How to avoid being hijacked

The risk of being hijacked is ever increasing in South Africa but simply being alert can go a long way

Reuben Van Niekerk
crime statistics in South Africa

While nobody wants to be in a hijacking situation, it is an unfortunately a very real threat for motorists in South Africa.

Recent crime statistics reveal that the amount of hijacking has increased by 3.5% quarter on quarter.

In the light of this, drivers need to increase their awareness and do whatever they can to prevent it from happening.


The following tips and rules can go a long way in keeping you safe:

  • Keep an eye out for any vehicles following you.

If you are travelling from a shopping centre or airport and are being followed, do not turn into your driveway. Rather drive to a safe place such as a petrol station or the nearest police station.


  • Many armed response companies offer a service whereby they will escort you home when you are planning on arriving home at night.

If you are a client of such a company it is a good idea to make use of this service.


  • When arriving home, do not drive straight into your driveway. Park your vehicle in a parallel fashion while you wait for your gates to open, giving yourself a way to escape if you need to.


  • Once you enter, stop just inside your gate, and remain in your vehicle, while the gate is closing to prevent another car from following you in.


  • When stopped at intersections, do not be tempted to look at your phone. Rather be aware of your surroundings and look out for any possible threats.


  • When parking at a shopping mall, reverse into the parking space, preferably against a wall in order to prevent someone from catching you unaware from behind. This will also allow you to exit the parking quickly if necessary.


  • If you feel uncomfortable with the presence of someone in the parking lot, ask a security guard to walk you to your car.


Tip: The best practice is to rather be safe than sorry, do an extra circle around the block or ask someone for assistance rather than regret it.


These tips can go a long way to help you be aware of your surroundings and to protect yourself as far as possible, but it is not always preventable. Drivers should learn what they should do to increase their chances to safely remove themselves from that situation:

  • Make sure that your loved ones always know where you are and what time to expect you home.


  • Install apps on your phone and the phones of loved ones that can be used to track their location.


  • Be aware of high-risk areas and high-risk vehicles and if you have to drive in those areas make sure that you are exceptionally alert.