- Advice from an expert on hijack behaviour
- Always be aware of your surroundings
- Practice a slow exit from your vehicle
JOHANNESBURG, Gauteng – The risk of hijacking is now of major concern across South Africa and too often has tragic consequences for many families. But how can we keep ourselves safe should we face a hijacking?
MasterDrive’s managing director Eugene Herbert has some sound advice – such as always be aware of your surroundings. “We consistently urge drivers to take note of people hanging around at road junctions – particularly traffic lights.”
He suggests keeping an eye on cars ahead and behind; if commuting, look out for people outside your home. Drive to a safe place if you think a car is following you.
“However, the reality is it’s not always possible to completely avoid a hijack. In such an event a safe exit from your car is vital,” Herbert continues “A movement could be perceived as a threat – practice how you normally exit your car and moderate it to suit.
”This is covered extensively in our training programmes.”
Always remember your personal safety is always the highest priority. “In one of the two hijackings from last month it is believed a man was shot in the face when he resisted handing over his vehicle. Your life is worth more than any vehicle.”
In the second case, the driver was taken with his car and killed in horrific circumstances. “This begs the often-asked question: should I go with the hijackers or should I fight?
…AND OTHER RISKS
”Often hijackers take the drivers with the car because they believe they know where the tracking units are. Other times it is for more nefarious reasons.
“There is no easy answer about what to do. Often your instincts are the best guide to this split-second decision. That said, talking these matters through with subject matter experts provides greater clarity and objectivity in the decision-making process.”
Herbert adds, however, that a hijack is the only risks on South Africans roads. “We need to be constantly aware of threats such as smash-and-grabs and know how to handle this. Consequently, MasterDrive has re-developed its traditional hijack extraction training to an Urban Survival Xperience (USX).
”Driving on South African roads requires more than just being ready to avoid a crash. USX prepares drivers to handle every threat.”
Every South African deserves the right to safety and security, including on the roads but often this depends on ourselves alone and the decision to empower ourselves with the knowledge to do this.