It is always safer to travel in numbers! This is one of the recommendations we offer to international visitors! We can take out travel insurance to protect our belongings – but the best advice still remains be to be alert and vigilant and, when possible, to avoid traveling on your own!
Not only is it possible to have support and assistance in the unfortunate event of a road accident or other medical emergency, but you are also less likely to be the victim of criminal behaviour on the roads!
Criminals who target road users with hijacking, smash-and-grab or other tactics might be deterred by the presence of other passengers or fellow travellers. This would increase your safety on the road. We also emphasize the importance of travelling in groups when travelling on safari in the bush. In the event of a sudden medical emergency you will have assistance nearby and other travellers might be able to direct the emergency response teams to your location.
We would like to share some suggestions to road users to protect from the criminals next to our roads:
Safety / Protection against Criminals on the road
When driving anywhere in South Africa, try to apply the following safety precautions:
- Always drive with your doors locked and windows wound up, especially when stopped at traffic lights.
- Don’t ever stop to pick up hitchhikers, however innocent, lost or appealing they look. If you are worried about someone’s plight, stop at the next town and report it to someone there.
- Do not leave anything valuable on show in your car when you leave it unattended, and always lock your car when you leave it, even if you are only going to be gone for a few minutes.
- Try to always park in a busy, well-lit area.
- Take advice from your hosts where you are staying, and ask if there are any areas that tourists should avoid driving through
- Do not confront aggressive or abusive road users.
- If possible avoid traveling at night or in remote areas.
- Thieves have been known to employ various methods to make a vehicle stop, enabling them to rob the occupants. One such method is the placing of large stones in the middle of the road. In the circumstances it is prudent to carefully drive around the stones or obstacle, rather than stop the vehicle.
The increased safety in numbers is best explained with this ad from a bus service: