South Africa
Avoid becoming a hijack victim

In South Africa, one hijacking occurs roughly every 32 minutes. Over 12 000 vehicles were hijacked in SA between April and December 2016 – 14,9% more in nine months than in the previous financial year

There is a wealth of information available online around hijacking hotspots and the latest hijacking tactics. The more you know, the better prepared you will be.

Here are tips some tips from DialDirect:

  • Use a GPS to avoid getting lost and becoming an easy target. Inform someone at your destination about your estimated time of arrival.
  • Always be aware of your surroundings and look out for anything suspicious.
  • Limit distractions, such as checking or talking on your cell phone when walking to or from your car.
  • Avoid driving with windows open, keep the doors locked and lock valuables out of sight. Install smash-and-grab window protection if possible.
  • If you suspect you are being followed, make a couple of false turns. If someone is still following you, drive to the nearest police station.
  • Leave enough room between you and the car in front of you to avoid being boxed in.
  • Slow down in such a way that the light is green by the time you reach a traffic light, especially late at night – this prevents you coming to a complete stop and reduces your risk of becoming a target.
  • Always park in a safe, well-lit area.
  • If you sense you are in danger, use the panic button on your tracking device or contact your armed response company.
  • Check the back seat before getting into the car, even if you left it locked.
  • A well-maintained car is less likely to break down – keep your car in good condition. If you do break down then pull over, turn the hazard lights on and call for emergency assistance.
  • Avoid distractions while driving. Checking Facebook and Twitter in the car is a no-no!

What to do if confronted by a hijacker:

  • Remain calm
  • Do not argue
  • Do not make sudden gestures
  • Avoid eye contact but try to remember what the carjacker looked like by identifying and remembering special features.
  • Comply with the hijacker’s directions – within reason
  • Try and get away from the area as quickly as possible
  • Don’t be a hero – your life is worth more than your car
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