone set the sensitivity so high?” Honestly, I do not understand the need for it. Every time I hear a car with a loud exhaust go by in the parking lots, I hear at least five alarms go off. I have actually brushed up against a car and have had it go off. It appears that with some people it is cool to have an alarm that constantly goes off, like shiny rims or a spoiler. But is it really worth it?

It boggles my mind why anyone still thinks that their car is safe with a car alarm that will go off if a butterfly lands on it. If you really stop and think about it, the car alarm has been around for about 30 years. This means that this ear-shattering noise has been imbedded into our skulls so much that no one today even thinks twice about something bad going on when they hear it. Not to mention the fact that today, stealing cars isn’t just some juvenile delinquent pastime. There are real, professional car thieves out there who could steal a car at the drop of a hat. If somebody really wanted your car, an alarm is not going to do anything to stop them.

One thing I’ve noticed is that sometimes a car alarm can actually harm your car more then it can protect it. One time while I was living at the dorms, it was a very windy day. So windy that it was causing someone’s car alarm to constantly go off. I guess it made someone mad enough to start throwing things at it. The next day I noticed a very large dent in the car. Another thing that I don’t understand is why some of the cars I see with them even need them. A lot of them are junkers or at least have a bunch of crappy looking plastic parts on it that I guess the owner thought would make the car go faster. I know it’s cool to act like your car is awesome and you want to look like you protect it, but who really cares?

As if the noise of traffic, cell phones and car engines outside wasn’t bad enough, we have high-pitched alarms coming at us from all angles. These alarms affect our health by raising our levels of stress hormones, the same stress hormones that are linked to cardiovascular disease, gastrointestinal illnesses, psychological problems and unhealthy fetal development. I’m not saying that car alarms are causing all these problems, but they are not helping them when we already have so much to deal with in our stressful lives.

So, I ask everyone out there very kindly: please be considerate to those around you. Turn your car alarms off, go get an anti-theft device that actually works, and let me get a good night’s sleep.

Hadley Hudson can be reached at hadley.hudson@csun.edu.