Hijackings are a part of life in South Africa – and part of the risk you need to consider when it comes to selecting your car insurance. Latest statistics reveal that there is an average of 84 hijackings in South Africa every day with Gauteng, Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal serving as the hotspots.
Hijackers are also evolving with the times, finding new methods and techniques, while becoming more brazen in their attempts. Forewarned is forearmed – in this article from Old Mutual iWYZE we share some the most prevalent hijacking trends to help you stay sharp and avoid trouble.
Hijackings at petrol stations has become a trend. While fuelling up we are static and often distracted by looking for our bank cards, making calls or texting while we wait. This provides a perfect opportunity for hijackers to approach unseen and make a quick getaway.
This video show how quick an unsuspecting motorists got hijacked in Johannesburg.
There’s a new trend in using social situations to hijack vehicles. Some hijackers are now making a habit of befriending patrons at bars and restaurants. They strike up a friendly conversation and after a few rounds, once your guard is down, they make off with your keys to leave your stranded without your wheels. In some instances there has even been reports of drinks being spiked to pacify victims.
Remote jamming and relay boxes
Thieves are also keeping ahead the technology curve. While remote jamming is a simple and widespread method to gain access to vehicles, there exists a number of other hi-tech devices that can even override electronic security measures. Here’s an example of how quickly these ‘relay boxes’ can unlock and start a vehicle.
Fake police or traffic officers are another hijacking trend. Criminals can easily replicate uniforms or vehicle branding to seem official.
What can you do to protect yourself?
- Never try to be a hero. Your vehicle can be replaced by your insurance… your life cannot. Stay calm, and adhere to hijackers’ demands.
- Whenever possible, try and avoid driving late at night – especially in quiet areas and avoid fuelling up after dark.
- Whenever possible, park your car inside a locked garage. Avoid parking on the sidewalk, even if you’re just running inside for a minute.
- When arriving home, be vigilant and on the lookout for strange vehicles or persons lurking about, especially while your gate is busy closing.
- Never put your keys (or any valuables for that matter) on display at public venues.
- When parking, always double-check that your doors are locked to protect yourself against remote jamming.
- Always insure that you have comprehensive car insurance in place.
Old Mutual iWYZE provides affordable and reliable car insurance to protect you against the devastating financial effects of a robbery or hijacking. Make the wise insurance choice and GET A CAR INSURANCE QUOTE today.
Old Mutual Insure Ltd is an authorised FSP (FSP12). Risk profile dependent. Terms and conditions apply.