Indian highways are deemed as one of the most dangerous roads in the world. While the number of accidents reported on the highways is quite high, there are many other kinds of hidden dangers that one needs to be aware of. We bring you five rampant highway crimes, and how to avoid them.
Spilling oil on cars
This is the latest crime that is being regularly reported by the motorists. The gangs use scare tactics to stop vehicles and then loot them. During such incidents, a person crossing the road will discreetly spill oil all over the grille of the car. A few kilometres later, a group on a motorcycle will tell you that the oil is leaking from the car repeatedly.
Once you stop to check the car, the team flies away with all the valuables from the vehicle. The oil spilling maneuver can also be done by a pillion rider when the car is stuck in traffic.
How to avoid it? Oil leaking from a vehicle is a major issue, and all modern cars have some mechanism to warn you about the fluids getting out of the vehicle through warning lamps. If some suspicious-looking person tries to stop you by telling you about the oil, do not stop or open the windows. If you feel that something is wrong with the vehicle and stopping is necessary, make sure that you pull over a place where other people are present. Always search for a restaurant or fuel pumps before stopping.
Knocking on window
One of the most common scams on the Indian highways is to distract you and ask for help. Such incidents are reported from all over the country. This happens in two ways. When you’re stuck in traffic, or car, is moving very slowly, some person will try to cross the road and will act like you have hit him with the. The second way is an angry looking gang member will knock the vehicle window continuously accusing the driver of hitting someone on the road.
As soon as you open the window, the gang member may snatch away with any phones that you have kept on the passenger seat. Or if the driver offers help to drop them to the nearest hospital, they may overpower the person and snatch all the valuables.
How to avoid it? If you are sure that you have not hit anyone, then do not stop or open the window. If the gang is not letting you go away from the spot, always dial the cops and do not exit the vehicle until they arrive. Anyone looking suspicious and looking inside the car for valuables should not be entertained during such situations at all.
The gang infamous in parts of Northern India became hyperactive on the Yamuna Expressway sometime back. The Yamuna Expressway does not have lights on the highway, and the gang uses techniques to stop the commuters and loot them.
Many similar incidents report that the gang uses a big axle or other metallic objects like rods to stop the vehicles. They place the axles on the lanes, and unsuspecting cars hit the objects. The gang also throw rods at the bottom of moving cars. The cars stop to check the vehicles after hearing such sounds, and this is when the gangs target them and snatch away the valuables or even cars.
How to avoid it? Be extra cautious when travelling on empty highway stretches at night. Keep an eye open for suspecting objects lying on the road and avoid it. If you hear something hitting the vehicle on an empty stretch, but the car is running fine, do not stop until you have reached a safe place. It is better to avoid unlit, empty stretches at night.
Honey trapping women
In a few incidents reported from the Bengaluru area, women gangs have started looting on the highways. In an incident, a car waiting at the traffic signal was targetted by two women. One of them kept on making the eye contact with the driver while one other woman entered the vehicle. The woman tried to convince the person to go to a secluded spot. When the driver did not budge, the woman hugged him and left the vehicle.
Later the person found that a gold chain is missing from his neck. Several reports have mentioned that the gang of women have snatched away mobile phones and wallets from the car drivers. The gang usually targeted single men.
How to avoid it? Make sure that you lock the doors of your vehicle as soon as you start driving. Do not entertain any over-friendly people on the road; you may be inviting danger. If someone tries to communicate with you, always ignore to avoid such situations.
These incidents have mainly been reported from Uttar Pradesh area. In a recent event, a biker couple who was travelling on a motorcycle at night was shot at. The couple was passing through the Muzzafarnagar city when the incident happened. Two riders on the bike came and shot the couple and then fled the spot.
In Uttar Pradesh, many other incidents have been reported where goons used a gun to stop vehicles and then snatch away belongings. Many highways of the state remain unlit at night that increases the crime.
How to avoid it? Even though the incident involving the biker couple happened at 4’o clock in the evening, UP roads get more dangerous at night. Always avoid travelling at night at empty stretches if you’re not familiar with the locality or the area. It is best to travel during the day and in groups to avoid any such situation.