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Read About Motoring - Hijack Prevention

As we all know, prevention is better than cure, but in order to prevent a hijacking situation one needs to be equipped with the correct information. 

 

Kevin Smith, a hijack prevention trainer at the Volkswagen Driving Academy, said that the greatest weapon in a hijacker’s arsenal is not his gun, but the belief that it will not happen to us.

 

Hijacking is a reality and you need to be prepared by understanding the cunning methods used by hijackers. These include:

  • Pretending to be a stranded motorist
  • Faking a rear-end collision or deliberately getting involved in an accident with the victim
  • Throwing an object through an open window of a vehicle
  • Deflating a tyre or removing a number plate so that when the driver of the vehicle is signaled, they respond to the ‘good Samaritan’s’ notice by stopping
  • Placing sharp objects behind or in front of car tyres; the hijacker will then follow the driver until he stops to change the punctured/flat tyre
  • Approaching the victim while he is stopped at a traffic light /stop sign/ yield sign
  • Approaching a victim in car parks, private driveways and apartment complex parking lots
  • Waiting for a driver to arrive at or leave their place of employment
  • Accosting a driver who is waiting for someone, such as parents collecting children at sports events, etc.

 

You can avoid these tactics by:

  • Being on the look out for people standing near your gate or driveway and ensuring that the area around your gate or driveway is well lit
  • Phoning ahead to give a relative or friend your expected time of arrival
  • Getting to know your neighbours and the cars they drive. This will help to identify any uncommon vehicles in your area.
  • Adopting a search pattern radius to scout before approaching your home
  • Looking out for vehicles, which may be following you or trying to box you in while driving
  • Planning an escape route and keeping this route open
  • Adjusting your speed when approaching a traffic light so that you do not have to come to a complete stop
  • Using your horn to draw attention to yourself if you are approached
  • Keeping your car keys on hand when approaching your vehicle, do not fumble in your handbag as this shows you are off guard
  • Staying alert while loading or off-loading groceries
  • Changing your driving route and routines
  • Looking out for any suspicious objects near your car before getting in
  • When parking, reverse park for a quick exit

 

There are also seven golden rules to follow if you are held up:

  • Remain calm
  • Do not argue
  • Do not make sudden gestures
  • Avoid eye contact but try to remember what the carjacker looked like by identifying and remembering special features
  • Comply with the hijackers directions (within reason)
  • Try and get away from the area as quickly as possible
  • Don’t be a hero – your life is worth more than your car!

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