How to stay ahead of hijackings on the rise

Avoid being hijacked by remaining alert

Reuben Van Niekerk

The latest crime statistics were recently released and reveal some concerning trends. The last few months have seen a sharp increase in the number of hijackings, with as many as 5455 people reporting that they were hijacked in the last three months of 2021, which represents a 13,8% increase.


4 tips to stay ahead of the rise in car hijackings in South Africa:


1. Be aware of the risk

The first way to protect yourself is to be aware of the hijack risk when driving. Increased levels of awareness include being alert of high-risk solutions, for example, at intersections or when approaching your driveway.


2. Trust your instincts

Be especially alert when returning home from the banks or shopping centre. If you get the feeling that you are being followed rather do another loop around your neighbourhood and if it still seems like you are being followed rather drive to a safe location like a petrol station. Many armed response companies also offer their clients an escorting service if they feel that they are in danger and be sure to contact your security service if you feel uneasy in any way.


3. Plan your quick exit

When stopping in traffic, such as at traffic lights, always ensure that you have an exit plan. A good idea is to stop a fair distance from the car ahead of you, a good gauge of this distance is whether you can see where the tyres of the car ahead of you meet the tar. This will allow you to escape to the left or right if you do detect a possible hijacking threat.


4. Avoid an altercation

If you are unable to avoid a hijacking situation, you need to remember that the hijacker wants your car and would ideally like to avoid an altercation. Therefore, the best strategy is to surrender your car and save your life by cooperating with the hijacker. Doing anything to infuriate the hijacker or trying to negotiate will most probably not end favourable for you.


Indicate your intention to co-operate, the best way to do this is by raising your hands. Exit the vehicle by making the attacker at ease and aware of your actions to ensure that they remain calm. The most important thing to do is to cooperate to minimise your chances of being physically harmed.