Think Fast: What would you do if you were abducted?
SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC/WAFB) - According to the FBI, more than 600,000 people went missing in 2012 and investigators believe nearly 10 percent of those people were kidnapped or abducted.
Police say you should never let someone take you to a secluded area. That's the first thing to remember if someone jumps into your car with a weapon and tells you to drive.
You're walking to your car, probably thinking about what all you have to do that day. You hit your keyless entry, unlocking all the doors and as you get into your car, a man jumps in on the other side and orders you to drive. Think fast, what are you going to do?
"Well, one of the first things you should do is lay down on the horn," said Sgt. Hiram Rivera.
Rivera is a training instructor with the Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department. He urges abduction victims to hit the panic button, scream and bring as much attention to yourself as possible.
"Many times, predators are looking to be unnoticed. If everyone in the surrounding area starts to turn and look at that one car that's got the headlights blaring and the horn blaring, that assailant is going to be much more apprehensive about following through," Rivera explained.
If that doesn't work, he said stay calm and start to drive, but begin thinking about the best time to escape.
"Try not to lead the assailant on to the fact or the idea that you may jump out of the vehicle at any given time," Rivera added.
He said the safest way to escape is when you come to a red light or a stop sign.
"Put that car in park and jump out of the vehicle. That does two things for you at a red light. It draws attention for everyone standing around and secondly, the passenger either has to get out of the vehicle and jump into the driver [side] or he is going to have to flee altogether," Rivera stated.
Rivera said the key thing to remember is never let them take you to a secluded area and try to escape before then. But, there are ways you can try to avoid being abducted altogether.
Be aware of your surroundings when you are walking to your car
Avoid distractions, like looking down at your phone
If you're by yourself, only unlock the driver side door
"In the end, you have to decide whether or not you want to take a chance with what he is going to do to you in a secluded area or what injury you may receive by trying to escape at a given time," Rivera said.
Rivera added it's worth the risk, even if someone has a gun to your head telling you to drive. They probably won't shoot you while you are driving because that also puts the abductor's life in danger.