Ten Hijack Prevention Tips
It’s not a situation that anyone likes to think about. Hijackings happen daily across the country and South Africans tend to feel at risk on the roads. Here are some life-saving tips that could help reduce your risk of being hijacked. Should the unfortunate happen, we’ve got you covered with Bidvest Insurance Theftbuster Plus.
1. Home-time high alert
Your own driveway can easily become a hijacking hotspot. This is when you’re most distracted and vulnerable. Make sure to stay alert when approaching your home and switch off the car radio so that you can concentrate on your surroundings. You can also:
- Ensure your driveway is well lit at all times
- Make sure there are no suspicious vehicles in your street when leaving or arriving.
- Ensure the driveway gate closes behind you before exiting your car
- Leave your car in reverse while waiting for your gate to close. This might enable you to act quickly if you’re caught by surprise, creating confusion, and buying you more time.
- Start a community Whatsapp group and get to know your neighbours. This will make it easier to report or be aware of strange activity in your street.
2. When it comes to parking, be aware of the following:
- Always check your rear-view mirror before parking. Check for following cars or suspicious passers-by.
- Try to avoid parking near shrubbery or concealed areas.
- Never sit or sleep in a stationary vehicle.
3. Have your keys at the ready.
Don’t approach your car without your keys to hand. You become vulnerable when fumbling around for your keys while next to your vehicle.
4. First thing’s first: Lock your doors.
Before you adjust your seatbelt, aircon or radio – lock the doors. It’s often too late to try and lock them by the time you realise you’re in a risky situation.
5. Don’t remove obstacles from the road
Instead, drive around random tyres or bricks and alert the police. These are often placed in the street by criminals in order to lure drivers out of their cars.
6. Be aware of hijacking hotspots.
Google common hijacking streets and times in your area. Then do your best to avoid them altogether.
7. Be cautious when pulling over
If you need to pull over when driving for any reason, try and wait to reach a safe, public spot. If you’re approached by an unmarked “police vehicle” you can also put on your hazards and indicate that they should follow you to the nearest safe location. Garages or public parking lots are such examples.
8. Watch your windows
Even a small gap can lead to trouble. Keep your windows up when driving through areas dense in traffic or stop streets.
9. Stay alert at robots
Resist the urge to check your phone or adjust the radio. Rather remain alert and keep your eyes on all your mirrors.
10. Drive with a buddy
No matter your age or gender, you’re always safer with company. Where possible try to carpool or commute with a friend or family member.
Even the most vigilant can still have a bad experience. Should you suffer from a smash-and-grab or hijacking, Theftbuster Plus from Bidvest Insurance can offer a light in the dark. Theftbuster Plus is our hijack insurance offering that takes care of the additional expenses you’re faced with in these traumatic events. We’ll help with the costs of insurance excess, trauma counselling, damage repair and so much more.
Let Bidvest Insurance help you in your greatest time of need. Discover more about Theftbuster Plus.