Vehicle hijacking cases increase every year in Africa. The criminals involved, according to a recent research, are mostly young men and sometimes young women, who view theirs as just another business. The motive is money and the vehicle owners are seen as an obstacle between them and their goal.
So, the best way to deal with and avoid a hijack situation is exercising caution, commonly known as hijack prevention skills. Many driving schools are today offering these lessons to new drivers for as little as $450. Let’s see some of these invaluable skills.
1. Knowing the neighborhood
It has been established that 80% of hijackings happen in home driveways. It’s therefore safe to first do a quick check before driving through the route, as well as being on the lookout for strangely behaving individuals or vehicles. While driving through such places, maximum concentration is necessary, and deterrents such as loud music are discouraged.
2. Keep safe distance when driving
While on the road, particularly in unknown or suspect places, try to leave a safe distance allowance between you and the vehicle just ahead. The vehicle ahead may be ferrying the criminals who may later turn to torment you. Should this be the case, you will have some space and time to make an escape.
3. Avoiding predictability
It takes quite some time for carjackers to plan and successfully execute a hijacking crime. How soon they can possibly get through the undertaking depends on their ability to quickly collect information about the victim. If the victim is a regular user of a given section of a road during certain times, then this increases their predictability and therefore their chances of being attacked.
4. Be quick to sense pursuit
Use your side mirrors regularly to check the vehicles behind you. Keep note of them to see if one particular one keeps strangely behind you for long periods. If that’s so, try going round a block or making an unnecessary change of route. If you suspect that someone is following you, quickly drive to the nearest police station and report the matter.
6. Closely guard the car keys
While approaching your car, try to, as much as possible; keep the car keys away from the sight of potential hijackers. Potential hijackers include anyone who appears suspect or just any unknown individual around the car. Produce the keys only when necessary, e.g when igniting the car for takeoff.
7. Keeps windows and doors locked
While inside the car, keep the doors locked and the windows shut or partially open if necessary. Also, keep invaluable gadgets such as phones, handbag, tablets and laptops out of the attackers’ sight.
8. Keep vigil at the parking lot
While your car is at the parking lot, danger lurks around. Should you notice strange looking individuals around it, avoid getting near or exercise maximum caution in doing so, or possibly ask for assistance.
These are just a few of the many anti-hijack skills that can save drivers a great deal in keeping away from dangerous hijackings.