How To Avoid Having Your Car Stolen
In recent weeks you may have heard, or read, news reports about a spate of carjacking’s that have taken place in Ireland.
While making modern cars more secure for their owners, manufacturers have increased the necessity for thieves to interact with the owner, in some cases violently, during the course of their robbery attempts. Where once all that thieves required was a screw driver and a bit of additional force to break into a car, now they may require the owner to be in, or near, the car so that they can steal it.
We have worked with our car experts to come up with some tips to help you avoid becoming a victim of carjacking. We will look at what you can do before and after you get into your car.
Before Your Drive
- Try parking in an area which has good lighting. If you are parking in a multi-story car park try, if possible, to park where there is a large number of other cars.
- When walking to and from your car, once again if possible, try and scan the area where you are parked for anyone who may be acting suspiciously.
- Have your keys in an easy to access location to enable quick entry into your car.
- Be somewhat weary of people who approach you while you are getting into your car looking for directions or who are handing out leaflets or flyers
- Check your car for anything that looks out of place such as something attached to your exhaust. We have read some reports online of thieves using this simple trick to get owners to step out of their cars. Once out of the car, the vehicle is now vulnerable and can be easier to steal.
In The Car
- Keep windows up as much as possible.
- Lock your doors once inside the car.
- Be mindful of anyone approaching your car to ask for directions or handing out items at traffic lights.
- You should try to avoid locations where you have to come to a complete stop, such as traffic lights or junctions, for long periods.
- Keep enough space between yourself and the car in front of you in case you need to maneuverer a quick escape.
- Try to avoid driving alone at night as much as possible.
Finally there are some classic scenarios, or ruses, that you need to avoid if you are driving as they are used by many car thieves to get you out of your car.
- The Bump
- A car bumps into your car, either from the front or behind. In many cases this can be a wholly innocent event but before exiting your car, to ensure everything is okay, do a quick scan of your surroundings to check for anything suspicious.
- The Good Samaritan
- Some organised thieves arrange situations, similar to the bump, that seem innocuous but are created to encourage drivers to exit their car to help. If you do come across an incident, drive a couple of metres past and call the emergency service. Once you are sure that additional support is on the way use your better judgement to assess the situation and then proceed from there.