Anti-hijacking systems fitted onto modern cars can deter Mzansi’s car thieves from hijacking or stealing your mechanical baby. Those with older mechanical children may have to resort to steering locks to put up a similar fight. But whether your car is fitted with top security features or parked in a conspicuous location, nothing gets in their way when SA’s car thieves want it.
Common hijacking/car theft scenarios
Car jamming: This is an everyday occurrence in the streets and parking lots of Mzansi. Criminals use signal-blocking technology to prevent a vehicle from locking correctly to gain easy access to your car.
The “flashing lights” brigade: flashes would-be victims from behind or the front and highjacks them when they stop.
We investigate 8 ways in which you can avoid or lessen the chances of becoming a highjack victim:
Look left, look right.
Always check that your car is locked before moving away from it and never stop for a vehicle that is flashing lights at you from behind or in front.
Ensure security is on lock.
Car thieves quickly catch on to the cracks in your car’s security. Avoid buying a car reported to have weak locks and other security flaws or take extra care if you own one.
Can your car’s parts be used in other vehicles?
Cars with parts that can be used in other vehicles are high risk. Consider this before buying a car or take extra caution if you own one.
Newer means safer
Older vehicles present easy hijacking targets because they don’t usually have high-quality security features. If you drive an older car, beef up your car’s security features.
Always reverse park against the wall at the mall or other parking bays where possible. This better view of your surroundings disables criminals from sneaking up behind you.
Stay vigilant at intersections.
Check all your mirrors, surroundings, and your blind spots constantly, and beware of anyone trying to draw your attention away from these tasks.
Avoid coming to a complete stop at intersections where possible, and always leave enough space between you and the vehicle in front of you for an emergency exit if you must stop.
Don’t get boxed in
Stop on the road until your gate is fully open before pulling into your driveway. Close it again as soon as possible.
Change things up
Alter your driving route, leave at different times, and avoid recognisable daily patterns.
If you suspect you’re being followed or being flashed for a hijacking don’t stop! Make your way to the nearest police station instead.