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Victims of carjacking can be kidnapped, injured, and even killed. Almost half the victims of carjacking are injured, and about one in twenty victims are seriously injured. While slightly over half of carjackings are successful, the risk of injury is about the same for successful and failed attempts.

Carjacking has increased in recent years, mostly due to automotive security devices making them harder to steal. It has simply become easier to steal a car while the owner is driving it. RVs are (fortunately?) not made with as many security systems as passenger vehicles, so the risk of an RV being carjacked is somewhat less. And, most RVs are not good “getaway” vehicles. So, RVs are more likely to be stolen discreetly.

RVs are also easier to break into than passenger vehicles. The standard doors and locks on RVs rather flimsy. The lack of security systems, and ease of entry, make RV theft more common than RV hijacking. Most RVs are stolen when the owner is somewhere else. Many, or most, are stolen when parked at the owner’s home. And, RV theft is more common than most think, because RV theft is simply counted as vehicle theft.

Most vehicle thieves do not want the risk of violence, or the risk of heavier penalties, that come with carjacking. But, with close to 50,000 carjacking incidents each year, the hijacking of RVs does happen. And carjackers are extremely dangerous criminals. If they aren’t satisfied with stealing your rig, and leaving you, they probably intend to kill you, or worse.

Avoid dangerous areas if possible. Keep your windows rolled up and doors locked. Be aware of your surroundings and keep an eye out for suspicious looking individuals. Park in well-lit areas, and don’t park close to other vehicles. Try not to travel alone, or walk through parking lots alone. Always keep your phone with you, and know how to activate the SOS emergency features.

If you are outside of the vehicle, never get inside with the attacker. If you are physically attacked, make sure to scratch them, so their DNA is stuck under your nails.

Most victims of carjackings are physically weak, or elderly. And, most are traveling alone. Most carjackers are working alone, and don’t want to confront multiple victims.

But carjackers sometimes work in groups. Rather than trying to catch you at a stoplight or parking lot, they force you to stop. This is usually done by “accidentally” bumping your vehicle, by forcibly running you off the road, or by setting up a barricade. And then, your life is in their hands.

You may choose to ram through a barricade, rather than to place yourself at the mercy of criminals. Ramming a vehicle barricade, however, is very dangerous and should only be employed as a last resort- as in when stopping or ramming through carry about equal chances of death. As in, when you have no hope of escape, no way to go around, and no alternative routes of navigation.

And, hopefully, your RV does not have airbags. Many RVs are not required to have them. Suddenly getting slapped in the face with an airbag, right in the middle of trying to make a dangerous maneuver, would not only be painful and view-obstructing, but in some vehicles the release of an airbag can also trigger the automatic shutoff of the fuel pump.

When ramming a vehicle, the choice points of contact are where your bumper connects to the frame rail of your vehicle, against the rear wheel axle of the other vehicle (the lighter end of the vehicle). This will do the least damage to your vehicle, while transferring more momentum into the other vehicle. Drive slowly, 15-20 mph. This is enough speed to push the vehicle, while doing minimum damage to yours. Keep accelerating after impact.

The most common advise for a carjacking, is to give the carjacker your vehicle. Your life is more important. If you have passengers, calmly tell them they can have the vehicle when the passengers are out. Never get into the vehicle with the criminal. And if they won’t let you out, it’s probably time to fight for your life.

Stay safe.

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