According to the Cambridge Dictionary, Carjacking can be defined as the crime of stealing a car while someone is in it by using physical force or threats.
Carjacking is a crime that can end not only in the destruction of property, but also injury or loss of life. Carjacking is always a likely possibility each time you are driving at a certain time of the day and certain location. We should also realize that this is a frightful reality irrespective of where we are.
According to police officers and security experts most common scenarios for carjacking are:
- When the victim is stopped for any reason at all, either voluntary or involuntary.
- The carjacker pretends to be stranded.
- The carjacker fakes an accident to get your attention.
- The carjacker attacks the victim while parked in a garage, shopping mall, driveways or street.
Below are things you can do to protect yourself and your passengers from potential carjackers:
- When stopped for any reason, carefully observe what is happening around you, via your side and rear view 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 ATMs or other isolated areas.
- Don’t stop to help a disabled motorist or pedestrian. Stay in your locked car and offer to call for help via your mobile phone.
- Don’t open your window for someone approaching your car asking for directions or trying to sell you 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 or pretend to call the police. Tell the person you are calling the police 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.
In some situations, when you observe that odds are higher against you, submit to the carjacker. Don’t argue, don’t fight, face down to show the carjacker you don’t intend to recognize him/her. It’s also a gesture of submission and respect. Raise your hands up. Do whatever you are told to do. In most cases cooperating with criminals always bring minimal harm to the victims. It’s foolish to fight an armed individual especially when you know he could squeeze the trigger of a gun at any given threat of been caught.
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Hope this tip will go a long way in helping us to be safe when encountering a situation like this. Please drop contributions. Drive Safe!