Vehicle hijacking has increased by 26% over the past year according to statistics released by Alexander Forbes Insurance.
The Insurer compared statistics for the 12 months to July 2015 against the 12 month period to July 2014.
In light of these statistics, Estelle Viljoen, Alexander Forbes Insurance Executive for Actuarial Control, advised that South Africans exercise caution particularly when their vehicle was stationary. “Most hijackings occur in driveways, at stop streets or red traffic lights, outside schools when parents are dropping or fetching or when a driver has pulled up to the side of the road to take a call on their cellphone,” Viljoen said.
Viljoen recommended the following five tips to try and avoid a hijacking incident:
1. Place all valuable belongings such as laptops, cellphones and handbags out of sight or in the boot of your vehicle;
2. Check your rear-view mirror and surroundings to make certain you are not being followed and if you are, report it to the police and detour to a busy area or police station;
3. Keep your driveway well lit and when parking elsewhere stop in a well-lit area or near a security guard;
4. Change your routes on a regular basis;
5. Know the directions to your destination and make sure someone you trust knows your whereabouts.
“Unfortunately, as the statistics illustrate hijacking in South Africa is on the increase and therefore by being vigilant and well prepared you can try to avoid being a victim of hijacking,” concludes Viljoen.
Estelle Viljoen, Alexander Forbes Insurance Executive for Actuarial Control