Carjacking: How to Protect Yourself

Carjacking is a crime that can end not only in the destruction of property, but also injury or loss of life. Here are things you can do to protect yourself from would-be carjackers.

For many small business owners, a car is as essential a tool as a computer.

Police officers and security experts say carjacking is preventable if one stays alert to their surroundings and follows the below security steps:

  • When stopped for a traffic light or other reasons, carefully observe what is happening around your car, via your side and rearview mirrors. Keep your windows up and doors locked.
  • Keep your purse, laptop, and other valuables out of view while driving.
  • Drive in the center lane to avoid being pushed over to the shoulder.
  • Don’t stop at isolated cash machines or other isolated areas.
  • Don’t stop to help a disabled motorist or pedestrian. Stay in your locked car and offer to call a service station or the police from your cell phone.
  • Don’t open your window for someone approaching your car asking for directions or trying to sell your something.
  • Don’t park your car in an isolated area.
  • If you are pulled over by someone in an unmarked car who claims to be a police officer, stay in your locked car and call 911 on your cell phone. Tell the person you are calling 911 to confirm they are in fact a police officer. If the person is truly a police officer, he won’t have a problem with your actions, and if he is not a police officer, he will take off to avoid arrest.
  • If you can’t drive away from a bad situation, stay in your locked car and yell and honk your horn repeatedly. Criminals don’t like noise and they tend to run away to avoid attention.

Below are some of the most common carjacking scenarios:

  • When the victim is stopped at a traffic light.
  • The carjacker pretends to be stranded.
  • The carjacker fakes an accident to get you out of your car.
  • The carjacker attacks the victim as they get in their car in parking garages, shopping malls and complex parking, and driveways.     

The best defense against a carjacking is having more than one person in the car. Another essential defensive tool is a working cell phone with a charger.

Business people out on the road can be distracted with thoughts of business, but one should always remain alert and aware of the surroundings. This is the best defense against carjacking.

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