Our biggest mistake as people is our personal blind spots and our own vulnerability – especially when we’re driving.
We continuously break the law with an attitude that says: “It won’t happen to me” or by reacting aggressively with an “I’ll show them!” response. Ryno Schutte of Pro-Active SA, a vehicle security and tracking company, said: “It is the season of profits for legitimate businesses but also for criminal businesses – Christmas is a peak crime period.
“You need to be extra watchful over the next few months and report any suspicious behaviour to your local police and private security.
Some golden safety rules
- Before leaving your house, the mall, your kids’ school or other place, get off your phone!
- Walk around your vehicle to check no one is hiding near it. If your child is with you, sit them in the seat behind the driver. If there’s violence, the driver can remove and shield the child with their backs towards the hijackers.
- Make sure your number plates are both on the vehicle and no papers are stuck to the rear or front windows of your vehicle. Suspects may use them to get you to stop your vehicle to get the number plate or the papers.
- Hide valuables out of sight. Smash and grab incidents are also on the rise.
- Lock and close your car windows and doors before leaving home.
- Plan your route before leaving.
- While driving, stay off your phone! Using a phone makes the risk of an accident amazingly high and you’ll be blamed if it does happen.
- If your windscreen or tyre is damaged while driving, drive to a well-lit, busy area before stopping to check.
- Do not stop for anyone who looks as if they need help. Contact the police or security company to help instead.
- Change your route daily while leaving or returning home. Criminals track our habits.
- Lower your music and cut out distractions about 1km from your house and make sure that you are not being followed.
- Park so your car blocks the driveway into your property on the road before you open the gate so you can jump into your car and drive off if you see people approaching you.
- Don’t resist the hijackers and keep your arms visible – attackers are also nervous and panicky. Do not resist once you have exited the vehicle.
- If you have placed your child in a baby seat behind you to remove the child with ease, show the hijackers your child in the back seat. Shield your child as much as possible.
- Avoid looking into your attackers’ eyes and remain calm but try to memorise any useful information you can.
Identify the height, clothing, markings and shoes of the attackers. They’ll change clothes but not shoes. – WHEELS24.COM