5 Tips on How to Prevent Carjacking
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A carjacking is a type of robbery where criminals steal a car someone is occupying. Although they are pretty rare, carjackings happen worldwide and are often quite violent. Not only do carjackings result in a valuable vehicle being stolen, but they can also be highly traumatic for the victims. While you may not want to spend time thinking about worst-case theft scenarios, it’s essential to know how to prevent carjacking.
Throughout 2020, carjacking occurrences spiked in many U.S. states, notably in Chicago, New York, Minneapolis, California, and Pennsylvania. Police suspect this is due to several factors, including financial difficulties, the normality of wearing masks and face coverings, and fewer people on the streets, making it easier to get away with crimes.
Although there is no guarantee you won’t become the victim of an unprovoked crime, there are several effective ways to minimize the risk of carjacking.
1. Practice Situational Awareness
Situational awareness is a crucial aspect of safe driving. Being aware of the cars around you, your location, and any other external factors can help you to react quickly in an emergency. Whether it’s braking suddenly to prevent yourself from rear-ending someone or taking swift action to avoid a carjacking, alertness and awareness are vital.
Although there are laws against using your phone while driving, many people disregard this restriction, meaning many accidents occur due to distracted drivers. According to the National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL), 2,841 deaths and 400,000 injuries occurred in crashes where there was a distracted driver in 2018. These were preventable if the drivers were simply paying attention to their surroundings.
Besides reducing the risk of crashes, situational awareness is vital in preventing carjackings. Avoid taking routes through dangerous neighborhoods and areas with high crime rates. Take in your surroundings and be aware of any suspicious-looking people lurking near your vehicle.
Many carjackers lure their victims by pretending to be broken down or stranded, bumping your car, flashing their headlights, or waving you down. If you get the sense you’re being lured or followed, drive to the nearest police station. Avoid driving too close to the car in front, in order to give yourself enough room to maneuver in case two vehicles attempt to box you in.
2. Keep Doors Locked at All Times
Keeping your doors and windows locked while you’re in the vehicle is a straightforward but effective defense tactic. In the event of a carjacking, a locked door could buy you enough time to drive away.
Carjackings typically occur as someone is entering or exiting the vehicle. Those that occur while you are stopped at a light or pulled over are often spontaneous, meaning every second counts when trying to escape.
92 percent of carjackings occur when the vehicle has a single occupant, so exercise extreme caution when traveling alone.
3. Know Where Your Phone Is
In some cases, you may be able to anticipate a carjacking before it happens. Ensure your phone is readily available to call the police. While you don’t want to be distracted by your phone when driving, keeping it close is a reasonable safety measure.
If you become involved in a carjacking, avoid fighting against the robber, as they may be wielding a weapon. Your vehicle doesn’t carry the same value as your life. Try to remember the characteristics of the carjacker’s appearance and inform the police immediately.
4. Keep Self-Defense Weapons on Hand
Unfortunately, many carjackings turn violent. Whether that’s the intention of the thief or it’s circumstantial, you may be forced to defend yourself. Having self-defense weapons close by can help significantly in such situations. The most effective self-defense weapons are those you can access and use quickly in a confined space.
This spray is made from Oleoresin capsicum (OC), an ingredient naturally occurring in chili peppers. Mace spray incapacitates someone through temporary blindness and pain when it comes in contact with the face and eyes.
Made from shock-resistant, airplane-grade aluminum, a tactical flashlight is a multifunctional defense weapon you can use to strike an assailant, break a window, or illuminate the area.
This is a compact but highly effective self-defense weapon best suited to close-quarters combat. A self-defense keychain can be easily gripped in your hand and has pointed ends for slicing or gouging an attacker.
5. Avoid Leaving Valuables in Sight
Theft often occurs spontaneously. Carjackers are looking for the most accessible and valuable targets. Avoid leaving any valuables in your vehicle in sight, particularly if you’re traveling alone. If you’re transporting high-value items or driving home with a new flat-screen TV, keep these goods hidden in the trunk or cover them with a blanket.
Source: Shift Drive/Shutterstock.com
Whether or not you frequently travel in a dangerous area, you should always plan for worst-case scenarios. Ensure you have self-defense knowledge and equipment handy to maximize safety. For quality self-defense weapons and security equipment, visit The Home Security Superstore today. We stock a range of useful weapons and surveillance tools to keep you and your family safe.
Frequently Asked Questions
Mace brand sprays can cost as much as $75 or as low as $15 there are also options from other brands with prices as low as $9 with just as much or even more punch than mace brand sprays.