Crime is a common occurrence in our daily lives, it happens to us, our loved ones and all around us. You can never be certain that you won’t ever be a victim of some crime and if you are a daily road user or often use a car to get places, you are at risk of being hijacked. Being knowledgeable and vigilant could save you from becoming a victim of this crime.
If there was a sure way to avoid being a victim of crime, the world would be a safer place. The sad reality is that you could fall victim to crime at any moment; one such crime we face daily in South Africa, is hijacking.
While you can never fully ensure that you won’t fall victim to crime, you can take certain steps to ensure your safety as you go about your daily routine, because when it comes to this type of crime, it can happen at any hour. It’s always important to remain vigilant and know your surroundings. When you are in unfamiliar surroundings, your best advantage would be to pay attention to what’s going on around you.
Always keep your car doors locked.
Change your routine. If you have to leave and return home at the same time each day, change your route. You should also change the route you travel regularly, as you never know who may be trying to target you.
Observe your surroundings. Look far ahead and observe what is happening at intersections and keep a good distance from the car in front of you. You should be able to see its back wheels, which will give you a safe distance to get away should the need arise.
If you have to open a gate manually, leave the keys in the ignition and have the engine running while doing so, but if there are children in the car, you should turn off the ignition and keep the keys with you instead.
Have your key ready as you approach your car, but not visible. When you are on your way somewhere, always know where you are heading and know the directions to get there. Should you get lost, stay alert!
If you find yourself in this kind of situation, remember that the hijackers’ main focus is on doing a job. Do not resist, argue or fight as this could result in serious harm or even death. Show them that you are not a threat.
Do not switch off your car. NetStar advises that if you are hijacked while your children are in the car, you should climb out of the vehicle slowly and calmly tell the hijackers that you need to take your children with you.
As a rule, the elder child should always be seated behind the driver and the younger one to the left. “Move to the back door directly behind the driver’s door. Place one foot firmly in the car, on the floor behind the driver’s seat, as you lean across to retrieve the younger child. The elder child will probably cling to you and you can get both children out of the car at once,” Netstar reports.
Do not reach for your valuables and always try to remain calm in these situations. Do as the hijackers say, your main priority should be to get yourself and your loved ones out of the situation unharmed.