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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Carjacking can happen anywhere

Can you imagine someone stealing your motor vehicle while you're in it? That's a very scary thought, yet it happens to thousands of motorists every year.* You can help reduce the risk of being carjacked if you stay alert, avoid dangerous situations and places, drive defensively and keep your car locked. Read on for some valuable information that may help keep you and your family out of harm's way.

Stay alert. Whenever you enter or exit your car or stop your car and remain in it, vigilance is the key to safety. So remain alert at stop signs, red lights, in front of electronic gates or in your driveway.
Driveway precautions. Don't let your guard down, assuming you're safe just because you've reached your own driveway. In fact, don't even pull into your driveway if you think you're being followed by a car you don't recognize. Instead, drive around the block, and if you are being followed, head to the nearest police or fire station. If you have a cell phone, use it to call 911 for help.
Red light and stop sign precautions. Whenever you are at a stop sign, intersection or red light, keep your windows closed and leave enough room between you and the vehicle in front of you to allow you to escape, if necessary. Rule of thumb: Make sure you can see the entire back of the vehicle in front of you including its tires. This will allow you to maneuver your car easily if you need to pull away quickly.
Behaviors to avoid. Don't let people know you have money. Remain alert when you walk to your car from a shopping center with a bunch of bags. Try not to wear any flashy jewelry when running errands. Carjackers wait for these opportunities and then take advantage of them.

The bottom line: Constant vigilance can help to reduce the risk of carjacking.


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