4 Things You Should Do if You’re Ever Kidnapped in a Car

Mastering car safety is essential in helping drivers navigate dangerous everyday situations and avoid accidents. Most cars are also equipped with safety features to keep car occupants safe in the event of a crash. However, sometimes you may not want to be a car occupant in the first place.

Being the victim of a car kidnapping may never have crossed your mind. Unfortunately, it could happen, and it is best to be prepared for such an eventuality. With that in mind, here are four tips that can aid your escape from a car kidnapping.

Use the emergency trunk lever to escape a car kidnapping

Kidnapped Dutch aid worker Arjan Erkel arriving by car to the Dutch embassy in Moscow, Russia
A kidnapped Dutch aid worker in a car | Oleg Klimov/Getty Images

Being shoved into a car trunk is uncomfortable, especially if you are claustrophobic. Unfortunately, it is not easy to escape a locked car luggage compartment if you lack ideas on how to go about it. Thankfully, vehicles are designed with emergency trunk levers that you can quickly pull to escape.

To find the emergency trunk lever, search for a cable trunk release that operates from inside the car. You may be able to pull the cable and open the trunk hook. Pull up the carpet on the trunk’s floor, or pull off the cardboard paneling and feel for a cable. It is usually on the driver’s side of the vehicle. Should you happen not to find it, search along the side of the trunk, and if you find the cable, pull on it to open the trunk lid.

If a car lacks an emergency lever, you can reach the spare tire jack under the trunk’s carpet, firmly place it on the trunk surface, and begin winding the jack up. According to World of Buzz, the pressure exerted by the jack should be adequate to open the trunk.

Try texting a loved one  

When in a car kidnapping, it is prudent to observe and be aware of the surroundings, as any detail recalled could potentially be life-saving and help bring the abductors to justice. Concentrate on key details like whether the abductors have a tattoo or something distinctive that can help identify them.

If trapped in the car trunk, call the police and give them critical details about the car, the location if you happen to know, and the circumstances that resulted in the situation. Texting family members or friends to alert them about the situation also increases your chances of being rescued and bringing the abductors to justice.

Make use of facial expressions and other tactics to signal other drivers

If the abductor is traveling past a busy street, look out the window to notify other drivers and road users that you are in trouble. Use your mouth and hands to attract anyone’s attention. Even though it’s risky, an attempt to escape during the initial moment of abduction is likely to be successful since abductors tend to have the anxiety of getting caught and are thus likely to make mistakes.

Also, try getting out of the car using different doors or kicking the trunk harder if you are trapped inside, as this is likely to result in noise that will attract other road users. Pulling the brake light wires of the car also increases the chances of the driver being pulled over.

If you happen to be in the front passenger seat, distracting the abductor and causing a commotion by beeping the car’s horn could help alert those in a position to help. Additionally, while causing an accident by pulling the emergency brake in traffic may seem overboard, it is also a useful (if desperate and risky) tactic to signal for help.

Hide tools on your body to ease your kidnapping escape

Always carry a sharp object when traveling to high-risk areas. Such objects come in handy as abductors often tie their victims by rope. You can always wrap the blade in tape and hide it in your sock and use it to untie yourself when alone.

While these four essential tips can save you in the event of a car kidnapping, avoiding such scenarios by staying away from strangers and being aware of stalkers helps you stay out of trouble. If someone wants to kidnap you, make noise, and do everything to make it hard for them to accomplish the mission.

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