With the increase in the number of carjackings, the federal government stepped in and passed a law in 1992 which states if a death occurs during the commission of this crime it is to be considered a capital crime. Due to the high incidence of the use of weapons when these crimes were committed, the government felt some action had to be taken to protect the citizens. Almost 90 percent of carjacking attempts involved the use of some type of weapon.
This crime has become one of the top in the nation as the number of carjacking incidents have been reported by the Department of Justice at about 49,000 per year. A high number of carjacking attempts (92%) are committed when the person is alone in their car.
The areas where these attempts were made are more often than not in parking lots of businesses and apartments, at intersections when the person stops for a traffic signal and at schools. The carjacker is similar to other crooks in the way they look for their prey.
The number of people who report the carjacking are not as high as one would think. For some reason, the outright theft of a car is more likely to be reported than a carjacking. The number of carjacking incidents in which the victim reported it to their insurance company was only 30%. Many of the victims have declined to give a reason for not reporting it to their insurance company.
When alone in the car, the best way to protect yourself from becoming a victim of a carjacking is to be extremely aware of the area in which you are driving. Parking as close to the door as possible whenever possible is another way of deterring the would-be carjacker.
When at all possible, ask a security guard or a male store attendant to walk you to your car. The carjacker preys on the solitary driver so another deterrent would be to have someone accompany you on your shopping trip or wherever you need to go.
Another way of protecting yourself is to lock your car doors as soon as you are in your car. This will prevent someone from coming up from behind the car and getting in while you are preparing to leave. If someone approaches your car when you are safely inside, blow the horn or start it and leave immediately. If you feel that your life is in danger do not let the car become more important. Let them take the car without a fight. It can always be replaced.
If you are the victim of a carjacking, do not hesitate to inform the police. This is a felony and the perpetrator can be jailed from three to ten years. The odds of finding your car intact may be quite good if you let the police know as soon as possible.