Did you know there are almost 50,000 carjackings every year in the U.S.? Here are some other facts:
- 93% of carjackings occur in cities or the suburbs.
- 92% of carjackings are committed when the victim is alone in his or her car.
- 90% of carjackings involved the use of a weapon.
- Most happen near the victim’s home or work.
I know you want to know how to fight back, that’s coming. But I hope you have come to realize by now, that even with all my skills and training I know that no matter how tough I am, the easiest way out of any jam – is not to get into it in the first place. So here are ways to prevent yourself from being a victim. Most carjacking attempts happen in parking lots. Being aware of what’s going on around you as you approach your vehicle is your best weapon.
- Have your keys in your hand BEFORE you reach your car. Criminals will look for an opportunity like you fumbling for your keys. You can also use your keys as an improvised weapon.
- Look around in your car before getting in; criminals can sometimes be waiting for unsuspecting victims, and don’t forget to check the backseat once you do get in.
- Be aware of people who are loitering, asking for directions, looking for money or cigarettes, or handing out fliers. These are techniques that are often used by those looking for a quick and easy target.
- Never underestimate your gut feelings. If something seems out of place, turn around and go back to where you came from, or quickly get in your vehicle and lock the doors.
To prevent a carjacking while you are driving, make it as hard as possible for anyone to get in the car.
- Keep your doors locked, windows up, and sunroofs closed.
- When coming to a stop, leave enough room between you and the vehicle directly in front you so you can quickly maneuver around the vehicle if trouble should arise.
- Drive in the center lane. This makes it harder for criminals to box you in, and gives you more avenues to escape.
Now, if all that fails, and someone does try to rob you and take your vehicle at gunpoint:
- Never get in the car with the criminal; it’s better to lose the car than to lose your life.
- If they have a gun… Run, most of the time these creeps just want the car. You have somewhere around a 90% chance of being safe, if you just cut and run.
If you get in the vehicle you probably have a 100% chance of something bad happening.
- If you’re forced to drive, even if the carjacker has a gun, you have a weapon too – your car! Buckle up, chances are the idiot carjacker didn’t take the time to do the same. Ram your car into something at the next busiest intersection.
Hopefully the thug will be hurt during the crash. When this happens, get out of the car and run like hell!
Some other points about highway crime
There have been several “Urban Survival Myths” about “gang initiations” involving flashing of car lights, egging windows, car seats left on the side of the road – leading to assault, rape or worse. None of these have ever been substantiated as true.
However what is true is “bump and rob” attacks. This is where someone intentionally hits your car, and then robs you when you get out to exchange info.
Again, trust your guts. If you get hit, and something seems “off,” roll up your windows, lock your doors, and call the police, and do not exit your vehicle until they arrive.
There also have been real incidents of women being pulled over by unmarked police cars that are fake, and then sexually assaulted. If you are being pulled over by an unmarked car, and he is a legit Law Enforcement Officer, there will be no issue with you continuing at a normal rate of speed, off of the highway and not stopping until you get to a well-lit gas station or rest stop. Even then, do not get out. Call 911, dispatch will be able to tell you if that is a real cruiser or not behind you. If it is – too bad you just got yourself a ticket – but if it’s not you may have just saved your life!
Tips and Takeaways
- If your vehicle is stuck on the side of the road, it’s vital that you give other motorists as much warning of its presence as possible, especially at night.Look for a battery-powered warning light that can be placed far from thevehicle. Reflective hazard triangles and flares are also effective and don’t need batteries.
- A car fire can start from something as simple as a wiring short circuit or leaking oil. You should get away from a vehicle that’s on fire as quickly as possible. Still, for extra security it’s good to keep a fire extinguisher in the car that can be used in any emergency or to quickly put out a small flame that’s just begun. A fire extinguisher can also be used as an impromptu weapon, sprayed in the eyes of an attacker. Look for a compact unit that’s made for cars; it should be labeled 1A10BC or 2A10BC.
- If the last time you had a tire taken on and off was at a tire shop, or garage using a pneumatic lug wrench – they may be too tight for you to release with a hand wrench – especially for women – no offense! Check if you can loosen your lugs by hand – if you can’t, have your mechanic loosen them to the point where they are safe, but loose enough for an average person to remove by hand.
- Before there were cell phones there were CB Radios, and today they still could save your life if your route will take you into an area where cellular service is spotty, or if cell phone service is out in the aftermath of a natural disaster.
- If you are traveling by road during the winter, or need to take roads or mountain passes that are known to become impassable during winter – always tell someone your ultimate destination and when you are expected to arrive.
- I always have a portable battery booster in my car, the kind that also has an air compressor, and an AC power inverter. This eliminates the need for a second car to jump a dead battery, and it also provides portable power to charge your cell phone, or power your laptop computer or other small appliances. Which is something that could be very useful in a survival situation.
If you have any other ideas or suggestions please leave a comment bellow.
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