Cruising with J9: When paranoia pays

2012-02-07 14:27

I’ve become so paranoid it’s almost gangster.

Well, not quite, but bad experiences – an attempted hijacking and car theft – have taught me some valuable lessons.
The day I was almost hijacked I let my guard down for just a moment and didn’t notice the man approaching my window at a red traffic light.

Thankfully, and rather foolishly, my adrenaline kicked in, making me fight back and cussing like a pirate instead of freezing and giving in.

Here’s my advice:

» When approaching your car, don’t be distracted by your cellphone, move quickly and always keep your keys in your hand and be ready to drive.
» When you’re driving late at night, try and time the traffic lights as you approach. Slow down and let the car roll quite a few metres so that you don’t need to stand still for too long.
» If you think you’re being followed, you probably are. When my car was stolen a couple of years ago, there were several incidents when I was convinced I was being followed and it turned out I had been.
If you think you have someone on your tail, try and make mental notes of car registrations and details of the car. Whatever you do, don’t drive straight home. Rather drive to the nearest police station.
» Try and take different routes home at night, and always take a quick spin around the block. If you notice suspicious cars or characters walking close to your driveway, rather drive by and call the police or the community security.
» I flash my brights to try and spot anyone hiding in dark corners and I always check my surroundings.
Keep your cellphone in your pocket and keep important numbers on speed dial.
» It’s simple really, but keep your doors locked and your eyes peeled. Your windows should be up, but with a teeny gap to release some pressure to prevent them from being smashed by handbag grabbers with their spark plugs.
Pretend you’re an international spy if you must, but always be alert – it might just save you some trauma.
» Follow me on Twitter: @SpeedQueen. Follow City Press: @City_Press
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