What you need to know about “bump-and-run” car thefts
Car Accident - July 21, 2023
Car thieves are creative, unfortunately. One particular tactic, the “bump and run” car theft, is both effective for the car thief and terrifying for the victims. As a driver, it is important for you to know how this newer trend in car theft works and how to protect yourself from becoming a victim.
What is a “bump and run?”
Most of us are familiar with the term “carjacking.” A carjacking occurs when an occupied vehicle is taken over by force and stolen by the perpetrator. A “bump and run” car theft is not a carjacking, though the occupied vehicle is stolen.
In a bump-and-run car theft, perpetrators rear-end your car, perhaps at a red light or stop sign, prompting you to pull over and get out of the car to assess the damage. Once you are out of the car, the thief strikes, hopping into your vehicle and driving it away, leaving the one they hit you with behind.
How common are bump-and-run car thefts?
Vehicle hijackings (thefts) and carjackings in Illinois have increased in recent years, according to the Illinois Vehicle Hijacking & Motor Vehicle Theft Prevention and Insurance Verification Council (IVHMVTPIV). The city of Chicago “leads the nation” in these crimes.
In response to the significant uptick, the Chicago government passed legislation to emphasize deterrence and prosecution of these crimes and provide more resources to combat them.
Reasons for the increase range from TikTok challenges to, most often, money motives. High-end cars are a way to get “quick” cash and even less valuable cars often have valuable parts, such as copper catalytic converters. Enhanced car security features have “inspired” thieves to come up with new ways of stealing vehicles, such as through the bump and run strategy.
How to protect yourself from a bump-and-run car theft
Recommendations for protecting yourself from a bump-and-run car theft include keeping your cell phone accessible at all times while you drive. Then, if you are hit from behind, you can call 911 and remain in your car until police arrive. Or, upon exiting the car, keep the keys with you and lock the doors and windows.
Remember that your safety is more valuable than your car. If offenders have weapons or threaten violence if you do not exit the car or hand over the keys, it is better to lose the car than lose your life.
Having children or other passengers with you may deter thieves from targeting your car, but not always. Sometimes they may not see your kids or they may not care about the presence of other passengers. With this in mind, and especially if you have children with you, do not exit the car and leave passengers inside.
What to do if you have experienced a bump-and-run car theft
If you are the victim of bump-and-run car theft, there are steps you can take once you know you are safe to identify the criminals and possibly recover your car. Of course, report the incident to the police.
Bump-and-run thieves have shown themselves to be bold. Incidents often occur in broad daylight and in busy areas. Use these factors to your benefit by gathering information from witnesses or asking nearby stores or businesses to give you a copy of or save surveillance camera footage until police arrive.
How a Chicago car accident lawyer can help
The shock of a bump-and-run incident can make it easy to overlook the fact that you were involved in a car accident. Offenders are not shy about bumping your vehicle. To make the hit convincing, they have to make it forceful.
Rear-end car accidents cause injuries, and you will likely need medical care for a head, neck, or back injury. You may need time off work to recover and do not need to deal with hassles from insurance companies while you heal from both physical and emotional trauma.
A Chicago car accident attorney from Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates will handle your car accident injury claim for you and work to secure the settlement you deserve for your injuries and your lost property.
Even though your insurance company is supposed to be on your side, they are ultimately a business and look to serve their own needs first and foremost. Do not agree to settlement offers without having your attorney review the offer and your policy.
Typically, first offers are low-end, with insurance companies banking on your vulnerable state and desire to have the incident “over with” to prompt you into acceptance. Your Chicago car accident attorney will not fall for those unsavory tactics and will keep your best interests at the forefront of negotiations.
We’re ready to fight for you
Do not wait to contact a Chicago car accident attorney from Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates. You can reach out by phone at (800) 985-1819 or through our contact page, where you can leave an electronic message to schedule a free consultation. Being the victim of a bump-and-run accident is hard. We will work just as hard to make your recovery easier.