“Hit the Road Jack!”
Written by Dominique Houle on 25/07/12
So you’re waiting in your car to pick up your buddy; it’s beautiful outside; the windows are rolled down and a perfect breeze flows through – when all of the sudden, someone grabs your arm and says: “Get out of the car and give me the keys!” Thank goodness, it’s only your friend’s brother trying to scare you! But still, what if it actually had been a car thief?
Carjacking* is when one (or several) people steal a motor vehicle by threatening the driver, sometimes when he or she is still inside the car and the vehicle isn’t even parked. Although carjacking incidents are said to be rare and many stories found on the web are urban legends, every now and then we’ll hear of real carjacking incidents. For instance, in 2010, when a 20-year-old was robbed at knifepoint at an ATM drive-thru in Ottawa, Ontario late one night (CBC News). Not exactly the highlight of the week you would want, right? So, here are some tips on how to make sure you and your ride don’t end up in a sticky situation.
- Make it a habit to lock your vehicle doors and leave the windows rolled up as much as possible.
- When you stop at intersections, keep an eye out for people that look suspicious walking along the road.
- If it seems like a vehicle is trying to get you to pull over by flashing their lights at you, cutting you off, following you or hitting your car from behind, drive to a public place to stop your car. If there’s no public spot nearby and you have a cell phone, pull over to the side of the road and call for help.
- If you’re at a gas station or parked anywhere else and you’re outside of your vehicle, pay attention to what is happening around you, especially when it’s dark or you’re in a deserted spot. If you suspect danger, get back into your car and drive away, or if you’re near a public store, go inside and ask for help.
- If you think someone is following you to your vehicle or seems to be creeping around your parked car when you’re heading towards it, subtly go back inside the building/house (ex. pretend you forgot something there) and notify security or call 911.
Now, if you’ve taken all the necessary measures to prevent your car from being stolen and still someone comes along, the best thing to do is not to resist, let him or her take it and then report the incident to the authorities. A car is not worth risking your safety or even your life for.
*Note: Although DEAL.org uses Wikipedia as a source, it should be known that the Wikipedia website is an open-source. This means anyone can edit the information and it is not guaranteed to be reliable and should only be used for general background information on topics, and not detailed and extensive information.