The latest crime statistics for the 2017/18 reporting year were released in parliament on September 11, 2018, covering the crime period 1 April, 2017, to 31 March, 2018. Unfortunately, the stats revealed that hijackings in South Africa are still unacceptably high. While hijacking saw a 2.3% decrease in 2017/18 compared 2016/17, there were still 16 325 reported cases, with half of them occurring in Gauteng alone.
In light of these stats, it must be acknowledged that crimes such as these a reality of everyday life in South Africa, and there is always a high possibility that this type of crime can happen to you. However, this doesn’t have to be the case; there are several steps you can take to avoid becoming another hijacking statistic.
Here are some tips on how to avoid a hijacking:
1. Make sure your car is well maintained
If your car is not well maintained and you encounter problems with it while in public, you will be far more vulnerable to an attack. It is therefore important to service your car regularly and to check your oil, water and tyres at least on a monthly basis
2. Plan your route beforehand
Driving around without an idea of where you’re headed is a recipe for disaster, as you will quickly be singled out as a criminal target. Make sure that you always have your wits about you by planning your route beforehand and by letting somebody know what time they can expect you at your destination. Also, try to change your schedule and routes (if possible) on a regular basis, as this will make it harder for criminals to track your daily patterns.
3. Be prepared
By being prepared when you arrive at your car, you will give criminals less time to attack you. As such, always have your keys ready (but not visible), only unlock your car when you’re near it, and check that no one is in the back seat before getting in. Also, don’t use your cell phone when walking to your car, as this will distract you and make you an easier target.
4. Be aware on your journey
Hijackers will target motorists who are unaware that they are being targeted. In order to prevent this, it is critical to have your wits about you – always be aware of any potential threat. This includes regularly checking your rear-view mirror to see if you are being followed, driving to your nearest police station if you suspect that you are being followed and avoiding distractions while driving such as using your cell phone.
5. Be aware when arriving home
Many motorists also tend to relax when they are arriving home and thus fall prey to criminals. As such, you should always be on the lookout for suspicious, unfamiliar people who are loitering around your property, reverse into your driveway when parking and make sure your driveway is well lit and clear of shrubbery.
No matter what steps you take, crime and hijacking can affect you. That’s why it’s also important to invest in a Stolen Vehicle Recovery device from Cartrack and get a Panic Button. Our world-class recovery team is available 24/7 to help you out in any hijacking situation, while our Panic Button will ensure that we can respond even quicker to any emergency.
It must be acknowledged that crimes such as these a reality of everyday life in South Africa, and there is always a high possibility that this type of crime can happen to you