What to do if Carjacked

One thing you should always have in mind is that in most carjacking situations, the attackers are interested only in the vehicle. Try to stay calm. Do not stare at the attacker as this may seem aggressive and cause them to harm you.

There are two options during an attack: none resistive or none confrontational behavior and resistive or confrontational behavior. Your reaction should be based on certain factors:

  • Type of attack
  • Environment (isolated or public)
  • Mental state of attacker (reasonable or nervous)
  • Number of attackers
  • Weapons
  • Whether children are present

In the none confrontational situation, you would: give up the vehicle freely, listen carefully to all directions, make no quick or sudden movements that the attacker could construe as a counter attack, always keeps your hands in plain view and tell the attacker of every move in advance. You should also make the attacker be aware if children are present. The attacker may be focused only on the driver and not know children are in the car.

In a resistive or confrontational response, you would make a decision to escape or attack the carjacker. Before doing so, consider:  the mental state of the attacker, possible avenues of escape, number of attackers; there is usually more than one and weapons used. (Weapons are used in the majority of carjacking situations). It’s however, important to note that in most instances, it is probably safest to give up your vehicle.

After the attack

The following are the steps you should take after a carjacking incident.

  1. Safety

If you are in a populated area, immediately go to a safe place. After an attack or an attempted attack, you might not be focused on your safety. Get to a safe place before contacting someone to report the incident.

  1. Reporting the Crime

Describe the event. What time of day did it occur? Where did it happen? How did it happen? Who was involved?

Describe the attacker(s). Without staring, try to note height, weight, scars or other marks, hair and eye color, the presence of facial hair, build (slender, large), and complexion (dark, fair).

Describe the attacker’s vehicle. If possible get the vehicle license number, color, make, model, and year, as well as any marks (scratches, dents, damage) and personal decorations (stickers, colored wheels).

The golden rule for descriptions is to give only that information you absolutely remember. If you are not sure, don’t guess!


Avoidance is the best way to prevent an attack. Use your judgment to evaluate the situation and possible reactions. Know safe areas to go to in an emergency. Always carry your cell phone or radio. None confrontation is often the best response. The objective is not to thwart the criminal but to survive!

Read more on how to avoid being carjacked by clicking this link.

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