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Carjacking – Prevention Tips

Carjacking is a horrible crime that involves the theft of a car while the vehicle is still occupied. Every year, there are thousands of drivers who experience this frightening and sometimes life-threatening occurrence. Normally, the carjacker will have a weapon with them and force the driver out of their vehicle with a knife or even at gunpoint. Carjacking is an offense that can take place at any time, any location, and by any person or group with various situations considered more common for the act to occur. The first step towards prevention is to get familiar with the most notable threats of carjacking. Usually, intersections during nighttime traffic and parking lots are the most frequent places where carjacking takes place. Luxury cars and SUVs are some of the most popular targets for carjackers, who receive a higher value when these vehicles are later sold or sent to a “chop shop” for parts. However, any car has the potential to become carjacked, as some criminals are simply looking for a night out on the town. It is important to remember that carjackers thrive on surprising their victims and taking advantage of those who are not attentive and alert at all times. There are countless victims who report that they were unaware of the carjacker’s presence until they appeared at their car window or door. In order to prevent carjacking of your vehicle, it is suggested to exercise a high level of common sense. Parking is an important part of preventing a carjacking, including placing cars in a well-lit location when planning on leaving a site after dark. This practice ultimately increases the level of awareness for a driver. Additionally, isolated parking spaces and spots situated close to a wall, tall bushes, or trees should be avoided. It is better for women who drive alone to park in an attended garage or to use valet services. Before walking into a car garage or parking lot, assess your surroundings and pay attention to people sitting in their vehicles. If a stranger approaches you, change directions right away and go towards a busy area. When approaching your vehicle, it is suggested to glance under, around, and inside of the car. If you need to load packages into your car, make sure not to turn your back. When it is safe, open the door, enter quickly, and lock the doors. Immediately start your car and drive away, as lingering in a parking lot only place you in more danger for a carjacking. When driving in the city, keep the doors locked and the windows rolled up. If you must stop in traffic, make sure to leave room to maneuver your vehicle and escape if a threat should arise. When faced with a carjacking, never fall into the trap of becoming a kidnapping victim. It is suggested to drop your car keys, followed by running and screaming for help. Unfortunately, some people are forced into the situation of driving with the carjacker as passenger. There were a few instances where victims have crashed their car into a busy intersection so that someone would come to the rescue, as well as calling the police. Some people equip their vehicle with self-defense weapons, such as personal alarms, stun guns, and pepper spray to increase their level of safety while driving. Self-defense items should be used to protect your well-being and not defend your car. If you are ever approached by a carjacker, it is recommended to never resist the surrender of your vehicle. When carjackers demand your keys or money, you should comply without resistance. In the end, it all comes down to what is more important to you – a replaceable car or an irreplaceable life.

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