As many as 45 hijackings incidents take place on South Africa’s roads daily, with criminals constantly finding new ways to dupe the public.
Citing the latest SAPS statistics, ADT Fidelity said that most of these hijackings occur in Gauteng (23 per day), followed by KwaZulu-Natal (7 per day) and Western Cape (6 per day).
The security company said that approximately 60% of all these hijackings take place close to home, so knowing what to look out for and how to prevent falling prey to hijackers is important to prevent from becoming a victim.
Below it outlined a number of safety hints and tips motorists should be aware of:
- The ‘tap tap’ method: Don’t fall for the “tap tap” trap where a driver taps the back of your car in traffic. They often use lady drivers as decoys here. Never get out of your car on the scene to assess the damage but rather drive to a busy location;
- Go three houses down: If you suspect you are being followed, put your indicator on and slow down at least two to three houses prior to your home. If you are being followed, you will force the vehicle behind you to pass and this could cause the criminals to lose interest;
- Leave the key in the ignition: If you need to stop in your driveway to manually open the gate, always leave the key in the ignition and the motor running unless you have a child in the car. Only then should you take the key with you as you open the gate;
- The back wheels rule: Always make sure you can see the back wheels of the car in front of you when you stop in the traffic. This gives you enough room to manoeuvre and escape.
In a hijacking
In the unfortunate event that you are hijacked, ADT Fidelity said that motorists should do the following:
- The first and golden rule is to not antagonise the hijackers who are probably more scared than you are. You need to show them you are not a threat;
- Lift up your arms to show you have no weapon and will surrender. Use your left arm to undo your seatbelt and put your car in neutral;
- Do not turn off your car, and remember to get out slowly;
- Also, remember to protect your head with your arms and avoid direct eye contact with the hijackers but try to take in what they are wearing, the sound of their voices, etc.