Protecting your child during a hijacking

It’s probably the hardest thing to do but by staying composed, your children will also feel less anxious…

Nobody wants to think that they may ever be confronted with this eventuality, but hijackings are a reality. An article published by Africa Check states that on average, 45.8 cars were hijacked per day in 2016 and 2017. So it is important to know how best to react.

It’s hard to give up something as valuable as your car in an instant, but if you had to choose between your life and that of your kids’, the car becomes worthless immediately!

Have a look at these tips on what to do during a hijacking:


Keep your hands visible, preferably on the steering wheel. Let the hijacker know about every move you are planning to make, from raising your hands to stepping out of the vehicle. Reassure them you intend to follow any instructions they give you.

Reach for your child

Do not get out of your vehicle before removing your child from the car seat. Your child’s car seat should be positioned so that the driver can easily reach it in the back and unbuckle the child. Lift the child over the seat back to the front seat so you can get out of the car together.

Keep the keys close by

Remove the keys from the car and put them somewhere visible. Do not put your keys in your pocket – the hijacker may think you’re drawing a weapon. If you are unable to unstrap your child from the seat while you’re still in the car, you can use the keys as a “bargaining tool” so that you can get your child out of the car. 

If they are old enough…

Make sure the child-lock is disengaged and you’ve unlocked the car for them to get out. Talk the child through their movements, keep your voice down and instruct them on when to unbuckle their seatbelt, get out of the car and walk to safety.

Remain calm

This is probably the hardest thing to do, but try to remain as calm as possible. Follow all their instructions to avoid aggravating the hijackers. By staying composed, your children will also feel less anxious.

Once you’re safe, contact the police and report the incident immediately.

Remember, lives are more valuable than any earthly possession, which is why it’s important to have comprehensive car insurance. Having car insurance will leave you less stressed in the knowledge that you have extensive cover in the event of theft or hijacking. Apply for an online insurance quote today to get the best deal and to enjoy more peace of mind.