Carjacking is scary! Thousands of unsuspecting motorists are victims of a carjacking each year. While carjacking is not something you can completely prevent, there are a few things you can do to minimize the danger. The same goes for reducing the risk of car theft.
To minimize the danger of being carjacked:
- If another car bumps your car, stay inside with the windows shut, and the door locked and drive to the nearest police or fire station.
- Don't stop in isolated areas where you could become a carjacking victim.
- Stay alert to people lurking near or moving toward your parked car.
- Always keep the windows and doors shut and locked.
- Park only in well-lighted areas.
- Use your car alarm button on the key fob if you think someone is trying to steal your vehicle.
Car theft is more common than carjacking. Car theft statistics have decreased by approximately 55% from 1991 to 2017. Even so, car theft losses in 2018 averaged about $6 billion.
To prevent your car from being stolen:
- Keep your registration card in your wallet instead of your glove compartment.
- Use paint or marker to write the vehicle identification number (VIN) under the engine hood, trunk lid, and on the battery.
- If you have to leave personal property in your car, leave it in the trunk, so it isn't tempting for someone to take.
- Keep your car in a garage and lock the garage door.
- Use a security device like a steering wheel lock or a gear shift column lock.
- Consider buying a car with an alarm system.
If you discover your car was stolen, or you're a victim of a carjacking, get as much information as possible to pass along to the police. Remember that the most important thing is your safety and the safety of any passengers. A vehicle is replaceable, you are not.