Safety Tips When Being Hijacked

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It must be a terrible experience to be hijacked and watch a criminal drive off with your car. Should it ever happen to you as a motorist, it would be better to be prepared than not at all. How you behave during a hijack could change your life. Prevention is better than cure’, they say. It’s better to be alert to your surroundings than be unaware of it. Hijackers count on the element of surprise.

Who are these hijackers? 

According to SAPS experience, hijackers are primarily male and in their early twenties. However, women are equally capable of being hijackers. Hijackers usually drive powerful cars with dark tinted windows. They may be parked on the side of the road, looking out for a possible victim. They can be well-dressed and wear jackets to hide their guns.

What could the hijacker do? 

He or she could demand the car keys from you, and in the process, you may have to disarm the car. To resist the hijacker in any way could prove fatal. Remember that hijackers usually work in teams. To them, hijacking is just a job, and they have no sympathy for the victim.

Be suspicious of any car that happens to be following you for a while. If that is the case, drive straight to a parking lot near busy shops, a shopping mall or the nearest police station. Try to remember the car’s brand, model, colour and registration number. This information will significantly help the police.

Where could possible hijacking hotspots be? 

Hijacking hotspots are usually in the CBD of a city, and surrounding areas. Streets and street corners in the suburbs and traffic lights are other favourite hot spots. Avoid parking lots that have no security guards.

Some tips to consider

Fortunately, most cars lock their doors automatically but ensure that your windows are closed, especially if you are about to stop at a traffic light or intersection. When stopping, ensure there is a reasonable distance between the front car and yours so that you have enough space to manoeuvre. Try and avoid stopping at night when approaching a traffic light by travelling slowly until the robot turns green. Your car’s momentum is your safety.

Hijackers will bumped your car from behind on purpose to get you all panicky and hopefully get you to stop the car and jump out. Never do this unless you are sure that this is not a hijack situation. Other times, they jam an empty plastic bottle between your front wheel and the mudguard, hoping that when driving off, you’ll stop to inspect the noise.

Avoid travelling at night

At night, a motorist with the car’s headlights on is a signal for any hijacker, as they can see you coming from miles away. Just be alert to any strange behaviour and rush to the nearest place of safety, especially if several cars are involved.

What to do when being hijacked

Stay as calm as possible, don’t look the hijackers in the eye, and co-operate with their instructions. You can always get another car but not another life.

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