It’s silly season again and that means it’s time to be even more vigilant around crime and safety. Tracker and Arrive Alive have issued a list of road and vehicle threats, based on 2014’s vehicle crime and safety trends, to ensure that your family is kept safe this festive period.
2014 Leading vehicle crime trends
- Hijackings - * 50% take place in residential driveways and parking lots and within a 5km radius of a victim’s home.
- Vehicle theft - * 80% occur at shopping centres, schools and social events, mainly over weekends.
- Technology - Criminals use remote devices to prevent your vehicle from being locked
10 Key awareness tips to stay safe on the roads
- When driving up to your house, never park in your driveway facing the gate. Hijackers may park behind you and block you in. According to Tracker, this is unquestionably the leading modus operandi for hijackers in South Africa. Always stop in the road until the gate is open before you turn into your driveway.
- Always travel with windows and doors locked and with valuables out of sight. If windows have to be open, ensure the opening isn’t big enough to fit a hand through.
- Always leave enough room between your car and the one in front of you to avoid being ‘boxed in’, should you need to escape.
- Be aware of anyone who approaches your car at traffic lights, stop streets or your driveway. Don't be distracted.
- Be aware of suspicious looking people, including women, at robots and intersections. Tracker has arrested several women for hijacking in recent years, either working alone or in gangs with men.
- Do not drive directly home after you visited a bank or ATM. Be alert to who is around you when leaving the bank or ATM and along the journey to your destination.
- Always park your vehicle at a secure location and ask the security guard his name. Park under CCTV cameras where possible
- Make sure that your vehicle is properly locked by testing the door handle – do not leave valuables visible on the seats
- Try to avoid stopping on the highway, rather take the next of ramp to stop in a more public area where you can stretch, refresh yourself and/or take a break from driving; and have numbers for roadside assistance and other emergencies close at hand or saved on your cell phone, so that you are well-prepared for any eventuality.
- Take a picture with a camera or mobile phone and file an accident report with the police as you will need a case number for your insurance company to fie a claim. Remember to get names, addresses, telephone numbers and ID numbers of everyone involved in the accident
* These are figures based on Tracker’s own customer data and are independent of any other vehicle or crime industry body data.