Would you walk down the street openly counting a roll of hundred dollar bills? Of course not! Yet you probably think nothing of driving a car worth thousands of dollars down the same street. Even if this feels safe, there are dangers to doing just that. Carjackings are an unfortunate reality that is growing more and more common. Carjackers may strike while your car is idling, perhaps at an intersection. A carjacker may appear at your door with a gun as you’re waiting for the light to turn. They force you out of the car, and then drive away in it.
To avoid carjackings such as these, always keep your doors locked and your windows rolled all the way up. Be aware of your surroundings when driving; too many people focus only on the road and not on the sides of the road, where dangers may be lurking. This is especially true when driving into areas that seem unsafe, though of course you should avoid driving there at all, if possible. Never open your door or roll down your window to talk to anyone except a police officer wearing a uniform. Wear your seatbelt; it doesn’t just protect you during accidents, but it also keeps carjackers from being able to drag you out of the car in mere seconds.
When driving in traffic, pay attention to the car in front of you, and leave enough space to maneuver and escape. This is good advice to avoid accidents as well as carjackings. If your car is bumped into from behind, never pull over right there. There have been incidents in which a carjacker bumped another car in an effort to get the driver out of the car in a deserted area. Instead, motion for them to drive behind you to the nearest gas station or other occupied, well-lit location. Do not ever get out of the car for any reason at the request of another driver, no matter what excuse they give you.
A carjacking can happen not only on the road, but also in quiet parking lots. Particularly if you know your car will still be parked there after dark, choose a well-lit spot close to the building, but out in the open, not near any walls or large bushes where carjackers could potentially hide to attack you as you approach your vehicle. When you leave the building to walk to your car, pay attention to your surroundings, especially if there are cars parked near yours in an otherwise empty parking lot. Never hesitate to ask a security guard to escort you to your vehicle; remember, they are there for your safety.
Once inside your vehicle, get in quickly and lock the doors. Do not linger in the parking lot or spend a lot of time loading packages into the car, talking on your cell phone, or reapplying your makeup. Lock the doors and drive away as soon as you get in the car.
If you do find yourself confronted by a carjacker, especially an armed one, do not resist. Vehicles and possessions are replaceable; your life is not. Give up your keys and wallet without resisting, but do everything in your power to get out of the car before they take it. Your life may be in danger if you allow them to drive away with you still in the car. If a carjacker successfully forces you to drive with them in your car, crash in the middle of the busiest intersection you can find. Bystanders will come to your aid, and the police will be called. You may also want to throw the keys in one direction while you run the other way.
Carry pepper spray in your purse or car to prevent violent attacks, including carjackings. This handy device can keep any violent attack at bay. Just press the button and your attacker will be hit with a stinging pepper spray solution that will incapacitate them for at least five to ten minutes, leaving plenty of time for you to escape.
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