Crime increases leading up to and including the festive season, especially vehicle hijackings. No one wants to be in a situation where their family and their lives are threatened. Always keep your handbag or luggage locked in the boot and your wallet and cellphone away from the view of persons who may approach your vehicle.
Interestingly, most hijackings take place in the driveways of residential areas, while stationary at an intersection or stop street. A study conducted by the National Hijack Prevention Academy CC indicated that the majority of hijackings take place on Fridays, followed by Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Here are four safety tips to help you avoid being a victim of a hijacking.
Always be Aware of Your Surroundings
While stationary at a stop street or red robot, people take advantage of this opportunity to use their cellphone while at a stop street or a red robot. Instead, stay alert to your surroundings. Check your rear and side mirrors constantly, for any potential person or persons approaching your vehicle. Chances are you can reduce your risk of being hijacked simply by being aware of your surroundings at all times.
When having to stop behind a vehicle, keep at least one car length distance away from the car in front of you. If you notice suspicious persons approaching your car, attract attention by hooting several times. The extra distance in front of you will help you edge forward slightly and confuse potential hijackers.
Avoid Travelling Alone
Opportunistic criminals are less likely to target vehicles with more than one passenger. They usually aim for solo drivers, where women are their primary targets.
Limit how often you go out at Night
Your chances of being hijacked greatly increase if you tend to go out at night. Most hijackings take place between 8 pm and midnight. That, however, does not mean that you can relax when heading out during the day. Hijackings are also common between 10 am to 2 pm.
Know how to React in a Hijacking Situation
It is important to know what to do in a hijacking situation, that could potentially save your life. The best thing to do is to cooperate with the hijackers to prevent an increase in aggressive behaviour. Avoid looking them in the eye and do not make any sudden movements. Where possible, gather as much information as possible, such as the number of people involved, weapons, clothing, gender, race and height, accent and language.
These four safety tips can help you to protect yourself from a potential hijacking situation in South Africa.
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