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10Feb 2016

The low-down on hijacking

High risks might at times reap high rewards, but there are some risks that just aren’t worth taking. You might be taking risks during your daily routine that you’re not even aware of. If you’re a car owner, the most unknown risk you are probably taking, is the risk of being hijacked. No South African can ,with certainty, be safe from being hijacked, but for safety’s sake there are certain hijacking hotspots that should rather be avoided.

Gauteng, according to crime data is by far the worst place for hijacking, with the areas around Johannesburg and Pretoria being the hardest hit. Gauteng earns its title as the hijacking capital of South Africa, by hosting most of the 10 hottest spots for hijacking in the country.

Here are South Africa’s top 10 hijacking hotspots:

  1. Sydenham, KwaZulu-Natal
  2. Springs, Gauteng
  3. Chatsworth, KwaZulu-Natal
  4. Dawn Park, Gauteng
  5. Dobsonville, Gauteng
  6. Rietgat, Gauteng
  7. Roodepoort, Gauteng
  8. Moffatview, Gauteng
  9. Pinetown, KwaZulu-Natal
  10. Booysens, Gauteng

Merely knowing where the hijacking hotspots are, however, is not enough. Luckily the king has a few extra tips to help you stay safe and, hopefully, avoid being hijacked.

Here are the king’s top tips to try and avoid hijackings:

  • Plan ahead: Now that you know the hotspots, you can plan your route so that you can avoid them, if possible.
  • Be alert: Be aware of your surroundings so that you will be able to notice anything suspicious.
  • Smart stopper: When you are approaching a red light, try and time your stopping so that you reach the intersection as soon as the light turns green (especially when it is late at night).
  • Space saves: Be sure that you leave enough space between you and any car in front of you. This assures that you have enough wiggling room and that you aren’t boxed in, in case things go pear-shaped.
  • Check your tail: Be aware of the cars behind you. Should you feel like you are being followed, make a few false turns. If the car is still behind you, keep driving until you reach your nearest police station or, otherwise, populated area.

Google Maps has also added a handy layer to help you analyse an up-to-the-minute report on the highest risk areas in your vicinity.

The king wants the entire royal family to be safe, so be aware, be alert and avoid becoming just another crime statistic.

Be safe out there.