Insurance and Finance

Carjacked! Don’t Be a Victim

By James Mayfield 6.29.15

Carjackers train their sights on the old and young, rich and poor, luxury SUVs and old jalopies in the city and the country. It’s an equal-opportunity crime, with easy and unsuspecting victims being the prime target. And peak season — the summer months of July and August — is almost upon us.

Avoid being one of the victims with these tips from Texas Department of Public Safety:

  • Before you leave home, conceal all valuables, preferably in the trunk where they’re completely out of sight.
  • Steer clear of high-crime areas and sparsely populated ones. Instead, opt for interstates or toll roads.
  • Stay in the center lane, where your car is harder to reach.
  • If you must stop for gas or cash, choose an active, well-lit facility in a safe area.
  • When approaching your car, have your keys out, get in quickly, and remember: doors locked, windows up.
  • When stopped, leave room — at least one half of your car’s length — to maneuver around the car in front of you. Stay off your cellphone and be aware of your surroundings by using the rearview and side mirrors. Look for people loitering or getting out of cars behind or next to yours.
  • Be aware of the games carjackers play. Don’t stop for people trying to flag you down; call for help. If the car behind you taps your bumper, stay in the car and motion for the driver to follow you to the nearest police or fire station or other safe, public area.
  • Finally, remember that the most important valuable to escape with is your life.

In the event of car theft or damage, make sure that you are sufficiently covered with your car insurance policy. Check with your Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Agent and see if you need to reevaluate your level of coverage.