With the economic impact of a global pandemic we have begun to see a rise in carjacking and auto theft. These numbers have been climbing up for awhile but as we return to normal activity, we as people become naïve to our reality. Your team at REDD Driving School wants you to be safe so we have compiled some tips in the hopes they will keep you and your vehicle safe as the world begins to recover in a post-pandemic age.
- Do not sit in your car after you have arrived at your destination. Listening to music while parked and using your phone makes you an easy mark. Every minute you sit in your car, a thief could be plotting against you and sizing you up for an attack. Park, survey your surroundings for safety and exit your vehicle quickly.
- Your phone is a distraction. Many people sit in their car utilizing social media apps or games. Sometimes people even walk with their head down unaware of their surroundings while using their phone. Put the phone in your pocket until you safely reach your destination. You need to be keenly aware of your surroundings, and a phone prevents you from focusing 100 percent on your safety.
- Good parking matters. If possible park in well lit areas near entrances. Approximately a quarter of all carjacking crime occurs in parking garages, outdoor lots, or near commercial areas, according to the National Crime Victimization Survey.
- If you have a personal garage use it. Make sure you secure your garage upon exit so thieves do not have access.
- If a thief approaches you and tries to take your car…give it to them. No car is worth your life.
- If you are accosted by a thief with your child in the car, announce to the thief that the child is in the car. Most thieves do not want the child.
- Do not leave packages, phones and purses visible. Thieves love easy targets so secure your items and keep valuables out of sight.
- Beware of things placed on the windshield. Sometimes thieves place items on a car to get you off guard so they can approach
Anywhere a driver slows down or stops.
- Residential Driveways (getting in or out of your vehicle)
- Parking lots and garages
- Gas stations
- ATM machines
- Highway entry and exit ramps
- Intersections with stop lights
Exercise heightened awareness in carjacking hotspots.
Bump & Run
A criminal with at least one passenger rear ends you or taps your rear bumper. Once you get out to assess the damage and exchange information, your vehicle is stolen.
Don’t stop for apparently stranded strangers along the road. Note their location and call 911.
Criminals flash their lights behind you in order to signal a vehicle maintenance problem.
In these situations you may be tempted to pull over, but remain in your car with the windows closed and doors locked. If you feel threatened, turn your flashers on and request the driver to follow you to the nearest police station.