How to Avoid Being Carjacked
Carjacking is an extremely rare form of vehicle crime in the UK but one that has received a lot of media attention when it does occur. The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) state that the risk of carjacking is actually far less than the fear, but advise that drivers should be aware and remain alert. Carjacking essentially involves having your vehicle stolen from you whilst you are in or around it. Carjackers have been known to force cars off the road, jump drivers at junctions and steal keys from owners outside their homes or offices. As a confrontation is often involved, violence has been used in the past but again it should be remembered that carjacking is a very rare form of crime. Carjackers often target expensive executive cars but drivers of all vehicles should be aware of carjacking risks and take some simple precautions to ensure their wellbeing on the roads.
By simply concentrating on your surroundings and other people around you then you are taking the first step to avoid being a victim of a carjacking, and of course you reduce the risk of being involved in an accident. When driving, especially in unfamiliar areas, be aware of where you are and other drivers. If you feel that another car is driving to close to you or has been following you then pull over to give the car a chance to overtake you. If they still continue to follow you then pull off the road to a populated area, such as a petrol station and consider raising the alarm.
Whilst driving you should always keep your doors locked and your windows up, especially at traffic lights. Some thieves have been known to open doors when cars have stopped to steal items so when stopping at lights and junctions be aware of other cars and people around you. Should anyone approach your car then speak to them with the window only open a small bit. If the person who approaches you makes you feel uncomfortable then drive off or raise the alarm. Sounding the horn should be enough to not only startle any potential thief but it also draws attention to you.
Some car thieves have been known to deliberately "bump" other cars forcing the driver out to survey the damage and to exchange insurance details. If you are involved in an accident then you are required to stop by law but you do not have to get out of the car. You may choose to again wind the window down a little bit or drive slowly to a place that is well lit and populated, again a petrol station, in order to speak to the other driver.
If at any point the other driver becomes agressive or threatening towards you then either drive away calmly or call the police. Unfortunately some car thieves can dishonestly encourage other drivers to stop by pretending they have broken down or are in need of help. Should anyone, other than the police or other appropriate authorities, flag you down and ask you to pull over then you should not do so. If you are genuinely concerned then you should continue to the next garage or police station and report the matter, especially if someone tried to pull you over. Although you may be tempted to pull over and help you should always try to access the situation and ensure that you are not being encouraged into a trap.
Car Secured discusses vehicle security options for owners of cars, motorcycles, caravans and any other form of private transport. Find out more about securing your vehicle and ensuring you stay on the right side of the law at http://www.carsecured.com.
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