Don’t fall victim to smash and grabs

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The reality is that we all know of someone who has been a victim of a smash and grab and in some instances that victim could be you!

Smash and grabs occur daily and often happen as quickly as the speed of light. The moment a smash and grab happens, one tends to go on a fearful emotional roller coaster that leaves one feeling helpless and vulnerable.

Below are a few tips to help you avoid being a victim of a smash and grab:

  1. The first and most important tip – be AWARE of your surroundings. Do your best to be vigilant of what’s happening around you – avoid distractions such as cell phones or even passengers!
  2. Keep your doors locked and, if possible, windows closed or rolled down slightly – but not enough to give access to slippery fingers. Smash and grabs don’t only happen with closed windows, and a slightly open window is more flexible and resistant to shattering.
  3. Put your belongings where they will not be in plain sight and end up as easy targets. Putting them in the boot is a great idea!
  4. Be on the lookout for any obstacles on the road. If there’s shattered glass on the road, this could be an indication of a smash and grab hotspot. If you hit strange debris in the road (like rocks on a highway which would normally be clean, etc.), don’t get out of your car to check – rather drive (safely) to a secure area where you can check whether there is any damage. If it’s safe (and feasible) to, reverse and drive off in a different direction.
  5. When driving late at night, slow down well in advance to avoid stopping at a traffic light – slow down enough for the light to turn green by the time you reach the intersection but not slow enough to put you in danger. Remember to check the intersection for cars which may be trying to skip the red light before you zoom off.
  6. If possible, avoid the outer lanes and use the middle lane. Smash and grabbers like to hide in bushes, behind trees or lurk around the outer lanes.
  7. When stopping at an intersection, leave enough space between you and the car ahead – you should be able to see the back tyres of the car in front of you. This way, you have an escape route should you need to use it.
  8. Pimp up your windows with a protective smash and grab film – don’t just make it harder for criminals to get access, make it even harder for them to see into your private vehicle space.

The reality is that there is actually very little you can do to avoid being a victim of a smash and grab but with these tips you can manage to quickly gather courage and drive to a place of safety.  Should you find yourself in a roadside emergency, remember that car insurance is best for such unforeseen occurrences.

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