Ways to protect yourself from smash-and-grabs

2017-03-02 06:01

HIJACKINGS and smash-and-grab incidents can occur anytime and anywhere. Recent reports suggest an increase in both these cases of attacks.

The Automobile Association (AA) has warned motorists to be vigilant while driving, and to ensure they take responsibility for their own and their passengers’ safety.

Avoid hot spots

“The most important thing to do is be informed of where the hijacking and smash-and-grab hot spots are and to avoid them if possible, especially at night. Car tracking company Ctrack recently released a report of hotspots based on 2016 data that can assist motorists with this.

“And, of course, it’s vital to not make yourself a target by leaving valuable items in plain sight where potential thieves can see them.”

The association noted that while these incidents - hijackings and smash-and-grabs - are extremely traumatising, it’s critical to remain as calm as possible.

“If someone is holding a gun to your head it’s best to do whatever they want. Explain that you have children in the vehicle and get them, and yourself, out as quickly as possible. Remember, a vehicle can be replaced, your or your child’s life cannot.”

Apart from this, the AA also advised motorists to report any incidents to the police as soon as possible.

Safety tips:

• Always remain focused on the road, do not be distracted by any electronic devices or gadgets;

• When stopping, always check your surroundings for danger and, if possible, leave enough room between yourself and the car ahead of you to drive away;

• Remain as calm as possible;

• Do not leave any valuables in open view. Rather put them in the boot of the car;

• Plan your route, and avoid going to areas you are unfamiliar with. If possible use a GPS device or consult a map beforehand to ensure you know exactly how to get to your destination;

• In the event of a hijacking, keep your hands visible at all times, and obey all instructions. Also explain at all times what you are going to do (“I am now going to unbuckle myself”, I am now going to unlock the door”, etc);

• Do not argue with a hijacker, do as he or she says;

• A well maintained vehicle (with enough fuel for whatever journey you are planning) is less likely to break down, and place you in a compromising position on the side of the road;

• Always keep your car doors locked;

• If possible avoid driving alone, especially when it is dark;

• When at home, always check your surroundings for any suspicious vehicles or persons;

• If you think you are being followed, drive to your nearest police station, and;

• Always report any incident to the police as soon as possible.

Conclusion: “It is impossible to completely avoid being a target but if you remain calm, the damage may only be stolen items or, at worst, a stolen car.

“Don’t try and be a hero, it may cost you dearly.” - AA.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Partner Content
What all investors should know about index investing

Index-linked investments are growing fast in popularity globally, and are growing in size and complexity too.

Partner Content
How data is changing investments

Technological disruption is rife in many spheres of business and given the quantity of data available, it’s no surprise that the way in which asset managers work is also changing fast.


Perfect dog-walking 1: Why dogs pull on the lead

Some dogs go mad the minute they see the leash, drag their owner out the door and once outside start spinning, leaping about and pulling their humans off their feet.



SA stats: The role of pets in families
The top 6 poisonous foods for your pet
Does your dog have separation anxiety?
Fascinating facts about dogs
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.