How To Avoid A Hijacking: Stay Safe With These Top Tips
Did you know that every 32 minutes a driver is hijacked in South Africa? Those are some pretty scary stats. That means that as many as 46 cars are hijacked every single day. Read these hijacking prevention tips to stay safe on our roads…
According to Arrive Alive, the most popular day of the week for hijackings is a Friday and the most popular time is in rush hour traffic in the afternoon (between 4 pm and 8 pm).
A Friday is generally the day of the week that we all look forward to. We leave work on a Friday afternoon excited and happy about the weekend and time off. Perhaps our happiness and state of bliss are what makes us ignorant to the danger signs of a hijacking?
What is apparent is that when we are stuck in traffic, this makes us more vulnerable to a hijacking as there is literally nowhere to go in a scary situation.
Hijacking is a traumatic experience for the victim, whether there is physical harm involved or not. We all need to ensure that we are aware of the potential threats around us, at all times.
To make your life easier and safer, we have put together top tips to reduce your chances of a hijacking.
How to avoid hijackings in your driveway
1. Be extra cautious when you are close to home
Make a habit of focusing on your surroundings when you are about 2kms from home. You need to make sure you are extra alert. Switch off your music or radio and pay special attention to your surroundings (whether it is during the day or night).
Before turning into your driveway, wait for a few moments in the road with your indicator on. This will give you a chance to notice any suspicious activity around you.
If you notice a vehicle close behind you as you are about to pull in, then do not pull into your driveway, rather drive to your nearest police station.
2. Keep your car in reverse
As you drive into your gate, stop your car just on the inside of your gate and shift into reverse whilst you wait for the gate to close.
This will create confusion for any potential hijackers and might give you a few seconds to let the gate close completely.
3. Lighting is a great way to improve security
Make sure your gate, garage and driveway are all well lit so that you can easily see any perpetrators. Get rid of any shrubbery and bushes around the entrance of your property as this is an easy place for bad guys to hide in.
4. Get some backup
If you are coming home after dark, then ask a family member or your partner to meet you in the driveway of your home.
5. Keep an eye out for any traps
When you get home and you try to open your gate and realise it is not working, DO NOT get out of your car. This might be a trap set up by hijackers.
Rather phone your security company and ask them to meet you at your house, in the meantime you can drive around the block and not wait outside your gate as the hijackers might be waiting there.
6. Be on the lookout for any suspicious activity
When you start to get close to your driveway, make sure you are extra alert to any suspicious-looking cars parked nearby or people.
Also, pay close attention to notice if your animals have not come out to greet you as they normally would, this might be a sign of hijackers having already entered your property and restraining your pets.
How to avoid hijackings in traffic & other situations
- Make sure you know exactly where you are going and have your destination route in mind before embarking on any trip. Getting lost is an easy way to land yourself in a scary situation.
- Drive with your windows closed and all the doors locked.
- Leave half a vehicle length between you and the car in front of you to allow for an emergency escape.
- When you drop off someone at a destination, ensure they are safely inside their home or car before driving off.
- Try to avoid driving through dangerous areas and areas you do not know.
- DO NOT pick up hitchhikers or strangers (EVER!)
- Regularly change your route - hijackers can track and follow your schedule to know when you are most vulnerable.
- When driving at night or on quiet roads, when approaching a red light, slow down so that you reach the light when it is green again, not stopping your car before the light (DO NOT drive through the red light)
- Make sure your car is well-maintained to avoid any break downs on the side of the road. (Read: 5 signs your car might need a service)
- Keep valuables in the boot and out of sight
- Always try to park in a well-lit place with guards
Make sure your car is insured
A hijacking is a horrible situation to be in, make sure you are covered for the unexpected costs associated with theft with comprehensive car insurance. At Oneplan, we let you tailor your cover to suit your needs and your budget.
Yours in uncomplicated car insurance,