With a host of safety risks on South African roads, motorists need to take ownership of their own protection – and one of the most effective ways of doing so is by staying connected throughout your journey.
Stolen-vehicle-recovery company Netstar, a subsidiary of Altron, has the following tips for keeping your car, your belongings and your loved ones safe from harm.
Stay aware – Pay full attention to the road, following traffic and your surroundings. Avoid “zoning out”, or being distracted by music, podcasts or your phone. It’s about staying connected to your environment. This is especially important in low-speed environments or when you come to a stop – at traffic lights, or the entrances to buildings.
Choose your route carefully – Use a navigation app to plan the optimal route for your journey. This helps to minimise your time on the road. Avoid known hijacking hotspots where possible. Business owners can use fleet intelligence software and services to identify the best routes for their drivers.
Get vehicle tracking – If you, your family or one of your colleagues goes missing, tracking and stolen-vehicle recovery technology will locate your vehicle. This can make all the difference in protecting lives and recovering property. The latest app-based products allow family members to follow their loved-ones’ journeys and react if anything seems out of the ordinary.
Have a panic app or button – Look for an app-based emergency-response service that allows you to easily send a panic alert for armed or medical response. Shake-to-call and event-video functionality are even more effective – allowing you to make a call by simply shaking your phone and to automatically record an incident. In a crisis, you might not be able to make a phone call.
Share your numbers – Memorise the numbers of those close to you. Store your tracking-company helpline number on another device. Alternatively, share the number with a loved one. That way, if you lose your phone, you can still get help when you need it.
Get impact-detection – Some telematic vehicle-tracking devices can detect impacts and immediately alert tracking companies, without the driver even having to make a call. This can help protect against car-theft methods such as the “bumper-bashing” method, where criminals get you to stop after bumping your car, or when hijackers try to box your vehicle in.
Get networked – Having a tracking company at your service also gives you access to a nationwide network of security companies and first responders. Build a digital network to ensure you can get help wherever you are – and whenever you need it.
Avoid remote jamming – Car thieves use jamming devices to stop your remote from locking your vehicle at malls and other public spaces. Jamming-detection technology is available to warn you if your vehicle has not been locked. Look out for this feature when choosing a tracking provider.
Stay alert, stay connected and stay safe!