Avoid driving through high risk areas and travelling at night.
It is the silly season and criminals do not go on vacation.
And if the above is not enough to have South Africans on edge, statistics quoted by Masterdrive suggest that hijacking incidents are on the rise.
The CEO of MasterDrive, Eugene Herbert: “The best way to protect yourself from a carjacking is to be aware of your surroundings and do whatever you can to prevent it from happening altogether.”
To reduce the risk of becoming a hijack victim, Herbert suggests the following:
• Keep an eye on the car behind you, if they have followed you for a while, particularly if you are coming home from shopping centres or places like the airport, do not turn into your driveway. Rather drive to a place of safety such as a petrol station and get assistance there.
• Most armed response companies offer services where they see you into your house when you arrive home, especially at night. Make use of these whenever necessary.
• Do not drive straight into your driveway but rather wait for the gates to open while parallel to your driveway.
• At intersections do not look at your phone and be aware of the people there that could pose a threat to you.
• At shopping malls reverse park into a space, preferably against a wall, to prevent someone catching you unaware from behind and to allow you to exit the parking quickly.
• If you feel uncomfortable with the presence of someone in the parking lot, ask a security guard to walk you to your car.
Ultimately, rather be safe than sorry: do an extra circle around the block or ask someone for assistance rather than regret it.
In addition to the above Herbert advises it is good and sensible to ensure that your loved ones always know where you are – which routes you will be travelling and your times of arrival. Avoid driving through high risk areas and travelling at night.
This traumatising and often violent crime is not something any motorist should experience. “Consequently, do whatever necessary to prevent it. The reality, however, is it sometimes can be unavoidable. In this instance, be aware of the best ways to react,” says Herbert.