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How to stay safe from car hijacking



Courtesy of iii.org

Getting your vehicle stolen is bad enough, but car hijacking – taking it while behind the wheel – is potentially dangerous, even deadly. Stop future car thieves and stay safe with these precautions.


It's bad enough to get your vehicle stolen, but car hijacking – taking it while behind the wheel – is potentially dangerous, even deadly. Stop potential car thieves and stay safe with these precautions.

Motor vehicle theft takes both human and economic toll

A motor vehicle – car, SUV, truck, bus or motorcycle ̵

1; is stolen in the United States approximately every 45 seconds. In addition, parts of cars, such as airbags and catalytic converters (which are stolen for their recyclable value) are stolen from the cars themselves. Cars and car parts stolen in the United States often end up in overseas markets, making recovery impossible.

And although armed car theft accounts for a small proportion of incidents, car theft is a violent crime that can add severe emotional strain and even bodily harm. the financial loss.

Car theft is covered by the comprehensive portion of a car insurance policy. But as always, it is better to prevent a loss than to deal with the consequences of your vehicle being stolen.

Preventing theft of motor vehicles

There are a number of things that make your vehicle attractive to thieves – including make, model and the value of certain parts. Know that it is not always the most valuable, the most stylish or most expensive car brands and models that are most sought after. So whatever your car, do not make it convenient for would-be criminals. Take these precautions – and check with your insurer; some can even help lower your premium.

  • Keep your doors locked and windows closed when you are not in the car, even for a few minutes.
  • Make valuables invisible . Do not give thieves more motivation to break into your car. If you must leave personal property in your car, keep it in the trunk. Even in areas that you think are safe, do not leave a handbag or other valuables on the car seat unattended.
  • Park in safe, busy and well-lit areas . In public parking garages or areas, stay as close as possible to guarding booths or store entrances. In the best case, keep your car in a garage and always lock the door to your home garage.
  • Use anti-theft devices . Use a safety device such as a steering wheel lock or a gear column lock – the harder it is to take the car, the less likely a thief will target your vehicle. Most new cars include tracking devices, which can help find a stolen car, but these are available to buy and install in older cars as well. Check with your insurance professional about how your anti-theft device can entitle you to a discount.
  • Use your vehicle identification number (VIN) . The VIN number is used by a number of law enforcement agencies and databases and insurance databases to make it more difficult for car thieves to sell a stolen car or its parts.

The VIN number is usually found on the dashboard on the driver's side of the car. car. Mark your VIN clearly: Use paint or an indelible marker to place the VIN under the hood and tailgate and on the battery. This will make it harder for thieves to unload the car and make it easier for the police to identify the vehicle if it is salvaged.

If the worst happens and your car is stolen, you want to make a police report. Then check that your insurance covers car theft and start the claims process. Tell your insurance specialist about the incident as soon as possible – the longer you wait, the harder it will be to remember the details. Note that many insurance companies now use mobile apps, which can help you get the application process started immediately.

Prevent car hijacking

Although car hijacking is relatively rare, as car hijackers are armed when they commit their crimes, it is particularly dangerous. . Avoid becoming a car hijacker with these additional precautions:

  • Always have your cell phone on hand —and charged.
  • Avoid being alone in your vehicle in certain areas, as a high crime neighborhood, isolated roads and intersections and desolate areas with parking spaces.
  • Be aware of your surroundings . Pay special attention to people who appear to be cheating or cars suspiciously following you into driveways. Call 911 and use your key fob or other car alarm if you feel a threat.
  • Be careful how car hijackers attract victims . These include bumping into your car, pretending to be stranded drivers or flashing lights as if something was wrong with your car. In each of these scenarios, you may be tempted to stop – just to get your car taken. Stay inside with the windows closed and the door locked and, if you feel a threat, drive to the nearest police or fire station.
  • Practice secure parking . Stick to well-lit areas. If you have any doubts about where you parked afterwards, find a security guard who accompanies you to your vehicle.
  • Do not sit in your car with the door unlocked or the windows rolled down.
  • Do not stop at isolated ATMs that could put you and your bank accounts as well as your car in danger.

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