How to avoid Hijacking/Carjacking

Collected advice for avoiding hijacking / carjacking.


All The Time
  • Drive and park in well-lit, high-traffic areas. Avoid dark, isolated roads and parking spots.
  • Stay visible: carjackers prefer victims who won't be seen by bystanders.
  • Always roll up windows before stopping to park or at lights.
  • Always lock your doors as soon as you enter the car and don't unlock till about to leave.
  • Keep valuables out of sight.
  • Report suspicious characters and vehicles to police.
  • Be in a group rather than alone. Avoid driving alone where possible.
  • Keep your car well-maintained to prevent breakdowns.
  • Keep your car filled to avoid running out, or otherwise being forced to refuel.
  • Know your destination and route to avoid stopping to look at a map or ask directions.
  • Dropping someone off, make sure they are safely in their vehicle before departing.
Parked Environment
  • Know the environment and be aware of anything out of the ordinary.
  • Check nearby and underneath car, especially if there is shrubbery or hiding spots nearby.
  • If loiterers are present, keep away form the vehicle and go to a public area to ask for assistance.
  • Check whether you are being followed to your parking spot, and if so go instead to a public area for assistance.
  • Have a friend escort you to your parked car (and escort friends as a courtesy).
  • Add/remove items from the trunk quickly.
  • Have key ready to enter the car as you approach it: do not fumble for keys.
  • Do not sit (or sleep) in the car unaware of surroundings.
Driving Environment
  • Vary regular routes since professionals plan attacks on particular cars carefully.
  • Before parking, check mirror again to see whether you have been followed and continue driving if that is the case.
  • Plan an escape route at every intersection: stop 5 meters behind the next car and pick a lane with easy escape.
  • Avoid all contact, even eye contact, with pedestrians.
  • Use center lane: hijackers find road-side cars easier to attack.
  • Drive away hooting if there is a suspicious/hostile approach while stopped at lights. Even turn through a red light if safe to do so.
  • Do not pull over randomly to read a map.
  • Avoid driving in 'dead hours' of night and early morning.
Common Tricks
  • False appeals for help from a "breakdown" or stationary vehicle.
  • Bump-n-Rob where you are bumped from behind at traffic lights: common at night, with a carjacker in wait for when you get out. Drive away immediately if it is dark or anything is suspicious.
  • Jamming of electric gates.
  • Posing as a hitchhiker or faking an injury.
  • Posing as a traffic officer, but with unmarked/unofficial vehicle.
If Hijacked
  • Exit the car immediately and run.
  • If you don't escape the car, crash it into a pole immediately, then run.
Statistics
  • About a quarter of all carjackings take place in December.
  • Most carjackings take place between 8PM and 11PM (i.e. at night).
  • Highest risk in decreasing order: open parking lots, city streets, rural streets, driveways, gas stations.
  • Poorest areas (opportunists) and richest areas (professionals) are high risk.
I researched and collated a dozen websites in mynotebook and only then decided to post the list: sorry for lack ofreferences. Shouts out to every other "how to avoid carjacking" article on the web.

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