Fidelity SecureDrive has recorded high levels of car hijackings and explained which vehicles are most commonly hijacked in SA. White or silver-grey Toyota Hiluxes and Volkswagen Polos are the most hijacked vehicles in the country.
KZN and Gauteng face record-high reports
Hijackings have reached record-high levels in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng. The likelihood of a person falling victim to a hijacking seems to increase based on numerous factors.
December, January, April and May have evidently been the highest risk periods. Furthermore, records of hijackings seem to indicate that the majority of hijackings took place on Thursday and Friday.
Charnel Hattingh, head of marketing and communications at SecureDrive took the time to provide the public with a few tips and precautionary measures that they can take if they were to ever find themselves in such a frightening situation.
How to stay safe
What to do if you are being followed
If a person feels as though they are being followed slowing down two or three houses before their home disrupts the plans of the hijacker. Forcing the offender to pass you could make them wearier to proceed with the crime.
Manually opening your gate? Here’s how to stay safe
If a gate needs to be opened by hand it is important to always leave the keys to the vehicle in the ignition unless there is a child in the car. In the event that there is a child in the car, removing the keys will give you the ability to negotiate with the hijackers. If needs be a person can offer the keys to the car in exchange for their child.
The ‘tap tap’ trap
A frequent ploy that hijackers use is the ‘tap tap’ trap. If a driver taps the back of a person’s car while in traffic that person should first signal the driver to follow you before driving to a safe public area. A person should never leave their car to assess any damages while in traffic. If the driver does not follow it was most likely a ruse.
Staying in a complex? You’re not always safe
The presence of a security guard at a complex building should not cause people to lower their guard and become less alert. Hijackers could still potentially follow a person into the complex regardless of whether or not a security guard is present. Resuggests that people ower their guard when they are close to home which may indicate why most hijackings occur close to a person’s home.
What to do if you are being hijacked
In the event that a person is hijacked certain measures can deescalate the situation and decrease the potential risk to the driver. It is extremely important to ensure that a person does not provoke the hijacker while indicating that they are not a threat. The hijackers are likely extremely on edge and nervous so remaining calm could significantly improve the situation.