Putting aside the demographics of the victims, the most common type of carjacking includes one victim, occurs near the victim’s home in an MSA, and involves weapons. The good news? In nearly three-quarters of carjackings, the offenders don’t injure the victims, and the drivers are able to recover their cars 55 percent of the time. Hey, it’s not a huge majority, but we’ll take it!
The Number of Victims
Nine out of 10 carjackings involve only one victim, which proves the old adage of strength in numbers.
Where Victims Live
A whopping 97 percent of carjacking victims live in MSAs — urban areas. The more central to a city you live, the more likely carjacking becomes.
Where Carjackings Happen
And unfortunately, the plurality of nonfatal carjackings occur at or near a victim’s home in almost 4 out of 10 cases. Beware of dark streets, parking garages, and other commercial locations.
Thirty percent of drivers in the U.S. use their car’s built-in navigation systems, according to the 2022 Statista Global Consumer Survey.1 This sector is growing; in 2018, the U.S. GPS tracking device market was worth $1.57 billion and is expected to reach $3.38 billion by 2025.2 So while, historically, 55 percent of carjacked vehicles are recovered, we expect that number to increase as GPS tracking becomes a more common feature that car manufacturers include.
In nearly 6 out of 10 carjackings, the offender is armed, typically with a firearm. However, as you’ll see from the data further down, three-quarters of the time, the victim manages to avoid any injuries.
Law enforcement recommends that if you’re being carjacked, you shouldn’t resist. To avoid physical and verbal altercations, simply give up your car and flee the scene.3 While most victims attempt to resist the offender (53 percent), 47 percent follow law enforcement’s guidelines.
Most of the time, the offenders don’t injure their carjacking victims.
In about 6 out of 10 nonfatal carjackings, the offender was a stranger to the victim. In nearly 3 out of 10 incidents, the victim knew the offender.