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09 July 2012 at 20:44 - Posted by Anonymous

Halt the hijacking mayhem


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Statistics of hijackings in South Africa are through the roof at the moment with unsuspecting motorists being traumatised on a daily basis, claimed the Automobile Association (AA).

"Although there is no fool proof plan to avoid ever being hijacked, there are steps and measures that can be taken to limit the chances of it happening to you," said Gary Ronald, head of public affairs for the AA.

The following measures were recommended:

  • Be familiar with your environment and keep alert to anything around you that is out of the ordinary. Taking the same route every day often means drivers stop noticing their environment, and it's often the small things that alert them to a bigger problem and could help avoid a hijacking.
  • Hijackers often track people for days before making their move, to find out where you're most vulnerable. Vary your route and avoid habitual patterns.
  • Most cars lock automatically, but make double sure yours is locked.
  • Stop a few metres behind the car in front to leave some space for a quick getaway if necessary.
  • If your doors are locked, the only other option is to break your windows. Leaving the passenger window open just a fraction may prevent smash and grab incidents as it makes the glass more flexible.
  • When you're walking to your car, be it on the street or in a car park have the vehicle key ready, but not visible, as loitering will leave a gap for hijackers.
  • Finally, if you can help it, avoid driving at night and in unfamiliar or high crime areas to reduce the risk of being involved in a hijacking.
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