It isn’t something any of us like to think about but the sad reality is that hijackings are a daily occurrence in South Africa. It is important to remain vigilant and alert to try and avoid falling victim to the horrible experience as well as also being prepared should you find yourself in such a situation.
Here are a few tips in hijacking prevention and protection:
- Always maintain a gap between you and the vehicle in front of you when stopping in traffic (you should be able to see their back wheels). This will give you enough space to get away should you have to.
- Always be extra cautious around your home, as this is where the majority of hijackings occur.
- If you have electric gates, wait for them to open while you are still in the road before pulling into your driveway – this makes it difficult for would-be hijacker(s) to box you in and allows you to pull away should you notice anything suspicious.
- If you are opening a manual gate, leave the keys in the ignition and the engine running while doing so. Unless there are children in the car, in which case, turn off the ignition and keep the keys with you. (The keys can be used as a negotiating tool to get the children out and to safety).
In the case of a hijacking in progress
- Do not antagonise or aggravate the hijacker(s).
- Do not resist the hijacker(s).
- Avoid making eye contact – the hijacker may perceive this as a threat.
- Leave the engine running and exit the vehicle.
- Try to put as much space between you and the hijacker(s).
- Remain calm and try to take note of as many details of the hijacker(s) as possible.