Living in a country where daily hijackings have become all too common can be unsettling. In South Africa, approximately 63 vehicles are hijacked each day, with a majority of these incidents occurring on Thursdays and Fridays when motorists tend to be more relaxed. To ensure your safety, it is crucial to adopt preventive measures and remain vigilant at all times. Here are some valuable tips to help you avoid becoming a hijack victim.
- Stay Alert:
When exiting or entering your vehicle, refrain from talking on your phone and pay attention to your surroundings. Demonstrating awareness can deter potential thieves from targeting you.
- Check Your Locks:
Thieves often employ remote jamming technology to gain access to your vehicle. Make it a habit to physically check that your car is securely locked before leaving it unattended.
- Keep Valuables Out of Sight:
Avoid leaving valuable items in plain sight, no matter how insignificant they may seem. Thieves are opportunistic and will seize any valuable item they come across. Stash your belongings in the boot, preferably before reaching your destination to prevent anyone from observing your actions.
- Swiftly Retrieve Items from the Boot:
If you must retrieve something from the boot, do so quickly, while remaining aware of your surroundings.
- Lock Your Vehicle Promptly:
Always lock your vehicle as soon as you are inside it. Avoid leaving your doors unlocked for any longer than necessary, and put away any belongings you do not wish to keep with you in the boot of your vehicle.
- Keep Windows Closed:
Even when inside the vehicle, refrain from leaving your windows open. Opportunistic criminals can easily grab something and flee, endangering your safety.
- Avoid Dark and Unlit Areas:
Park your vehicle in well-lit, populated areas to deter potential hijackers. Dark and unlit areas provide cover for criminal activities, making you an easy target.
- Remain Vigilant at Night:
When driving alone on quiet roads at night, exercise extreme caution. If possible, avoid coming to a complete stop at red lights, instead slowing down and ensuring it is safe to proceed. Trust your instincts and take alternate routes if necessary.
- Use Mobile GPS Safely:
If using your mobile GPS and you are feeling unsafe, increase the volume and discreetly tuck the device out of sight, between your legs. This way, you can hear the directions while minimizing attention to your navigation system.
- Responding If You Suspect Being Followed:
If you suspect being followed, avoid immediately returning to your home or a dead-end street. Instead, make a few turns in the same direction or head towards the nearest police station. Ensuring your vehicle is fueled adequately is crucial to have options in such situations.
In a country where hijackings have become a distressing reality, it is imperative that we take proactive steps to protect ourselves. By following the tips outlined in this blog post and maintaining a high level of vigilance, you can significantly reduce the risk of falling victim to hijackers.