Hijackings, and smash-and-grab incidents, can occur anytime, and anywhere. Recent reports suggest an increase in both these classes of attacks. At All Terrain we care about our customers and as such felt it necessary to get a few guidelines and some information that we could pass on to you. To do so we approached the folk at the Automobile Association ( AA) for some advice, the Automobile Association (AA) has warned motorists to be vigilant while driving, and to ensure they take responsibility for their own, and their passengers’ safety.
“The most important thing to do is be informed of where the hijacking, and smash-and-grab, hotspots are and to avoid them if possible, especially at night.
These hotspots tend to be signposted and are an indication of areas of grave concern.Car tracking company Ctrack recently released a report of hotspots based on 2016 data that can assist motorists with this. And, of course, it’s vital to not make yourself a target by leaving valuable items in plain sight where potential thieves can see them,” the AA said.
The Association noted that while these incidents – hijackings and smash-and-grabs – are extremely traumatising, it’s critical to remain as calm as possible, particularly if there are young passengers in the vehicle.
“If someone is holding gun to your head it’s best to do whatever they want. Explain that you have children in the vehicle and get them, and yourself, out as quickly as possible. Remember, a vehicle can be replaced, your or your child’s life cannot,” the AA noted.
Apart from this, the AA also advised motorists to report any incidents to the police as soon as possible.
The Association also provided these tips:
- Always remain focused on the road, do not be distracted by any electronic devices or gadgets,
- When stopping, always check your surroundings for danger ,this may be at a stop sign, traffic light, when parking or even your own driveway.
- Remain as calm as possible,
- Do not leave any valuables in open view. Rather put them in the boot of the car,
- Plan your route, and avoid going to areas you are unfamiliar with. If possible use a GPS device or consult a map beforehand to ensure you know exactly how to get to your destination,
- In the event of a hijacking, keep your hands visible at all times, and obey all instructions. Also explain at all times what you are going to do (“I am now going to unbuckle myself”, I am now going to unlock the door” etc.),
- Do not argue with a hijacker, do as he/she says,
- A well maintained vehicle (with enough fuel for whatever journey you are planning) is less likely to break down, and place you in a compromising position on the side of the road,
- Always keep your car doors locked,
- If possible avoid driving alone, especially when it is dark,
- When at home, always check your surroundings for any suspicious vehicles or persons,
- If you think you are being followed, drive to your nearest police station, and,
- Always report any incident to the police as soon as possible.
“It is impossible to completely avoid being a target but, if you remain calm, the damage may only be stolen items or, at worst, a stolen car. Don’t try and be a hero, it may cost you dearly,” the AA concluded.
When approaching a stop street or traffic lights scan the area for potential criminals and keep space between you and the car in front of you in case you have to take evasive action.Check your rearview when coming home and if you feel you are being followed do a few random turns to see if the car stays with you,if this is the case then rather proceed to the safety of a service station or police station.Many security providers offer training in anti-hijack and driveway robbery techniques,sign up for one it will do you the world of good.
Stay safe on the road and remain vigilant at all time , don’t be a victim! Safe motoring from all of us at All Terrain, www.allterrain.co.za .