Hijacking is a very real concern for all South African road users, especially those of us who live or work in big city centres. Ford Motoring Company South Africa has a few anti-hijacking tips to keep you safe!
1. Always be alert
- Be alert to your surroundings at all times.
- Take into account risky situations and environments.
- Adopt a search pattern – look out for anything suspicious.
Remember to take preventative action.
2. At intersections
- Keep an eye on people standing at or near the intersection.
- Look for vehicles which may have followed you – they may try to box you in.
- If a vehicle bumps into your car, ascertain whether you believe it is an accident or not.
- At all times keep escape routes open for emergency use.
- Adjust speed when approaching traffic lights, so you don’t have to stop.
- Mentally prepare yourself to take action.
- Consider using your hooter or other methods to draw attention to yourself.
3. Risk management
- Be on the lookout for people standing near your gate or driveway.
- If someone approaches you, drive away or move quickly into the house.
- At night, ensure the area around your house is well lit.
- Phone ahead and tell someone your ETA.
- Stay alert while unlocking gates, try to get passengers to open gates.
- Leave your car running.
- Ensure your gate is immediately locked behind you.
4. Risk management at shopping centres
- Always keep your car keys ready on approach.
- Stay alert and on the lookout while loading and off-loading passengers.
- Always try to park as close to entrances or security as possible.
- When approaching your car look underneath and around for anything unusual (sharp objects, a removed license plate).
- Lock doors once inside the car and move off as quickly as possible.
- If you are concerned about your safety, call security to accompany you to your car.
5. Risk management on the freeway
- Watch out for vehicles tailing you or trying to cut you off; if this happens take evasive action.
6. Pro-active driving techniques
- Keep proper following distances.
- Map your route when driving on unknown roads.
- Change driving routes.
- Keep the position of your car as open as possible. Look for objects on the road and on bridges.
- When parking reverse in for a quick exit.
5 golden rules to remember
- Remain calm
- Do not make sudden gestures
- Avoid eye contact
- Comply with hijackers’ directions
- Move away from the vehicle and get children out of the vehicle as quickly as possible