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14 tips to avoid being hijacked

2014-05-29 09:22

HOW TO AVOID BEING HIJACKED: Hijack is a sad reality of driving in SA. Familiarise yourself with these useful tips and you could reduce your risk. Image: Shutterstock

  Video

Hijackings in South Africa

2014-05-16 08:51

Hijacking in South Africa are on the rise. A reporter and documentary film director take the journey with a team of armed security guards and encounter some savage hijackings. Watch the video!

Vehicle hijacking has increased by 5.4% to 9990 incidents in 2012/13, according to the South African Police Services' crime statistics.

This equates to an average of 28 hijackings a day.

Research conducted by Arrive Alive, report that most hijackings occur from 5pm to 8pm when most drivers are on their way home from work.

BE VIGILANT

1st for Women Insurance's Robyn Farrell said: "You are most vulnerable when you are getting into or out of your car. Avoid leaving your car idling outside your home or garage; make sure you enter and leave your driveway as quickly as possible.
 
"We’ve also heard about hijackers bumping into the car in front of them, forcing the car to stop. If this happens to you, and you do not feel safe stopping your vehicle, drive to the nearest police station."
 
Farrell says that while driving away from the scene of a car crash may have unforeseen legal consequences your safety and well-being should always come first. Each case will have to be assessed on its own individual merits.
 
Tips to help avoid a hijacking:
 
1 Have your key ready but not visible. Unlock your car when you're close by. Don’t talk on your cellphone as you walk. 
2 Check the back seat before getting into your car.
3 A well-maintained car is less likely to break down and leave you vulnerable.
4 Plan your route and let someone know what your route is and when to expect you at your destination.
5 Always check the rear view mirror to see if you are being followed.
6 Avoid driving with your windows open and keep the doors locked. Put all valuables out of sight.
7 Avoid distractions while driving such as using a cellphone.
8 If you suspect you are being followed, drive to your nearest police station or a busy public area.
9 When approaching a red traffic light, slow down so that you only reach it when it turns green.
10 Make sure your driveway is well lit and clear of shrubbery.
11 If possible, park in a central, well-lit place, preferably with guards on duty.
12 When stopping behind another vehicle, leave half a vehicle length in front so you can make an emergency escape if necessary.
13 Change your routes and your schedule if possible on a regular basis.
14 Make arriving at your destination safer by calling ahead and asking someone to open and close your gate for you.
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