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Ten ways to guard yourself against hijackers

Studies show that female motorists are more likely to fall victim to road crimes such as mugging, hijacking, sexual assaults, among others,because they appear vulnerable to their attackers.

A recent incident is that of Kenya Broadcasting Company (KBC) news anchor Shiksha Arora, who claimed to have been mugged while driving in Nairobi earlier this week.

She explained, via social media, that her assailants were in a team of three, where two of them successfully distracting her while the third opened her car door and proceeded to steal her personal belongings.

Here are some of the tips that could limit the chances of getting mugged.

1. Make sure your car is well maintained.

It helps reduce chances of having a breakdown and to start relying on strangers for help. You never know the actual intentions of the person whom you seek assistance from or offer their help to you.

2. Learn how to take care of a few mechanical issues that might arise.

For example, knowing how to change a tyre, jump start the battery is a good way of empowering yourself. I know most female motorists would prefer to leave such work to men but this might put you at an unnecessary risk.

3. Use familiar routes or have an active GPS app.

This is mainly when taking a long journey to an area that you might be unfamiliar with. Always stick to the route you are familiar with for it is easy for you to become a target to criminals on the road when lost.

4. Make sure your car doors are locked and windows rolled up while driving.

This is very important especially when stuck in traffic or on a busy road crowded with street vendors and pedestrians. If it is necessary to engage maybe with a street vendor or any other person it is wise to only open it a crack, and not open it all the way or half the way.

5. Keep your valuables out of sight.

Handbags, phones, laptops are just some of the things that attract muggers who are able to see through your car.

6. Always be cautious of strangers who alert you of something being wrong with your car.

It is important to always be alert, never react to this unless you are able to personally ascertain that this is true and might be dangerous for you to continue driving.

7. Avoid distractions while driving.

Be aware of your surroundings.

8. Have emergency numbers in your phone.

For example a motoring assistance company or car insurance company.

9. Have your car keys in hand when approaching your parked car.

Do not wait until you reach your car to start searching for the keys in your handbag. This gives enough time for a mugger to attack you.

10. Sound an alarm.

And whenever you find yourself in a bad situation in a public area, sound an alarm through hooting to attract the attention of others for help.