NOTE: This information is provided as general advice only. We highly recommend formal training in self defense.
Carjackings can take place any time you are near your vehicle. There has been reports of people jacking cars when the victim is approaching the car, sitting in the car and when the victim was driving down the street.
A driver with awareness of their surroundings that takes extra care while parking can greatly reduce their risk. People who jack cars, like street robbers, prefer to use the element of surprise. In most cases, victims say they never noticed the carjacker until it was too late and they appeared at their car door. Reduce your risk of becoming the next victim by considering some of the tips below.
- Always park in areas that are well lit even if you don’t plan to arrive or leave after dark.
- Don’t park in areas that are out of the way, isolated or visually obstructed areas that are around heavy foliage or walls.
- If possible take advantage of valet parking or an attended garage.
- When walking to your vehicle be alert to suspicious people sitting in other vehicles.
- Ask customer service for a security escort if you are alone at a shopping center and need to reach your vehicle after dark.
- Keep an eye out for people loitering in and around parking areas (handing out flyers, etc).
- If someone attempts to approach you, change direction or run to a busy location.
- As you approach your vehicle, take a look under, around, and inside your car. If safe, get in the car quickly and lock the doors.
- Don’t become a target by turning your back while loading packages into your vehicle.
- Make it a habit to always start the vehicle and pull away immediately. Sitting in your car makes you a target.
- Teach and practice with your kids to get in and out of the car quickly.
- In the city or slow moving traffic, always drive with your car doors locked and windows rolled closed.
- If in an accident, wave to have the other party follow and drive to a gas station or busy place before getting out.
- If you are ever confronted by an armed person don’t resist.
- If you keys or money are demanded, give them up without resistance.
- Don’t take a confrontational approach when being carjacked. This can result in seriously injury or death.
- Don’t agree to be taken and kidnapped. Drop the cars keys where you stand, run and scream for help.
- If you are forced to drive – wear a seat belt and consider crashing your car near a busy intersection so bystanders can come to your aid and call the police.
- Call the police immediately to report any crime and be prepared to provide detailed information
These tips will help you in most vehicle jacking situations. Every possibility is not considered above and you must think what would be best to do in your situation. There is no technique that will work in every situation. Your best bet is to be prepared and do your best to avoid becoming a victim.