HOW YOU CAN AVOID A HIJACK SITUATION
1. When approaching your house, be very vigilant. Scan your surroundings, be aware of suspicious-looking characters in cars parked nearby, or on foot. If you suspect you are being followed, rather drive to a public place.
2. Ensure that your driveway and the outside of your house and garden are well-lit and clear. Criminals pick driveways with shrubbery that will conceal them.
3. Get to know your neighbours - you never know when you’ll need their help. If they know your routine and you know theirs, it will be easier to pick up irregularities.
4.Does your dog usually run to your gate to greet you when you arrive? If he doesn’t, this may be a cause for concern. Alert the authorities or your armed response provider if you suspect something is wrong.
5. If you need to open a gate yourself, or if you feel afraid at any time, ask someone to meet you at the gate, if possible.
6. When you open your gate manually, leave the key in the car with the ignition running, get out of the car, close the door behind you. Rather let the criminals take the car easily, than hurt you in the process.
7. If you have small kids with you, rather take the key out before exiting the car and opening the gate - you don’t want criminals hijacking your car with your kids inside! You can also exchange your car key for your kids - it sounds bad, but yes, you can use your key to bargain with them!
8. Arrive Alive advise that older children should exit the car when you do, so that you “are all separated from the vehicle should an attack occur”.
1. When you enter/leave/ park your car, always make sure you’re not being followed; scan your surroundings as before. Check for items placed underneath your car to immobilise you, and walk around your car to check for persons hiding on the passenger’s side.
2. Sitting in a parked vehicle makes you a sitting duck, unless you’re somewhere completely safe. We don’t recommend sleeping in your car, ever.
3. Have anti-smash & grab film fitted to glass surfaces.
4. Drive with windows closed and your doors locked.
5. Never drive over cardboard boxes in the middle of the road, they may contain the above-mentioned cement blocks/rocks that will damage your wheels. If this happens, just keep driving, even if you have to drive on your rims!
6. Always keep the pepper spray handy.
7. Know where you’re going and know where police stations are along the route.
8. Always leave enough space between you and the car in front, if you need to escape.
9. Know where the hijacking hotspots are, and when to avoid them. Don’t drive through there if you can help it, and try not to drive alone.
10. Arrive Alive also suggests changing your regular route from home/to work every now and again.
11. Picking up hitchhikers or strangers is a huge no-no!