A South African Reality

  • by onRoute
  • Aug 12, 2014
  • 575
  • News

 A smash and grab criminal turns a pleasant drive into a nightmare. The criminal act is usually characterized by smashing through the vehicle window and grabbing something of value whilst the car is stationary at traffic lights, or stuck in slow moving traffic. This violent act often places the motorist in silent paralysis – just enough to get hold of the valuables and flee the scene! Even though it is not always possible to avoid the so called hotspots, it is possible to reduce the risk of becoming a smash and grab victim.

Arrive Alive offers safety tips to motorists, emphasising that the cautious driver is able to prevent most smash-and-grab incidents.

10 Safety Tips for Driving:

Even though it is not always possible to avoid the so called hot spots, it is possible to reduce the risk of becoming a smash and grab victim.
  1. Lock all your doors and close the windows.
  2. Avoid opening your windows or getting involved in discussions with street vendors or anyone handing out flyers.
  3. Be constantly on the lookout for suspicious looking characters.
  4. Always remain alert when coming to an intersection or stopping your vehicle.
  5. Be wary of people standing at intersections – perpetrators wait here for an opportunity to pounce.
  6. If you encounter obstacles such as rocks or tyres do not get out of your vehicle to remove them. Rather reverse and drive in the opposite direction.
  7. If it’s late at night, slow down well in advance of intersections, allowing the light to change green by the time you reach the robots.
  8. Leave a gap between you and the car in front of you to give you room to drive away from the scene, if anything should happen.
  9. Be especially wary if you see broken glass lying on the road, chances are that a smash and grab occurred just recently.
  10. Reduce the chances of becoming a target by removing bags, phones, briefcases, laptops and any other valuables. These items must be kept out of sight in your boot. Car floors, dashboards and seats are not good enough!

6 Safety Tips for Parking:

  1. Always park your car in attended parking lots.
  2. Ensure that you always park in a well-lit area at night.
  3. Keep your car visible. Thieves do not want witnesses. Whenever possible, park your car near to pedestrian and vehicle traffic.
  4. Never sit in your vehicle without being conscious of your surroundings.
  5. Lock your doors and roll up your windows when you park.
  6. Activate your security system.

Protective ‘Smash and Grab’ Window Film

Although smash and grab protective safety film may not prevent smash and grab incidents, it will give you a few extra minutes to compose yourself and drive safely away. The protective film is usually tinted so that no-one can see into the car. Most importantly, it prevents the window from shattering - the glass breaks, but the film holds the pieces in place, which protects you from broken glass splinters. Some car insurance companies provide a discounted premium to vehicle owners who install window safety film on their vehicles.

Safety film also rejects up to 99% of the sun’s harmful UV rays, helping to protect you against skin cancer and your car’s interior from fading and cracking. It reduces glare and resultant eye fatigue and improves comfort by keeping the vehicle interior cool and comfortable in scorching heat.

If you don’t have smash and grab film installed, leave your window open slightly (approximately 3 cm, but less than 5cm). This makes the glass more flexible and more resistant against shattering if struck by a sharp object.