Carjackings, or the robbery of a car by the threat of force by an attacker, have been increasing. Carjackings are becoming a pandemic and it’s not just happening in certain cities it’s happening everywhere, at gas stations and even at parking lots in apartment complexes. We’re starting to see it more and more and you need to be aware of your situation of what’s going on around you and we’re gonna show you some carjackings and some tips so this doesn’t happen to you.
There are simple steps you can take to further avoid being a victim of a carjacking. Much of the prevention is simply the awareness of the threat, and thinking about what you would do if something happened.
Fear shouldn’t rule your life, but you should always be aware of your security and surroundings the same way you keep an eye on the road. Pay attention to who and what is around you. Trust your gut. If you feel threatened or alarmed, be cautious and stay alert.
Secure Your VehicleFrom Carjackings
The most obvious and simple way to avoid carjackings is to keep your car doors and windows closed and locked.
Plan ahead and think about your reactions to “what if” scenarios. What you would do if the car in front of you slammed on the brakes, or if a threatening person approached your car while stopped at a traffic light?
The carjacker is counting on the element of surprise, but you can counter the attack if you have your own surprise, a quick response to his advance, such as hitting the gas and getting away. Again, trust your instincts. For such a response to a carjacker to be effective, it must be sure and fast.
Other proactive measures to prevent a carjacking:
Keep computers, cellphones, purses, wallets, and other valuables on the floor of the car and out of sight
Avoid contact with pedestrians and other drivers, including eye contact
Do not roll your window down for anyone except those you know and law enforcement officers
Keep your cellphone ready to call 911 if necessary
Your car is only one aspect of any carjackings. There are several steps you can take personally to make yourself safer and less likely to be a victim of a carjacking:
Be ready to get in or out of your vehicle when parking and leaving the car. Don’t stand around with the door open while you fiddle with keys or a cell phone.
Add or remove items from your trunk quickly.
Park in well-lit and high-traffic areas.
Walk from offices or other buildings to vehicles in pairs or larger groups. Or find a security guard to assist you if available.
Look around your car briefly, including under it, before getting in or out.
Avoid places where you are isolated and alone.
Common sense can go a long way to protecting you, your passengers, and your vehicles. By taking a few extra steps and precautions, and always being prepared to act, you can avoid being a victim.
DON’T – We all have a tendency to get into our cars after shopping, eating, working, etc., and just stay in the vehicle checking their cell phone. This makes you a target!
DO – AS SOON AS YOU GET INTO YOUR CAR, LOCK THE DOORS AND LEAVE. If the predator is watching you, this is the perfect opportunity for him to get in on the passenger side, put a gun to your head, and tell you where to go.
Being cautious isn’t just something anyone should know. Men need to be aware of their surroundings, too. Everyday we read and hear about horrifying situations like car jackings, muggings and other crimes. Most of us think that this could “never happen to me.” It could happen to anyone.
Carjackings of parked vehicles depend on the car owner being inattentive to their surroundings. Carjackers, like street robbers, prefer the element of surprise. Most victims say they never saw the carjacker until they appeared at their car door. To reduce your risk of being carjacked, I have listed some common-sense steps below:
Always park in well-lighted areas, if you plan to arrive/leave after dark
Don’t park in isolated or visually obstructed areas near walls or heavy foliage
Use valet parking or an attended garage, if you’re driving alone
As you walk to your car be alert to suspicious persons sitting in cars
Ask for a security escort if you are alone at a shopping center
Watch out for people loitering in the area or handing out flyers, CD’s, etc.)
If someone tries to approach, change direction or run to a busy store
Follow your instincts if they tell you to walk/run away to a busy place
As you approach your vehicle, look under, around, and inside your car
If safe, open the door, enter quickly, and lock the doors
Don’t be a target by turning your back while loading packages into the car.
Make it your habit to always start your car and drive away immediately
Teach and practice with your children to enter and exit the car quickly
Always drive with your car doors locked and windows rolled up necessary
If you are bumped in traffic, drive to a busy well-lit area or a pole station – be suspicious of the accident
Beware of the Good Samaritan who offers to repair your car or a flat tire. It’s okay to get help, just be alert.
If you are ever confronted by an armed carjacker don’t resist, look to escape, and give them the car.
Give up your keys or money if demanded without resistance
Don’t argue, fight or chase the robber. You can be seriously injured
Never agree to be kidnapped. Throw the cars keys and run and scream for help
If you are forced to drive, consider crashing your car near a busy intersection to attract attention so bystanders can come to your aid and call the police
Call the police immediately to report the crime and provide detailed information.
Take your earphones out when pumping gas, walking to and from your vehicle
Keep your earphone out in your pocket so it’s with you.
When returning a rental cars that needs to be refueled; be aware, this is an easy target for car jackers as they get the bonus of your luggage and the vehicle.
If you own a firearm or have a concealed carry permit, be aware of you state laws. Use of your weapon may have restrictions that could get you in trouble too.
You must have SITUATIONAL AWARENESS! Keep your eyes and ears open when out of the car. If confronted with a person with the gun – give up the car. Cars can be replaced – you can not.
Lauren Fix is a nationally recognized automotive expert, media guest, journalist, author, keynote speaker and television host. A trusted automotive expert, Lauren provides an insider’s perspective on a wide range of automotive topics, energy and safety issues for both the auto industry and consumers. Her analysis is honest and straightforward.
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