Opinion

Renowned security expert gives handy tips on situational awareness and how to evade carjackers and other criminals

After a video of a motorist struggling with carjackers in Parklands, Nairobi and eventually outwitting them to make a daring escape, security expert Kiyo Nganga advises Kenyans on how to avoid being a victim and how to escape when confronted by criminals.

By Kiyo Nganga

Carjackings are predatory crimes, crimes dependent on opportunity, motivation and your reaction to the crime.
An attempt to carjack you is fully dependent on two components;
Opportunity to hit which you as a victim present unknowingly and your situational awareness.

Can you notice a car that has been following you? Can you notice a man on the edge of the road who has been looking at you when you are parking? Can you notice that guy who is following you from behind when you are approaching your car at that parking? Can you see the exits? Are you engaged on your phone that you are no longer aware of your surrounding?

That’s the situational awareness am talking about and I have been talking about.
This is not paranoia but being aware of your surroundings for your own safety.

You are likely to be carjacked either when entering your car at a parking lot, when slowing down at your gate, at a stage-managed accident where you will be hit for you to stop or they will block your way on the road.

How you save yourself from above is between you and your Deity.
When your God plays a part, you also got a role to play;

• Always park in a well-lit parking lot, this denies the criminals the motivation and opportunity to make you a target as it would be in an isolated and dark parking lot.

• Immediately you enter your vehicle, lock the door and roll windows up until you are in full motion.
This is a delay tactic in case you are targeted, windows down and unlocked doors make you an easy target when they pounce on you.

• When stopped by a car in front of you, make sure you can see the tyres of the car, this is a tactic that gives you distance between you and the car in front and this gives you space to swerve and escape.

• Do not stop in case of a “Bump and run”, this is a tactic used by carjackers where they hit your car from behind, make it look like an accident so you can stop to assess the damage and there you give them an opportunity to take your car.

If you are hit in an isolated area or at night, drive on.

• Situational awareness while driving, be aware of the car behind you, observe it, be aware of the car in front of you, observe it and keep a distance, be attentive when they increase speed or slow down.

• Avoid solo travel at night or on dangerous roads, it makes you an easy target.

• Trust your instincts; besides being human beings, we are spiritual beings, we can anticipate things that are about to happen.
Listen to your inner self while driving.

The major idea of all of the above is denying potential carjackers OPPORTUNITY.

When you are cornered just give away the vehicle, it is not worth your life.

Stay safe.

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