Protect Yourself from a Carjacking

By Kellene Bishop

Carjacking photo c/o dreamsystemsmedia.com

Carjacking photo c/o dreamsystemsmedia.com

Yesterday there was a rare occurrence of a car jacking in the State of Utah.  I realized that carjackins are a much more rampant crime elsewhere in the nation and thus should be properly addressed to ensure maximum safety.  Fortunately there are several simple ways you can protect yourself from being a carjacking statistic.

1st Way to Protect Yourself from a Carjacking: Your safety boils down to being aware.  You can’t afford to be oblivious.  If someone is coming towards your car, you need to notice them ahead of time.  Make use of your rearview and side mirrors when you are stopped or in a parking lot. 

2nd Way to Protect Yourself from a Carjacking: Never stop at a traffic light or stop sign directly behind another car.  At the risk of sounding paranoid, I always give myself an “escape route” when I’m stopped at a light or caught in traffic, even on the freeway.  If someone is coming towards my car, the first thing you should do is step on the gas and have somewhere to go.

Escape Route photo c/o Robin George

Escape Route photo c/o Robin George

3rd Way to Protect Yourself from a Carjacking: Keep your purse and your firearm nearby.  In the truck, I have a firearm just under the dash in a holster that I can easily and discreetly grab if I am held up at gun point.  I also have a gun on my person in the event I’m grabbed just prior to getting into the car or getting out of it.

4th Way to Protect Yourself from a Carjacking: Park under a lit area.  When I’m in a parking lot, I don’t necessarily look for a spot closest to the door.  I look for a spot that’s well lit first and foremost.

Well Lit Parking Lot photo c/o herefindingme.blogspot.com/

Well Lit Parking Lot photo c/o herefindingme.blogspot.com/

5th Way to Protect Yourself from a Carjacking: Look around before you get in your car and before you get out of your car.  Your errands are never so important that you don’t have three seconds to evaluate your surroundings.  I always look in my rearview mirror and in my two side mirrors before I exit my car.  And I always look around me as I walk to my car as well.  Even if I’m only taking out two light grocery bags, I still use the shopping cart in order that my hands are “free” to pull my gun if necessary (or your pepper spray, mace, or your panic button).

6th Way to Protect Yourself from a Carjacking: Always have your cell phone handy.  You should have 9-1-1 on a one button speed dial on your phone.  Don’t rely on your fine motor skills to dial in the midst of an emergency—even if you think it’s only 3 numbers. 

7th Way to Protect Yourself from a Carjacking: Lastly, be sure you lock your doors as soon as you get in the car and that YOU control when your doors are unlocked when you park the car.  Don’t have your car’s automatic settings to unlock the doors when you put the car in park.  There are many criminals that are familiar with this feature and will use it to their advantage.  They will also use the innocence of children in the back seat who may eagerly open their own car door to their advantage as well.  Program your locks so that the kids get out only after you’ve given the all clear.

Carjacking photo c/o caranddriving.com

Carjacking photo c/o caranddriving.com

Copyright 2009 Kellene Bishop. All rights reserved. You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Kellene Bishop.

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4 Responses

  1. Thank you Kellene. I agree with this information. I used to live in a bad area, and was intentionally ‘tapped’ at an intersection, with the hopes that I would get out of my car to assess damage. Instead, I put my hazards on, pulled into the nearest fire-station, and of course, the perpetrators did NOT follow me in! There was no damage to my car, and I was able to give an accurate description of the car to the authorities.

  2. I agree, it is sometimes just the simplest of things that can protect you from criminals, who prefer an unaware target, compared to one that is aware of their surroundings.

    I,even as a man is subject to a carjacking, and know there are three possible place it could happen. At a red light on an exit ramp,where I’ve seen many people begging for money, in the parking lot (which I either enter early in the morning or leave late at night), or at my apartment(agian, leaving in the morning when it is dark, or coming home at night when it is dark).

    This is why I follow all the things you mention, I even carry a very bright light when going to or from my car.

  3. Car jackings are a common occurrence here in Florida. Here is my pseudo humorous look at a solution:

    http://aroundotown.blogspot.com/2009/03/how-to-avoid-being-car-jacked-in.html

  4. Pretty cool post. I just came by your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed browsing your posts.

    Any way I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon!

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