The crime statistics from January and March 2021 had a total decrease of 14.4%. A concerning rise in the hijacking of both cars and trucks was, however, recorded. Motor vehicle carjacking increased by 4.9% and the hijacking of trucks increased by a whopping 24.6%.
The CEO of MasterDrive, Eugene Herbert, says this rise should propel drivers to take extra care if they do not already do so. “It is important for drivers to accept that attempting to prevent yourself from becoming a victim depends on your ability to be aware of risky situations and knowing what to do when you feel at risk. Awareness of your surroundings is the most important tool to prevent yourself from becoming a victim.”
Some information revealed in the reporting of the latest crime statistics can provide drivers with information that can be used to increase awareness and understanding:
Gauteng, Kwa-Zulu Natal, and the Western Cape had the greatest number of hijackings
People are hijacked in townships more often than residential areas, however, the difference between the two is small Sedans, hatchbacks, panel vans, and bakkies are the most commonly hijacked vehicles respectively.
Awareness of your surroundings is the most important tool to prevent yourself from becoming a victim.-EUGENE HERBERT, CEO of MasterDrive
With these stats in mind, it is important that drivers make informed decisions but should aim to avoid panicking. “If you know that you drive a high-risk car in a high-risk area, it is essential that you follow these basic principles:
- “Make it a habit to always be aware of who is driving behind you and how long they have been there.
- Never turn into a driveway or an isolated area when the same car has been behind you for some time.
- Take note of the people near your driveway when you leave or arrive and if someone is suspicious call the police or your security company rather than drive-in or reverse despite your instinct.
- Wait parallel to your driveway while the gate opens.”
“Ultimately, however, the unfortunate truth is that it is not always possible to prevent being hijacked. Drivers should not only do their best to be aware of their surroundings but prepare for the worst in case they become the victim of a hijacking despite their efforts to prevent it,” says Herbert.