Cars getting stolen are on the rise, in spite of all the modern technology introduced. Modern cars are equipped with alarms and engine immobilisers to keep them safe but still manage to get stolen.
Some are even hijacked and stolen forcefully, while the owner of the car is still behind the wheel. So what can be done?
Some cars are found after a bit of running around and with the help of police, while some never get found. Cars that are not found in many cases are often taken apart and sold as spares.
So what if you are on a long road trip or even travelling on a n official trip and you are hijacked in the middle of the highway? Well, here are 12 tips to avoid your precious car from getting stolen on highways!
1. Do not park in a lonely/isolated stretch
Never ever do this. Parking the car in a lonely stretch only invites thieves. There might be nobody to help you and even if vehicles pass, they might not stop for your aid, because they might be afraid of their car getting stolen, or just want to be safe no matter what.
2. Do not offer lift to strangers
The poor stranger asking for a lift may not be what it seems. Reality would strike only after you realise moments after you have offered someone a lift, he has a knife on your throat asking you to get off the car and drives away. It may be easier to apologize than get permission, but it is always better to be safe than sorry!
3. If tired, roll up windows and take the keys away from the ignition
If you get tired while driving and feel like a quick power nap, pull over, well off the road, lock the doors, roll up your windows just enough for air circulation and make sure a person cannot put his hands through. Also remember to take the keys off the ignition and leave it in the centre console. Thieves could be attracted when they see the key in the ignition.
4. Ask directions at fuel stations or restaurants
Never ask a random person for help. All you know, he could plan to steal your car. Always stop at a restaurant or at a fuel station since there will be people and other vehicles around. Also, if in case your car does get stolen from a restaurant or a gas station, there will be cameras that could have just caught the thief in action.
5. Never leave the car running if you have to make a quick stop
Okay, long trips may require a couple of extra ‘quick stops' and the best thing to do is pull over safely, switch off your vehicle, lock the door and then go. Never leave the car running at any cost since it is a very good time for someone to drive away in your car.
6. Avoid letting anybody offer mechanical help. Always call authorised service
If at all there is a mechanical emergency, be it big or small, call the authorised service centre! A lot of small time mechanics and car garages along the highway see this as a good opportunity to steal vehicles. Authorised service professionals could take time to arrive. Waiting for them to arrive is a lot less painful than having your car stolen.
7. Always travel with the doors locked
Could sound like a Hollywood movie scene but just keep the doors locked. It hardly takes a second. Desperate thieves could get onto the running boards of SUVs or just open the door while the car is running at a low speed. Just drive with the doors locked.
8. If suspicious of any vehicle following, inform the police
Can be the case of desperate thieves again, following you in a car. Many robberies are done after extensive planning so there are chances that you are getting stalked. If at all you notice a car following you in a suspicious manner, say for example refusing to overtake you in spite of you driving slow or making the same stops as you, call the police. Note the number and the basic description of the vehicle and call them or drive straight to a nearby police station along the road.
9. Travel as much as possible during the day
The best time for a car to get stolen is during the night since there will be less traffic and people would not pull over to help a stranger. To avoid all this drama, start early and finish the day's journey before it gets dark. Also note that it is safer to travel during the day than the night.
10. Avoid travelling alone, let someone accompany you
Try pulling your buddy or a few of them along for the drive as well. Thieves and carjackers will usually avoid stealing cars that have more than two people in it. Stealing a car itself is a great deal of a job. Let alone trying to overpower three or four guys and then stealing a car. It's not worth it. Moreover, it's always fun to have a bunch of friends along.
11. Keep emergency numbers handy
Emergency numbers such as police, ambulance, fire, authorised service centre and a few important contact details of your family members should always be kept in handy. It could save your life or someone else's.
12. Do not try to be a hero
If none of the above mentioned methods worked and you have encountered thieves, remember—Do not try to be a hero! Do not try to save another person yourself as well. Call the police. After all, a car can be bought again or insurance can be claimed, but nothing can be done with your life. Save yourself and just agree to their demands.