Criminals are always on the look-out for an opportunity. They are constantly looking for new people to victimize. Criminals use the element of surprise to their advantage. Don’t give them a chance to make you their next victim. Always be aware of your surroundings. Remember that prevention is a key to safety.
What is carjacking?
If you own a car, one of the crimes to be concerned about is carjacking. This crime is the forceful seizure of an automobile from its driver. The act poses a grave threat to the safety of the driver and his or her companions. The driver and passengers may also be robbed of other personal belongings, kidnapped, raped, or even killed.
How to protect yourself from carjacking?
Here are some tips that may help reduce the risk of being carjacked.
Where to park?
1-It is advisable to park your car where people often pass. That way, someone is bound to hear you if you shout for help. It is suggested that you avoid leaving your car in isolated places.
2-Try to avoid leaving valuables in your car such as bags, laptops and mobile phones. If you have to leave certain things, it is better to put them inside the trunk.
3-Park in well-lighted areas. As much as possible, try to avoid dark places because a carjacker might be lurking in the shadows.
4-It is not a good idea to park in areas with dense foliage. A carjacker might be using the foliage to conceal him or herself while waiting for a potential victim.
What to do as you approach your car?
1-It is best to keep your car keys firmly in your in hand as you walk to your car. It is not wise to play with your keys because it might attract unwanted attention.
2-Always pay attention to your surroundings.
3-If you notice a suspicious person lingering near your car as you walk towards it, don’t stop. Continue walking until the person goes away.
4-If a person seems to be following you, it is suggested that you take a detour instead of going straight to your car. You can go to a place where there are a lot of people.
5-Be careful of people selling things in the street, asking for directions or handing out flyers/brochures. The individual might be a potential carjacker waiting for a window of opportunity. It is advisable not to entertain suspicious persons especially if you are alone.
What to do when you’re inside the car?
1-Always lock the doors and close the windows once you get inside your car. Start your car and drive off immediately.
2-Try to avoid applying make-up, texting, or making calls inside your parked car. Doing such things may prevent you from noticing suspicious activity happening near you.
3-It is suggested that you avoid tailgating. Always leave room for your car to maneuver in case you need to get away.
4-If you are alone and another vehicle collides with your car, it is best not to get out. You can make a signal to the other driver to follow you to the nearest police station to report the accident.
5-If you are driving alone and notice a stranger with a broken down car, it may not be a good idea to stop and volunteer to help. It is better to call the police or road side assistance to help the person.