driver training, driving tips, Motoring News, road safety, vehicle security

What to do if YOU’RE the target of a vehicle hijack

  • What to do if faced with a car hijacker
  • Target could be you, your car, or your cash
  • Get used to these simple-to-do precautions

DURBAN, South Africa – Recently, according to MasterDrive, vehicle hijacking has spiked in this coastal city – along with an increase in the number of people kidnapped when their vehicle is hijacked.

Reasons vary. Sometimes a hijacker believes the driver knows the location of the car’s tracking unit; other times the victim will be taken to draw cash from an autoteller.

MasterDrive’s Eugene Herbert has stressed that drivers should pay attention to their surroundings. “Simple habits such as not turning into your driveway if  another vehicle has been following – simply halt on the street parallel to your gate.

HIGHWAY PANIC: What to do if you're in peril at the hands of a hijacker. Image: MasterDrive
HIGHWAY PANIC: What to do if you’re in peril at the hands of a hijacker. Image: MasterDrive

”If the other car’s doors start to open… drive away briskly to avoid the trauma of being hijacked.”

Some other protection suggestions:

  • Try to avoid stopping at traffic lights – approach slowly to give the red light time to change to green.
  • Pay extra attention (or simply take another route!) in areas where cars are frequently hijacked.
  • Recognise people standing at intersections on your commuting route.
  • Scan the areas around your parking garage boom or home driveway gate.

Herbert says, however, that despite the above precautions you might still find yourself in a hijack situation.

“If that happens you need to know how to remove yourself from it safely,” he said. ”Learn how to get out of your vehicle quickly and safely so that the interaction is over as quickly as possible.

”Practice your plan of action so if the worst happens your reaction will be automatic.”

Yet another threat is what to do if the criminal still compels you to stay in the car. What to do: comply or refuse?

READ MORE MasterDrive features on Carman’s Corner

Herbert again: “We’re often asked that question at MasterDrive events. There’s no simple answer – you need to act instinctively. If no quick and safe escape is possible we strongly  caution against physically engagement, which might be met with fury.

”You don’t know the attacker’s state of mind or whether his weapon is real or fake. While we can’t predict exactly how it will play out, we believe knowledge will empower your decisions.”

You can contact MasterDrive SA here for more information.

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