How to Avoid Carjackers
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How to Avoid Carjackers

Category:car gps tracker

smarketingNovember 08, 2023

Just think about it - you are sitting in your car on the side of a road where the streetlight above you is not working or blinking constantly. You are about to leave when the door opens, and a gun appears in front of your face.

Someone yells at you to get out of the car.

Your car is being jacked!

Despite being relatively rare, there has been a rise in carjacking events in recent years across the States, which makes it worthwhile to know how to avoid becoming a victim and what to do if you can't avoid the situation.

More and more carjackings

Many people describe carjacking as a “trope from the action movies of the 70s." After all, news channels and papers did not cover many reports on this crime.

However, the current statistics do not lie. According to the latest data, carjacking is rising in many states in the USA. Some cities that reported a significant increase in carjackings in recent years include Memphis, Chicago, Baltimore, Nashville, and New Orleans.

Criminologists and psychologists attempt to theorize why the prevalence of carjackings has been increasing. Vehicles are much harder to steal now, especially when the driver is not around. Modern cars are equipped with anti-theft technology or a car GPS tracker and will start only with a keyfob. Stealing a parked car has become a tedious, time-consuming, and dangerous task for regular offenders and would-be thieves. Hotwiring is no longer an option. Therefore, instead of targeting parked, unoccupied automobiles, criminals aim for already running cars and force drivers at gunpoint. It is much faster and easier than stealing the old-fashioned way.

Understanding carjackings

Now that the rate of carjackings have increased, how do you avoid becoming a victim?

The first step is to educate yourself about carjacking. You must know where carjackers operate and how this crime typically goes down so that you can plan on how to avoid such situations.

  • Carjackings are rampant in high crime areas, but they are happening in safer and wealthier parts of the country too.
  • Carjackers are opportunists. They watch out for the right moment. For starters, they operate at night and in dark areas. Intersections and parking lots with poor lighting are their favorite spots. However, it does not mean they avoid driveways or gated community entrances.
  • Carjackers usually strike precisely when a person enters the vehicle.
  • 92% of these events happen when the victim is in the car alone.
  • 90% of these events involve weapons, typically firearms.
  • Carjackers are usually aged below 21.

Do not become a victim

Here are a few factors that make people vulnerable to this crime. Being familiar with them will ensure you can prepare appropriately and adequately.

Start by maintaining situational awareness. Keep your eyes peeled and scan your surroundings, look for anything out of place in the environment, and be ready to handle the situation if something goes wrong. Remember - situational awareness is not about being paranoid. It is only about staying in a state of calm attentiveness.

Look for populated and brightly lit parking spots. As you already know, carjackers are opportunists. They will steal only if they believe they can get away with it, and a clean getaway is possible if there is no one around and it is dark. Make sure carjackers do not get this opportunity. Park your vehicle in brightly lit and populated locations. Do not park close to large objects, walls, or big vans, as they block an onlooker's view. Try to park where you and your car will be visible to many people.

Move purposefully. Carjackers usually target drivers who appear vulnerable or distracted. When you walk towards your car, be aware of your surroundings. Look around and inside while scanning the front and back seats. The moment you climb in the driver's seat, lock the doors and start driving. Avoid fiddling with your phone or the infotainment systems. Stick to the same rules when getting out of the car. Once you stop, get out and start moving to your destination. The more time you spend inside the car, the more time you give a carjacker to make a move.

Doors and windows closed. Your objective should be to make things as difficult for carjackers as possible. If you keep the doors or windows open, carjackers will definitely target you. Therefore, the moment you enter your vehicle, lock the doors. Try to make it a habit. Yes, rolling the windows down on a lovely spring day is irresistible, but you must resist that temptation, particularly in high-crime regions of the town.

New models have a feature that locks the doors automatically when the driver starts the car. It is recommended that you turn on this feature so you don't have to think about locking the doors after entering.

Avoid traveling alone in dangerous spots. About 92% of carjacking victims were alone in their cars when the crime happened. Of course, you can't travel with a friend every time in your car, but make sure you have someone when you know you will be passing through a dangerous part of town. Carjackers are opportunists, as mentioned several times. If you have a passenger, the carjacker will be outnumbered, which, in turn, will diminish their possibility of robbing you and leaving.

The tires should be visible. If you are stopped in your car, ensure the tires are visible. Doing so puts enough space between you and the vehicle in front to steer and drive away if a carjacker attempts to rob you. Also, create a plan every time you have to stop at a signal light. You should know where you must go if you choose to drive away.

There is an underhanded strategy criminals often use to rob drivers of their cars. It is called “bump and run," where the perpetrator, accompanied by an accomplice, will bump their vehicle into the rear of your car. This forces you to think you are involved in an accident, so you get out to check the damage and discuss insurance. At that moment, the perpetrator will threaten you and steal your automobile. The carjacker will vanish with your car, the accomplice will drive away in the one that bumped into you, and you will be stranded in the middle of nowhere.

Always try to pull your car over into a well-lit and populated location if you get rear-ended. You need as many people to see you as possible. If you don't see a good place to stop, keep driving with the flashers on. In doing so, you will know that the person who bumped you is an average citizen following you and waiting for you to stop. If you have a reason to believe the bumper is a carjacker, contact the police and stay inside with the doors and windows locked and rolled up until they respond to your distress call.

What to do in the situation

Regardless of all precautionary measures, you may run into a desperado who points a gun at your head and yells at you to get out of the car. What will you do then?

Hand it over. Carjackers usually don't want anything from the driver other than the car. So, hand it over. Your life is more valuable than your car because they are replaceable, but you aren't.

Evacuate the children. Those who have kids in their vehicles should get them out first. Never let a carjacker get behind the wheel as long as the children are inside. Just tell the perpetrator they can take the vehicle, but they must allow you to get the kids out - pronto! Tell your kids to exit the car and move as far away as possible if they are old enough. However, if they can't get out alone, turn around to the backseat and pull them out.

NEVER get in the car with them. If the carjacker demands you move over, stay inside with them, or reenter the vehicle after they take the driver's seat, do everything in your power to avoid complying. The criminal may possibly attempt to take you to another “crime scene" - a place you don't want to go. These places are hidden from the public where criminals do despicable things to their victims. Crime studies show that a victim's chances of survival drop once they reach a second crime scene. So if the carjacker demands you get inside the car with them or stay inside as they try to take the wheel, try to resist. Your life depends on it.

Gain control of whatever weapon your attacker has and unleash violence on them. Keep pepper gel or foam and use it as the first line of defense. Avoid pepper spray as it can mist back on you. You need something that you can shoot directly on the criminal, and the projectile should stay on them.

Be vigilant

The best way to prevent an attack is avoidance. Depend on your judgment to assess the situation and possible reactions. Familiarize yourself with safe areas to go to during emergencies, and always carry phones or a radio. Non-confrontation is usually the best response, but it does not always work. In any case, your objective should be to survive and not thwart the crime.

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