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How to Avoid a Carjacking

On the Road

1.

Make sure your car is well-maintained to prevent breakdowns.

2.

Choose your routes carefully; drive along busy, well-lit roads.

3.

Stay in the center lane. This makes you more difficult for carjackers to approach when you're stopped in traffic.

4.

Keep your doors locked and windows rolled up while driving.

5.

Check your mirrors periodically for any suspicious activity around your vehicle. If you think you are being followed, don't go home - drive to a police station or a busy public place where you can call the police.

6.

Pay close attention to your surroundings at intersections, gas stations, drive-up ATMs and grocery stores. Be on the watch for anyone who seems to be eyeing your car.

7.

Have an escape route at every intersection.

Parking Your Car

1.

Park your car in a well-lit, busy area and as close to your destination as possible.

2.

Keep your windows rolled up and the car locked even if parked at your own house.

3.

Keep valuables hidden. Consider buying a stereo system with a removable stereo face.

4.

Have your keys in your hand when returning to your car, and look around outside and inside before getting in.

Tips and Warnings

  • If you are rear-ended in traffic, before you get out, check to make sure that there are other cars around and see who is in the car that hit you. If the situation seems suspicious, stay in the car and insist on moving to a well-lit area or a police station to exchange information.
  • If you are approached by a stranger, don't roll down the window or open your car. If you are threatened, use your car's horn or a pocket alarm to signal for help.
  • Do not pick up hitchhikers.
  • There have been many stories of parents leaving children unattended in a running car for what the parents assumes will only be "a minute," only to return and find that the car has been stolen - with the children still in it. Don't let this happen to you; take your kids and your keys with you.

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