What you need to know about hijackings this festive season

Criminals are more likely to target those who aren’t paying attention…

While many of us are distracted by holiday traffic and the general buzz during our day-to-day commuting, it’s a fact that criminals are more likely to target those who look as though they’re distracted or not paying attention to their surroundings.

Yes, it’s important to have fun and enjoy yourself these holidays, but the Automobile Association (AA) reminds you to stay safe and not let your guard down.

Also read: Are you as safe in your car as you are at home?

Please take not of the following hijacking prevention tips, brought to you by the AA:

  • Always stay alert and be aware of everything going on around you
  • Keep the doors locked at all times
  • Always plan your route in advance and try avoid traveling in unfamiliar areas
  • When coming to a stop at an intersection, always leave enough space between your vehicle and the one in front of you so you have room to manoeuvre
  • Keep bags and other valuable items in the boot and out of sight
  • If possible, try avoid from driving alone, especially late at night or early in the morning when it is still dark
  • Make sure your car is well maintained and in good working order to prevent you from breaking down
  • Ensure that your driveway is well lit and there are no overgrown bushes or trees nearby where criminals could easily hide
  • Be aware of any suspicious vehicles or people lurking in your street whenever you leave or come home
  • If your property has an electric gate, wait until the gate is open before pulling into the driveway
  • Check to make sure you aren’t being followed
  • If you think you are being followed, drive to the nearest police station.

What to do if you are hijacked

  • Try to remain as calm as possible throughout the incident
  • Don’t make eye contact with any of the hijackers
  • Don’t antagonise or argue with the hijackers
  • Refrain from making any sudden movements and keep your hands where the hijacker can see them
  • Contact the police as soon as you are able to and try to provide them with as much information as possible (model, colour and registration of vehicle and any specific details about the hijackers)
  • Remember that you and your family are more valuable than anything else. Your vehicle and other possessions can be replaced but not your life.

Source: The Automobile Association (AA)