Carjacking is a terrible and violent crime, and carjacking is on the rise in the United States. Although being targeted for such a horrible crime is not entirely avoidable, the team at Safer America has compiled some tips to help you stay safer. 

What is Carjacking?  

By definition, carjacking is the action of violently stealing an occupied car. As you can imagine, having your car stolen from you while you are in it is a traumatizing event. Not to mention, the mental and bodily injuries that can take place during the conflict. Some of these personal injuries may require medical and legal attention. Unfortunately, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, there has been a stark 17% increase in car theft incidences from 2019 to 2021. 

The rise in carjacking means that each driver needs a better understanding of how to avoid becoming a victim. We hope that this article provides some adoptable tips to keep you safer on the road. 

What Do Carjackers Look for in Potential Victims? 

Criminals about to commit a carjacking are looking for situations where you as the driver are stopped, perhaps not paying attention to your car, and ideally alone. Carjacking occurs in a variety of scenarios, but here are a few common ones: 

  • Gas stations 
  • Parking garages 
  • Desolate intersections with stop lights, specifically at night 
  • Even highway exit ramps 

Also important to note, carjackers often stage emergencies on the side of the road in order to bait good samaritans into stopping, and ultimately stealing their cars. Additionally, carjackers may actually hit your car and cause a minor car accident, and steal your car when you get out to address the accident. Car accident lawyers like Harting Simkins & Ryan know that is it customary – and actually recommended – to get out of your car after an accident, which makes this style of carjacking so dangerous. 

Tips to Help Prevent Being Carjacked 

Overall, staying alert and aware as you drive is important. Additionally, as mentioned above, some of these carjackings are completely not avoidable, but here are some tips to help you stay safer:

  • Park in well lit areas 
  • Lock your car immediately when you enter it, and as you’re driving 
  • Avoid parking next to dumpsters, large vans, anything that blocks your visibility 
  • Avoid driving alone if at all possible
  • Don’t stop for strangers stranded on the road, note their location and call for help once you are a safe distance away from them

What To Do if You are Being Car jacked 

In carjacking cases, you are often being threatened with a weapon. Always give up your car and any physical property in order to spare your life. Objects are replaceable and oftentimes these carjackers want to quickly apprehend your vehicle, and will leave you on the side of the road. 

Once you have safely exited the situation, call the authorities and activate any anti theft precautions that your car may have. Also, as tempting as it may be, pursuing the vehicle with another car is not recommended. Although there are some stories of people pursuing the criminal responsible for the carjacking, doing so could increase your risk of being seriously hurt or killed.