Hijackings in SA: 6 ways to protect yourself from a hijacking
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Hijacking events are an unfortunate reality in South Africa and incidents are increasing annually. A total of 5,866 hijackings were reported across the country between April and June 2022 – a 14% increase from the 5,146 hijackings reported over the same period the previous year.
In this article:
There has been a 14% increase in hijackings across South Africa between April and June 2022.
Load shedding has increased, resulting in increased traffic volumes which decrease
visibility, making people more vulnerable to hijacking situations.
There are safety tips you can apply to protect yourself against hijackings and follow-homes.
Cartrack helps keep you safe by offering an above 92% stolen vehicle recovery rate and advanced mobile app safety features.
We’ve been recovering vehicles for 18 years and are always looking for ways to keep you and your car safer. We’ve put together some safety tips that could help save your life.
Here are 6 ways to protect yourself from hijackers.
Check that you are not being followed
Always be extra vigilant when leaving malls, your work, or when heading home late at night, that is when most follow-homes take place. Make sure you keep emergency numbers on hand such as your security provider, SAPS, and your neighbours, in case you suspect you're being followed.
Be vigilant in your driveway
Outside your home, there may be less opportunity for you to escape in a hijacking situation, which could make you a hijacking victim. Don't park directly in your driveway, wait in the street and only drive in once your gate has opened. Also, make sure your driveway is well-lit, especially when returning home at night.
Check the street when approaching your home
When you approach your house, be extra alert by switching off the radio so you can be aware of your surroundings.
Check your street for perpetrators before you leave or enter your home. Rather drive around the block if you have an unsafe feeling and see unfamiliar pedestrians around.
Be aware of vehicles parked close to your address, especially with 3 or 4 people inside, as there could be hijackers observing the area.
Be aware when parking your vehicle
You could be in a rush when parking your vehicle, but take one look around before exiting your car, and see if there could be anyone suspicious around. When it comes to sitting in a vehicle, never sit in your parked vehicle without being conscious of your surroundings. Sleeping in your vehicle can be also particularly dangerous as you can be caught completely off guard so try to avoid doing this.
Keep alert when entering your vehicle
Have your keys ready, lock the door immediately after entering and close your windows. Make sure you do not leave bags, briefcases or any valuables inside the car, rather place these items in the boot. Out of sight, out of mind.
Be cautious while on the road
Know where you are going beforehand, to avoid getting lost in unknown areas.
Be mindful of areas where there are high crime volumes.
When stopping behind another vehicle, leave enough space in front of your vehicle to make an emergency escape if necessary or from hijackers.
Make a note of any police stations in the vicinity.
Crime and driving during load shedding
Hijackers or criminals often target roads with high traffic density and an easy escape route for themselves, so whenever you’re sitting in traffic you may become a target. Especially during load shedding as traffic volumes increase and visibility decreases which make you more vulnerable to becoming a hijacking victim. So when the lights go out, pay extra attention to all these safety tips.
Hijackings and vehicle theft often go hand in hand. Sometimes you may manage to escape unharmed, but your vehicle could still be taken from you.
Either way, here’s how a world-leading stolen vehicle provider can help you in a hijacking situation:
Cartrack has an above 92% stolen vehicle recovery rate, and our air and on-the-ground dispatch team will do everything possible to locate your vehicle.
Tap the Cartrack Protector button on the mobile app and medical or road assistance will be dispatched to your exact location.
Share your live location with your loved ones, giving them the chance to help you or get help for you.
If the hijackers decide to take you and your vehicle, our recovery team can at least locate your vehicle’s whereabouts.
What to remember when being hijacked
In the unfortunate event that you are hijacked, it’s important to remember the following:
Do exactly as told by the hijacker.
Do not attempt to challenge the hijacker, or lose your temper.
Do not make eye contact with the hijacker, as they could perceive your behaviour as a threat.
Make sure to not make any sudden movements.
Do not reach for your purse or valuables. Leave everything in the vehicle.
Try and remain calm at all times and do show any signs of aggression.
We hope you never find yourself in a hijacking situation, but you can use these tips to keep alert and prevent yourself from being a hijacking victim. Sign-up with Cartrack today to get the extra safety you need to keep you, your loved ones and your car safe.
Learn how to safeguard against hijackings: 5,866 incidents reported between April and June 2022, a 14% rise from last year.