Carjacking is a serious, traumatic and often violent form of vehicle theft. It is a crime of opportunity that threatens an individual’s personal safety. Carjackers utilize particular conditions to select their victims, targeting vulnerable, unaware and/or unprepared people. It is important to appear confident and be aware of your surroundings at all times, especially when driving at reduced speeds and stopping or parking at:
  • Intersections controlled by stoplights or signs
  • Garages and commuter parking areas, shopping malls and grocery stores
  • Self-service gas stations and car washes
  • Drive-thru banks
  • Residential driveways and streets where people are often get into and out of cars
  • Freeway exits and entry ramps
The key to avoiding this crime is prevention. It is a good idea to think about what to do if you became a carjacking victim. You can reduce your risk by considering the following precautions:
  • Keep all doors locked and windows up when driving
  • Keep your valuables out of view
  • When possible, do not drive alone in remote or unfamiliar areas
  • Service your vehicle regularly to ensure it is working properly
  • Travel on main roads as much as possible
  • Try to drive in the lane nearest to the road’s center to distance any would-be pedestrian attacker and to avoid being pushed to the shoulder
  • Drive on well-lit streets at night
  • When stopped in traffic, leave enough space between vehicles to allow you to move forward
  • Do not park next to high-profile vehicles such as vans that could conceal a suspect
  • When walking to your car have keys in hand, and enter your vehicle quickly
  • Do not pull over if a suspicious driver motions you to do so
  • If you feel you are being followed by another vehicle, do not drive home
  • If you are involved in a minor accident or think your car was hit intentionally, do not check the damage in a remote area – motion the other driver to follow you to the nearest police station or open business to exchange information
  • If you are in an accident, take your keys and purse or wallet with you when you get out of the car