Boy Escapes Carjacking; Safety Tips From Experts
David Law can consider himself one lucky boy. The five-year-old escaped a carjacking by jumping from the back seat of his mother's car when the vehicle slowed down, reports the Daily Mail.
The terrifying incident occurred on Monday in Manchester when David's mom, Inga Law, drove to the boy's school and left the car running outside while she ran to check the term dates. When she turned around, she saw a man wearing a hood driving off with her car and her son.
The frantic mom ran after the car and tried opening the door, but the vehicle was traveling too fast. She screamed for help and a good Samaritan called the police.
Her young son rode in the car for approximately ten minutes before opening the back door and jumping to safety in the pouring rain. A woman noticed the hysterical boy and took him into her home and called the police.
David appears to be doing well, and his mother reports he hasn't had any nightmares since the incident. The boy, being lauded by police for maintaining the presence of mind to free himself, calls the carjacker a "bully."
Law, who wears a tense expression in the photo accompanying the Daily Mail story, said: "I know I shouldn't have left the keys in the ignition but I was only going to be a matter of seconds."
Unfortunately, this mom's story is not uncommon. Janette Fennell, the founder and president of the nonprofit KidsandCars.org, told ParentDish that carjackers often troll locations like gas stations where parents might not be paying attention. Fennell's number one rule of safety is to never leave your child unattended in a car.
Fennell advises parents to teach their children these additional safety tips:
- Always plan to escape.
- Be mindful of your surroundings. Only jump out of the car if you will not get hurt in oncoming traffic. Take note of safe public locations you could run to if you get out of the car.
- Draw attention to yourself. Use your backseat location to your advantage. If you can get the attention of someone outside of the car without further jeopardizing your safety, do it.
- Use your cellphone. Call 911 or text someone you know for help.
- Know what your car can do. Some car have an inside, glow-in-the-dark trunk release, which can get you out of a trunk in seconds. If your family car does not have an inside trunk release, have one installed.
- Use the tools you have. Hammers, screwdrivers and other tools in the trunk can help you escape.
- Kick out the taillight. Once you've kicked it out, put your hand through the taillight opening to attract the attention of other cars.
- Get help when you are free. Go to any public official or adult who can help you contact the police and your parents.
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.