How to Avoid Becoming a Carjacking Statistic
Carjacking, it’s scary to think that there are people in this world who want to harm you and your family, whether by breaking into your house at night or stealing your car during the day. But the fact is that carjackings do happen, and it’s up to you to take measures to avoid becoming a victim of one. If you’re curious about how carjacking’s happen and what you can do to prevent them, read on. I’ll tell you what happens in a carjacking and how you can protect yourself.
In the United States police departments see violent crime all the time. From auto theft, armed robbery, motor vehicle carjacking, and many times in well-lighted areas of large cities. A victim of a carjacking is a crime of opportunity, be it with young people or the elderly. We see these types of carjackings in New York City, New Orleans, at the grocery store, stop lights, residential driveways, with a parked vehicle, rural areas, and even at a fire station! I’m sure you get the picture. This type of crime happens everywhere, according to the crime data.
We even have seen that South Africa is now the carjacking capital of the world, according to uniform crime reports. John Jay college of criminal justice reports, along with the national data service, that major cities are showing an increase in serious injury during these carjacking’s. As usual with violent crimes, situational awareness is the first line of defense, at least part-way, and this goes a long way to foil car thieves. Crime prevention is the first place to look for data and an important step. All this rise in carjackings also raises our car insurance rates, according to the national insurance crime bureau, and other insurance products cost. The Chicago police have reported whole gangs working carjackings in residential areas, just like another day at the office!
The standard carjacking scenarios
1) You stop at a streetlight, and the car in front of you backs up to pin your car in the front, and another bad guy puts their car at your rear bumper. Then someone opens your doors because they are unlocked or gain entry by smashing your windows, dragging you out, and off they go with your car.
2) Two cars are following close to you from behind. One passes you and then cuts you off. This forces you to stop in the lane or pull off the side of the road to avoid a crash. The cars pin your car in, and then they will gain access, like in scenario number one above.
3) You are warming your car up and not paying attention to your surroundings. They simply walk up and pull you out, then take the car. This can happen at convenience stores, too, or other major store parking lots and, of course, at your home.
Then there are those that get very creative. Basically, they need to push you around to pin you in, then mount an assault on your car to gain entry. They might even take you with them and make you drive. There is a great video on anti-carjacking that you should see.
When operating your car, always keep your doors locked
Leaving your doors unlocked can make you an easier target for carjackers. They can force you out of your car and into theirs with greater ease. Not only that but leaving your doors unlocked could also increase your chances of being carjacked or robbed. If you want to avoid being carjacked, start by keeping your doors locked at all times. This way, if someone approaches your vehicle, they’ll know immediately that you are not easy prey. It’s also recommended that you keep your windows rolled up when in traffic so people don’t know if you’re distracted or not (thereby making it more difficult for them to sneak up on you).
Keep your car secure at all times
Violent carjackers are looking for vulnerable targets, and an open window is an easy way for them to confirm their suspicions. By keeping your windows rolled up, you’ll present yourself as vigilant, which will reduce your chances of becoming a carjacking victim. If you do find yourself being approached by someone who appears suspicious, don’t hesitate to drive away—and call 911 immediately. While these precautions might seem extreme, remember that violent carjackings happen daily in America—and many victims end up paying for their lives for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
The statistics on carjackings are scary: According to The National Crime Victimization Survey, approximately 240 violent carjackings occur each year across all 50 states. On average, more than 80 percent of these incidents involve firearms. More than 60 percent of violent carjackings occur during daytime hours (8 am-6 pm), while 40 percent occur between 6 pm and midnight; more than 30 percent occur on Fridays; 15 percent occur on Saturdays, and less than 10 percent take place on Sundays.
The more secure your car is, the better. While in your vehicle, lock the doors and keep the windows up until you are moving at high speeds. However, every time you slow down or come to a stop, get those windows back up. Violent carjackers are looking for opportunities, so they won’t hesitate to strike if they see any. Keep your car locked and keep valuables out of view when you park—if possible, remove them from your vehicle entirely. You never know who might be watching or what they are capable of doing.
If you find yourself being approached by an individual who is demanding your car, give it up—your life is worth more than any vehicle. Don’t put yourself in danger, and protect yourself at all times. If you follow these tips, you can rest assured that you’re doing everything possible to avoid becoming a victim of a violent carjacking. The statistics on carjackings are scary.
Don’t put yourself in danger
When traveling, make sure you’re in areas where many other people are around. Don’t go driving late at night alone through neighborhoods that are known for crime. If you feel as if you’re being followed or threatened, call 911 immediately and don’t drive anywhere else until the police arrive. You can also drive to an ER, a fire station, or better yet, a police station if you are being followed.
The last thing you want is to put yourself into an even more dangerous situation by trying to evade criminals. Be alert: Pay attention when you’re on your way home from work or running errands so you can see any potential threats before they happen. Live in the now! While it may seem obvious, staying aware of your surroundings can help keep you safe when walking to your car after dark or if someone approaches while you’re inside it. Take note of anyone who looks suspicious and trust your gut—if something feels off, move away from danger quickly.
If you’re ever stuck in your car, lock all doors and keep your windows rolled up. Don’t open the door, drive away, but don’t let them in if at all possible. Call 911 immediately and wait until the police arrive before opening your door or trying to get out of your vehicle. Let an officer handle it from there.
Don’t get into a car with a carjacker. This never ends well, so do what it takes to NOT get into that car. If you need to fight them or run, do so but don’t get into the car. That is another story if you are in the car and they get in [watch this video on that topic].
Don’t get out of your car and try to run away from an attacker, but if you must, do so only after you’ve locked your doors. If someone is chasing you, go somewhere that is well-lit with lots of people around—not down an alley or into a parking garage. Once you’re safe and in public, call 911 and wait for police assistance. Also, let’s not miss the obvious: if you have a Defender self-defense tool, take it with you and use it to save your life if necessary.
Don’t be distracted by your phone
In 2015, more than two million people were victims of car thefts in America, totaling over $4 billion. The one thing all these statistics have in common? Distracted driving. If you’re too busy texting, scrolling through Instagram, or talking on your cell phone, then you’re making it easier for carjackers to take control of your vehicle—or worse. You should always keep your eyes on the road and be aware of what’s happening around you. Remember it’s all about situational awareness—Live in the NOW!
For example, if you are waiting at a red light and someone pulls up next to you asking for directions, don’t roll down your window; they may try to pull open your door while they ask their question. Instead, just point them in the right direction from where you’re sitting. That way, no matter what happens after that moment, you won’t lose sight of your surroundings.
Use caution in high-risk areas
Make sure your car doors are locked at all times and be sure to keep your eyes peeled in high-risk areas. Criminals often look for victims in places where they know people tend to have their guard down, such as where they’re on their phones or fiddling with an audio device. If you see something suspicious—or even if you don’t—don’t hesitate to call 911 and report it. Your call could save someone else from being victimized.
What is a high-risk area? The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has identified places with a high rate of carjackings and attempted carjackings, including:
- Highways and freeways, especially during rush hour or in urban areas.
- Parking lots at big box stores or retail outlets.
- Parking lots at apartment complexes.
- Bus stops and ATMs.
- Areas around banks or ATM machines.
Prepare your vehicle with weapons
It may sound odd, but if you carry defensive items in your vehicle—such as pepper spray or an alarm—you’re less likely to be carjacked. You never know when you’ll need them! Never leave items in plain view, though, or thieves will simply smash their way through your windows and take what they want. Instead, stash these things out of sight so criminals can’t get to them; you should keep your doors locked at all times.
The best defense against carjackers is awareness: Don’t drive alone at night, don’t go into bad neighborhoods (or any neighborhood where there are many abandoned cars), and always keep an eye on what is happening around you. If someone approaches your vehicle with ill intent, drive away immediately. Most importantly, make sure you park in well-lit areas. In addition to making it easier for other drivers to see you, it makes it harder for would-be attackers to hide from a passerby.
Place defensive, non-lethal weapons in handy places in the car. You should have self-defense weapons, the Defenders, in strategic places in the car. Also, you should have them handy on your person so you can deploy them quickly. In a violent carjacking, you will be thrilled you are prepared to combat the carjacker.
In addition to your keys and cell phone, keep pepper gel or an alarm on hand at all times; if you’re ever confronted by someone who tries to force you out of your vehicle, you can use these items for self-defense. If you have a cell phone, call 911 immediately and give them your exact location; if you don’t have a phone with you (or it is turned off), honk loudly as soon as possible and hope that someone will come to help you.
What self-defense weapon is best to have in your car?
Simply put, a very aggressive Defender model is best as you must quickly cause many bodily injuries. This quick “injury” strategy is best and will result in the carjacker losing interest in you and your vehicle. The models that would be best are:
1) An Eckmeier
3) Dragon Edge
4) Twin Dragon Tails
These models are super aggressive and, with the proper training, are incredibly effective, Just like the shampoo directions: lather, rinse and repeat. Once you start your attack on the carjacker, don’t stop until you get the desired result. These models can be found at: https://pdws.biz/index.php/extraordinary-defenders/
Follow these tips when driving at night
If you’re driving at night, it’s essential to be able to spot trouble before it finds you.
The vehicle behind you seems too close—If another vehicle seems like it’s following too closely behind yours, it could mean that person wants to cut you off when there is an opening in traffic. Keep an eye on your mirrors for sudden speed or lane position changes.
A vehicle pulls up next to you without using its turn signal—When changing lanes, many people use their turn signal as a courtesy to alert others around them that they plan to move over. If you’re being tailgated and notice a car next to you without its turn signal activated, it could mean he plans to change lanes but doesn’t want to alert others around him about his intentions.
If someone wants you to pass, they will usually indicate by flashing their high beams at your rearview mirror. If someone flashes at your rearview mirror while driving behind you, don’t assume that they are trying to tell you something else (like I see your brights on!). Instead of assuming anything, slow down and wait until there is an opportunity for both vehicles to pass each other safely.
A vehicle suddenly cuts in front of you—This is one of the most dangerous situations to encounter while driving because it puts you directly in harm’s way. When another driver makes an unexpected lane change, make sure to maintain a safe distance from him so that he can easily merge back into traffic when needed.
A pedestrian appears to be walking toward your vehicle—Pedestrians may appear harmless, but sometimes they walk toward moving cars for no reason other than to get a driver’s attention. If you notice a pedestrian walking toward your vehicle, roll down your window and ask if everything is okay before proceeding.
There are several ways for you to avoid becoming a carjacking statistic: always keep your windows rolled up, choose well-lit areas at night, and be aware of your surroundings. Even if you’re in a nice, safe neighborhood with very little crime, you can never be too careful. Always carry self-defense weapon such as [Defenders], pepper gel, or a small stun gun with you if possible.
Master Peter Brusso