3 things South Africans need to know about hijackings during the December holidays

Previous research conducted over the festive season shows clear spikes in crime during December, including hijacking.

This is according to advanced driver training company, MasterDrive, which has outlined three simple tips to try protect families from falling into a very potentially dangerous position.

Don’t stop in your driveway

You need to be stationary to be hijacked. While it may seem rather redundant to say so, coming to a complete standstill is something many drivers still do.

“Hijackers need you to be stationary which is why you should never pull into your driveway until the gate is open. Instead, wait in the road parallel to your driveway, ready to go at any moment, while the gate opens, said managing director of MasterDrive, Eugene Herbert.

“Where possible you should also try to avoid stopping completely at intersections. If conditions allow, anticipate traffic light changes and drive slowly up to the intersection to avoid stopping at all. Remember, however, these techniques can only be effective if you are aware of your surroundings and spot a potential threat before it reaches your window,” said Herbert.

Reverse parking

Shopping centers are one of the areas where crime levels increase drastically. December is also the time where people spend more time there.

“If you find yourself at a shopping centre in the coming weeks find a parking space against a wall. Then reverse your car into the parking space. When you return to your car you can offload your purchases while keeping an eye open for potential threats,” said Herbert.

“The wall at your back also prevents someone from surprising you from behind.”


Children are also more likely to be travelling with parents during December.

“While none of us wants to consider being hijacked with our children, the reality is that we should. Before you find yourself in this situation, teach your children where to sit in the car and what to do if it does happen,” said Herbert.

“Agree on a keyword which will mobilise car occupants into action. Remember a car is replaceable but a life isn’t. Your primary objective should be to get yourself and your family out the car as quickly and safely as possible.”

Read: The worst roads and hijacking hotspots in Joburg, Pretoria and Cape Town

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