Previous research conducted over the festive season shows clear spikes in crime during December, including hijacking…

While the reason for this can only be assumed, you can take definite action to protect yourself and your family should you find yourself in this very dangerous position.

These are some simple tips on how to do this:

1. Don’t stop in your driveway

You need to be stationary to be hijacked. While it may seem redundant to say so, coming to a complete standstill is something many drivers still do. The managing director of MasterDrive, Eugene Herbert explains: “Hijackers need you to be stationary which is why you should never pull into your driveway until the gate is open. Instead, wait in the road parallel to your driveway, ready to go at any moment, while the gate opens.

“Where possible you should also try to avoid stopping completely at intersections. If conditions allow, anticipate traffic light changes and drive slowly up to the intersection to avoid stopping at all. Remember, however, these techniques can only be effective if you are aware of your surroundings and spot a potential threat before it reaches your window,” says Herbert.

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2. Reverse parking

Shopping centres are one of the areas where crime levels increase drastically during the summer holiday. December is also the time where people spend more time at shopping centres.

Shopping centres are one of the areas where crime levels increase drastically during the summer holiday.

“If you find yourself at a shopping centre in the coming weeks find a parking space against a wall. Then reverse your car into the parking space. When you return to your car you can offload your purchases while keeping an eye open for potential threats. The wall at your back also prevents someone from surprising you from behind.”

3. Practice

Children are also more likely to be travelling with you during December. “While none of us wants to consider being hijacked with our children, the reality is that we should. Before you find yourself in this situation, teach your children where to sit in the car and what to do if it does happen. Agree on a keyword which will mobilise car occupants into action. Remember a car is replaceable but a life isn’t. Your primary objective should be to get yourself and your family out of the car as quickly and safely as possible.”

As the year draws to a close, lets end if on a positive note. Be careful not to drop your guard as you enjoy the holiday season. You do not need to be afraid to step out the house, but you do need to be ready should you become the target of criminals.

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