Survive & Prevent being Carjacked

Although it doesn’t receive as much media attention as some other types of crimes, carjacking has once again become one of the top crimes in the country. For unsophisticated car thieves who can’t bypass modern-day car alarms, the crime is an easy way for them to steal a vehicle.

Carjacking is often a quick and brutal crime, one where the criminal uses violence and the force to obtain the vehicle. It’s one of the most dangerous types of crime you can encounter, as there is almost always a weapon and physical attack used during the theft.

Carjacking Facts:

  • The Department of Justice reports that there are about 49,000 carjackings every year.
  • 93% of these crimes occur in cities or the suburbs.
  • 92% are committed when the victim is alone in their car.
  • 90% of carjackings involved the use of a weapon, most often a firearm.
  • Most of these violent attacks happen near the victim’s home or place of work.

The most likely places for a carjacking are:

  • High crime areas, mostly in larger urban cities.
  • Intersections, or anywhere that you are forced to come to a stop.
  • Isolated areas in parking lots: Most often in areas with poor lighting and some type of cover for the criminals to hide behind.
  • Home driveways and near gates into gated communities.
  • Traffic jams and congested areas.
  • Outside of ATMs, where criminals tend to target people because they know the victim will have cash.

Staying Safe: Prevent becoming a Carjacking Victim.

Carjackers tend to target people who are alone, and they usually strike when the person is getting ready to get into their vehicle. Parking lots, gas stations, and outside retail stores are all places where you need to be on alert.

When approaching your vehicle, awareness is your best weapon. It is the single most important thing you can do to prevent this crime.

  • Stay alert: Stay alert to what’s going on around you, and watch out for anyone who looks out of place.
  • Be Ready: Keep your keys ready when walking out to your car. Fumbling around for your keys can allow a criminal to get the upper-hand.
  • Look & Listen: Check the inside of your vehicle before getting in; criminals can sometimes be waiting for unsuspecting victims.
  • Know Who’s Lingering Nearby: Watch out for people who are loitering, asking for directions, looking for money or cigarettes, or handing out fliers. These are all techniques that are used by criminals who are looking for a quick and easy target.
  • Trust your instincts: Don’t ever underestimate your gut feelings. If something seems out of place, turn around and go back to where you came from. If you can’t turn around, quickly get in your vehicle, lock the doors, and leave the area immediately.

What to do While Driving:

Staying Aware on the road

Even those who make it to their vehicle and out onto the road aren’t 100% safe from this type of crime. In fact, roadways are the second most common place for people to be attacked. From stoplights and traffic jams, to criminals who rear end your vehicle to get you to pull over, there are a number of ways these people can target you while out on the road.

Your best line of defense when driving is to make it as hard as possible for criminals to enter your vehicle.

  • Keep your doors locked at all times, windows rolled up when driving in the city, and sun roofs closed.
  • When coming to a stop, leave at least a vehicle and a half of space between you and the car directly in front you. If something happens, this will give you the room to quickly maneuver around the vehicle and make your way to safety.
  • Driving in the center lane can make it harder for criminals to box you in, and can give you more avenues to escape.
  • If someone does hit you from behind, keep your guard up. If something doesn’t seem right, stay in your vehicle with the windows rolled up and the doors locked; then call 911.

What to do when you reach your destination:

Two women in a parking lot

This is often a time when people are most at risk, primarily because they drop their guard once they reach their destination.

  • Park in a well-lit area, near the building’s entrance. Make sure you park around other vehicles.
  • Avoid parking near wooded areas, large vans and trucks, or anything that hides your visibility or gives criminals cover to commit their crime.
  • Never leave valuables in plain view for people to see.
  • Look around before you get out of your vehicle. It may also be a good idea to make a loop around the parking lot to check out the situation before parking.

WORSE CASE SCENARIO: Someone attempts to jack your car…

  • Don’t ever Go With: Never get in the car with the criminal, it’s better to lose the car than to lose your life.
  • If they have a gun, Run: Statistics show that if you run, you have somewhere around a 90% chance of being safe. If you get in the vehicle, you probably have a 100% chance of something bad happening.
  • Crash: If for some reason you couldn’t get away and you’re forced to drive, one option you need to consider is buckling up and crashing your car near a busy intersection. Chances are the idiot carjacker didn’t take the time to buckle up, and will hopefully be hurt during the crash. When that happens, get out of the car and run like hell.
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  1. Practice being the first vehicle at a stoplight when given the chance. This will allow you to vacate the area if need be. Ditto about leaving at least a car length in front of you if forced to not be 1st in line. If you are in at least a 2 lane road, be in the lane closest to oncoming traffic. This will allow you to move into the oncoming lane if need be. Taking your chances with an accident is much better than getting jacked. When all else fails, keep your hand on a Springfield XD when in questionable surroundings.

    • Finally! People worried about being taken by someone with a weapon should always consider evening the odds. I personally carry a Springfield XD Subcompact and am quite proficient with it. You may get my wallet and car, but you are not driving far!

  2. I am not ageist being armed but weapon in untrained hands can be very dangers most of the people doing carjacking do not have training and will be under stress and they my not wont to hurt the person they taking the care but pulling your weapon my cause a response or reflex firing so your best weapon is your brain

  3. ok as a EX cab driver when I had guns pulled on me yes it happend more then you think My best action was to step on the gas to the floor (Old cop cars are FAST) then let go of the stearing wheel then ask for sed wepon shoes and ther wallet befor I would slow down or take the wheel

    • Wow… where are you driving?
      I drove a cab in Los Angeles for almost 10 years back in the 80’s/90’s and only had a gun pulled on me twice. The first time “they” took the money and the car, the second time “he” was stupid enough to draw while I was moving… going ’45 to 0 in point no seconds’ and turning without a seat belt disarms someone quickly.
      Besides, if they already have the drop on you while sitting down at a stop, you’re a fool to think you’ll successfully pull your weapon out (if you even have one) before they can pull a trigger. No material item is worth your life, let them have the money and car, as Sean states above, they won’t be going far.

  4. Pull your seat belt up tight, aim the passenger side of the car at power pole and floor it. It’s over quick, they are wrapped around a power pole in your back seat and with no fault Canadian car insurance you get a new car. No trial no body, goes to court almost everyone wins. :)

  5. I was carjacked by gunpoint! In 2001 I was on my way to work, I stopped at a store parked on side of building. I wasn’t in there 5 min. My mistake is that I didn’t lock my door! Never would have thought that a man would get into the back of my car crouch down and I don’t see him! Once I drove off he pulled the gun around the back of the seat to my side and said drive! So I did !

    He forced me to go to an abandon house that looked like people use it to sleep, party and and in my case rape me! He had the gun in my mouth, to my head and said if I didn’t give him oral sex and do it right he would kill me! I went out of my body and thought of my husband and two young children. After he was done he asked me where my car keys were. I said here take them! There were people outside rocking on their porch and not one answered my varies for help? I started to walk and a young girl could tell something wasn’t right and she stopped! She was able to understand rape and took me to a police sub station.while I was talking to police a bank robbery where a man in a mask shot off seven rounds of a gun came over the police radio! They described my car as the car the robber used! I’m glad to say that because I was the only one to see his face, I was able to help Police/FBI find him buy picking him out of six mug shots!!

    They found him, gun, money, mask and drugs, he confessed and I didn’t have to go through a trial and he is in Fed. Prison for 33 yrs No Parole ! But I never forget and won’t hardly leave my house and if I do I won’t go anywhere by myself.

  6. My car was car jacked with a gun pointed at my face. “If you don’t give me your keys I will shoot you.”, he said. I gave him my keys and ducked. He took off. Called 911 and later found out he had just shot his girlfriend, and stole my car to eascape the area. He drove to a police station in LA and shot himself twice in my car. The case is now a homicide case and my car is in evidence hold by the Fontana police. The car has so much blood from the shooting and damaged from retrieving a bulletI. I have Nationwide Car Insurance but no car rental ins.they say. My car is being financed, it was brand new when I purchased it. I’m without a car now and police may keep my car indefinitely. Anyone have info on what to do when police haven’t total out my car yet due to investigation and ins. Co won’t do anything until car is released or total out.

  7. Erm… If you’re at a busy intersection, don’t run like Hell or else idiot vigilantes will chase and beat you thinking you’re a dead-beat hit and runner who hurt his/her poor passenger. If there are lots of people around, move away from the carjacker but flag down help. Make it immediately known you are a victim. Later the carmaker might try to say you knew each other and sue YOU if you don’t.

  8. And of course we must be politically correct and not mention the certain demographic that commits crime in the US, including car jacking, out of all proportion to their percentage of the population.
    Rule #one. Don’t drive or live where they live.

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