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Anti-hijack safety tips

Published on: 23 June 2017

Anti-hijack safety tips

We’ve all heard a hijack story at one point or another in our lives – whether on the news or a little closer to home. Just a mere thought of being in a hijack situation is enough to send shivers down anyone’s spine. While many of us would like to believe that we live in a secure neighbourhood, and that the chances of being a hijack victim are slim, truth is – danger is lurking everywhere, even in your own driveway!

We’ve put together these tips to help you avoid being a hijack victim and what to do should you find yourself in the situation. The starting point to protecting yourself, would be to remain vigilant at all times – be on your guard and avoid driving distracted by any means necessary.

When entering your car and whilst driving:

  • Always have your keys ready – whether it’s your car keys or your house keys. Keep your keys where they will be easily accessible but not visible. Scrambling for keys will leave your distracted and vulnerable to any lurking dangers.
  • Give your car a quick scan before entering. Don’t waste too much time and draw attention to yourself; just check that nobody is hiding inside and waiting to strike.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. Keep your guard up and keep an eye out for anyone who could be following you or lurking around suspiciously (whether on foot or in a parked vehicle).

When parking your car – at home and in public areas:

  • Look around with purpose. This cannot be stressed enough, sometimes threats go undetected because of being unfocused. Before you get out of your car, use your mirrors to look around and make sure that no one has their eye on you.
  • When approaching your driveway or where you will be parking your car, be aware of any strange vehicles or people in the vicinity. Do the same when you are approaching your car to drive out.
  • Do not idle in your car; this creates a window of opportunity for the hijackers to strike. Be wary of sitting in your car for too long before heading off. Get in your car and leave immediately.

Should you find yourself in a confrontational hijack situation, try to remember these safety tips:

  • Whatever you do, do not lose your temper and threaten or challenge the hijackers! This could end badly for you. Remaining calm may be hard to do, but don’t get aggressive.
  • Do as you are told – exactly as you are told! Remember, your survival is what matters.
  • Do not resist! Especially if the hijackers have weapons. Your valuables can be replaced (having insurance cover makes it even easier), your life cannot. Surrender your car and try putting distance between you and the hijackers without aggravating the situation.
  • Do not try to get away with your “movable” valuables such as your cell phone, wallet/purse or handbag. Leave everything and focus on getting away alive.
  • Keep a low profile. Keep your hands where the hijackers can see them and avoid making eye contact. Any sudden movements or staring could put you in further danger. This includes talking – do not talk too fast or too much.
  • If you are abducted by the hijackers, try your best to be as observant as possible without making direct eye contact and remember as much as you can. These mental notes will come in handy when the police step in to investigate.

Keeping a clear mind may be difficult during a traumatic event, but try to retain information from the experience, as it will be required for investigation after the hijacking:

  • Once you are in a place of safety and are able to do so, contact the police (08600 10111) and your insurer/tracking company to notify them of what had happened.
  • A clear description of your car will be required to assist with the search and recovery – model, colour, registration numbers etc. to assist with the recovery.
  • How many people were present (hijackers and victims) and what were they wearing?
  • What weapons did the hijackers have and how many?
  • What time and where did the hijacking take place?
  • Which direction did the hijackers come from and drive off?
  • If you were taken, what landmarks can you identify and where did you end up or where were you “dropped-off”?
  • What language were they using to communicate; any words or names that were said?

While we can give you #InsuranceFreedom by enabling you to insure online, we can’t ensure that danger won’t strike while you’re on the road. It’s a good idea to test your tracking device at least once a year to ensure that it works – your car insurance company will require a functional security device to adequately cover you for theft.

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