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