Police keeping track of carjackings in Little Rock

LITTLE ROCK (KATV) - This is the first year the Little Rock Police have been keeping track of the number of carjackings. So far, there have been 62.

Wednesday, 21 year-old Phillip Conway Jr. was arrested for a carjacking in Little Rock at First Security Bank in August. He was charged with aggravated robbery and felony theft.

KATV spoke with defensive driving teacher Ronnie Routh from the Thompson Defensive Driving School on the best ways to avoid a carjacking. Routh has been teaching emergency driving for the Little Rock Police Department for more than 10 years.

"If someone starts approaching your car, blow the horn," Routh said.

Routh says a thief will likely run away from a car that is drawing noise and attention to it. Routh also says to be aware of your surroundings, constantly checking mirrors and windows.

Experts also say it's best to leave a lot of space between your car and the car ahead of you. It leaves enough room for a route of escape. Many drivers box their cars into tight traffic and can't get away if approached.

"Typically, seven feet is the right distance. Now most of us don't have any idea what seven feet is, but if you can look and see the car wheels touch the pavement ahead of you, that's a safe distance," Routh said.

Routh also said even though most want to help stranded motorists, it's best to stay in your car and call police. It could be a trap to get someone to pull over.

"Don't get out of the car, especially in the roadway. You're setting yourself up," Routh said.