How to Protect Yourself from Carjacking

Don’t make yourself an easy mark for a carjacker.


Up next in Driving & Car Safety (28 videos)

Stay safe on the road with the important information in this car and driver video series.

You Will Need

  • Alertness
  • Common sense


  1. Step 1

    Stay alert

    Stay alert at places carjackers like to strike -- red lights, gas stations, ATM machines, parking lots, shopping centers, car washes, convenience stores, hotels, valet parking areas, fast-food drive-throughs, and outside of retail stores.

  2. Step 2

    Keep your doors locked

    Keep your doors locked when you’re driving, and keep your windows up as much as possible -- especially when you’re stopped in traffic.

  3. Step 3

    Leave space at red light

    Leave space between your car and the car in front of you at a red light, so you have room to escape if someone tries to carjack you.

  4. Step 4

    Use care when parking

    Park carefully. Choose only well-lit spots and avoid remote areas.

  5. When you’re returning to your car, always have your keys in your hand as you approach so you’re not fumbling around at your car door.

  6. Step 5

    Don’t let a stranger in

    If your car breaks down or is disabled in an accident and a stranger offers to help, do not open your window or door. If you don’t have a cell phone, ask them to call for help.

  7. Step 6

    Don’t fall for the “bump and rob”

    Don’t fall for the intentional fender bender, known as the 'bump and rob.' If you suspect that someone has hit you intentionally as a way to get you out of your car, note their license plate number and then drive directly to the nearest police station.

  8. Step 7

    Don’t jeopardize your life

    If you are faced with a carjacker, don’t fight him. Your car, no matter how snazzy, is not worth your life.

  9. Sixty-eight percent of the carjackings that occurred between 1993 and 2002 took place at night.