What do i do when criminals place spikes across the road?

Various reports have emerged recently where criminals throw spikes across the road to immobilise motorists and the rob them of their belongings.

The N4 towards eastern Pretoria appears to be where the crime is occurring frequently with numerous motorists falling victim each night. The CEO of MasterDrive, Eugene Herbert, says this is yet another threat to motorists. “Drivers must be extra vigilant and follow some tips to try manage the risk it presents. The nature of the crime, however, makes it quite difficult to completely safeguard oneself from the criminals but there are a few tips that can assist motorists.”

Some tips reflected below have been used successfully by motorists while some are those that are covered in the Defensive Driver training program of MasterDrive.

If you are driving on any highway at night:

Ideally, ensure you are off the highway before traffic quietens dramatically.

Avoid driving over anything in the road including plastic bags as spikes can be concealed in these.

If there is another vehicle present, drive six seconds or more behind so their driving can alert you if anything is amiss.

If the circumstances allow, travel straddling two lanes as it may help you miss spikes being placed in the lane.

When passing under a bridge, change lanes just before you pass.

Reduce your speed in order to increase your chances of seeing obstacles in the road.

If you spot an obstacle before you reach it, move into the emergency lane or onto the grass if that section of the highway allows for it.

If the highway is quiet enough and safety allows for it, drive across the island (if it is possible) and travel in the opposite direction.

If you do hit a spike, reduce your speed to approximately 30-40km/h and continue driving. Rather continue to the nearest place of safety.

If you do not make it to a place of safety but do obtain some distance between yourself and the criminals, get out of your car and safely find a place to conceal yourself and call for help.

Do not panic or engage with the criminals.Concrete lintels are being used as well.

If you cannot avoid them any other way, slow down and carefully drive over them.

Once you have safely moved past the spikes, contact authorities to prevent any other motorists falling victim.

As a South African driver, be ready for whatever danger is encountered. “The ultimate goal is to put distance between yourselves and the criminals. If you are not successful, follow MasterDrive’s hijack extraction tips to leave the encounter with your life intact,” says Herbert.

(story credit: Arrive Alive)

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