Welcome to the SAMTRAC Blog

How to behave (and not behave) in a hijacking situation

[fa icon="calendar"] 10/7/17 6:40 PM / by SAMTRAC


Cover image 7 October 2017.jpg

In conjunction with our previous blog – Top 29 anti-hijacking tips for truck drivers – today we offer advice on what to do should you (or your drivers) find yourself in the unfortunate situation of an actual hijacking. What’s helpful is you can also apply these tips to your everyday life to ensure you and your family also stay safe.


What are the motivations behind truck hijackings – aside from the obvious ones?

Disturbing evolutions in the modus operandi has been detected. When truck hijackings first appeared as an ‘issue’, it was almost always about product. Most hijackings would be limited to cash-in-transit operations, electronics and valuable goods. It would involve cash money or products that are easy to sell (think electronics, cell phones, etc.) and often involved ‘inside jobs’ where staff or employees were coerced into cooperating with product-specific syndicates.


As security measures have increased, so has the complexity of operations, methodology and interest evolved. Now, we can detect trends, such as type-specific vehicles (certain makes of trucks, certain types of trailers, etc.) being targeted often. For example, you may notice a sudden peak in tri-axle trailers being stolen and heading directly towards borders.


The criminals targeting vehicles are far more co-ordinated and professional

Years ago it was about firepower and surprise. Criminals would approach, overwhelm and rob vehicles. As security measures, tracking options, security escorts, task-specific policing units, faster communication methods, and marking, tracking and tracing of product have become more commonplace, so the methods, weapons, technology and techniques have evolved too.


Criminals are now so sophisticated that they are using:

  • signal jammers
  • diversion tactics
  • infiltration teams
  • blackmail, and
  • even planted employees

to reach product or assets.


Criminals have also become more professional in terms of technique and process.


7 rules to follow in a hijacking

  1. ALWAYS remember that no car or possession is more important then you or your families’ lives. Cars and possessions can be replaced, lives cannot.
  2. Under NO circumstances lose your temper, argue, threaten or challenge the hijackers. They are nervous to start with, so if you upset them, they might retaliate and hurt you.
  3. When you are approached by a hijacker, put your hands up. The perpetrators need to see your hands so they do not feel threatened.
  4. Do not make eye contact. This makes the hijackers nervous because they think that you can identify them later.
  5. Try to observe as many things that you can without looking directly at the hijacker. It can be useful when you have to describe them to the police later.
  6. Do not turn off your car.
  7. Do not turn your back on the hijackers – your organs are most exposed from the back.

The most dangerous driving habit  






Topics: Health and Safety, Driving safety, driver training, Driver safety



SAMTRAC International is the leading occupational health, safety and environment (HSE) management e-learning training course that provides students with the foundational and fundamental knowledge critical to occupational HSE management.

subscribe to our blog
Download the SAMTRAC Mining glossary

Lists by Topic

see all