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View Full Version : Driving... Tactically??


SoupieXX75
August 20, 2009, 02:07 PM
While browsing through threads here, I've read several posts about attempted carjackings that were thwarted by drawing a concealed weapon. Most of these situations, the drivers allowed themselves to be blocked in. From the other posts I've read, it seems like every aspect of life has been covered concerning tactics. Except for driving (I did search for it). It seems that in driving, situational awareness would prevent people from falling into "traps" for this activity (one more reason not to text or talk on the phone while driving!).

What do you think? I realize that driving (for some) is pretty freakin hard... But for those of us who can tell our right from our left, are there any suggestions or ideas that we should consider (like always leave an escape route)?

I'm quite curious to see what you all have to say!

Xyas
August 20, 2009, 03:05 PM
One thing I always try to do is when coming to a stop light, I always leave enough space between the car in front of me and my car so that I can turn around them and get out (driving over the curb, if necessary) if I need to make a hasty escape.

Brian Pfleuger
August 20, 2009, 03:17 PM
My biggest suggestion would be to always drive and behave in a way that is least likely to cause problems. Cutting people off, passing in unsafe ways, giving people the bird when they cut you off, "brake checking" tailgators.... etc.

As a matter of fact, it's a pretty good way to go about your everyday life whether in or out of the car. Basically, don't cause trouble and don't aggravate or respond to those who do.

C Philip
August 20, 2009, 03:25 PM
I agree with Xyas, and have posted similar suggestions before. Always leave enough space to turn out of the bad situation. Also if your doors don't lock automatically, make sure you lock them first thing when you get in the car. Also having one of those safety hammers available to break the glass in case you are trapped inside is a good idea.

Glenn E. Meyer
August 20, 2009, 03:26 PM
For those into training, Insights, OPS and some others run courses on vehicle tactics. They range from simple how to shoot and drive to really intensive high level experiences. Kind of fun and give you a feel how you are not helpless behind the wheel.

Make sure you roll down the window when you practice.

chemgirlie
August 20, 2009, 03:31 PM
Although this isn't carjacking related, I see people get themselves into bad positions in their cars almost daily. There is a stoplight near where I live that has fairly busy double train tracks a few yards behind it.

During rush hour the cars at the stoplight are often backed up bumper to bumper past the train tracks. There are cars on the train tracks with another car right in front and another right behind. Should a train happen along at that time whoever is on the tracks is royally screwed as they can't go forwards or backwards. It makes me nervous every time I see that.

markj
August 20, 2009, 04:27 PM
I ride a motorcycle, always leave an opening to get away from cars that refuse to stop behind me.

Always lock car doors when I drive.

Yankee Traveler
August 20, 2009, 04:53 PM
I (almost) always leave an opening or escape route of some type.
While moving I will avoid the middle lane to keep from getting boxed in, and always check the mirrors to adjust the buffer distance to the car behind as well as in the front. Always have a backup plan to take the breakdown lane if there is a sudden stop in front and a tailgater behind. Or a longer distance in front if a ditch or barrier prevents the side exit.
Before I left Virginia Beach they were starting to use three car teams to trap people. One in front and one behind then one would role up besideas the guy behind would tap your rear trying to force people stop and get out of their cars to check damage/exchange insurance info. Instant assault/car jacking.
I started trying to stay in the right hand lane and be ready to swerve into a parking lot whenever possible if someone started pacing me and appeared to be boxing me in.

sakeneko
August 20, 2009, 06:27 PM
Chemgirlie, no kidding. I don't give a d*mn about "tactical" or not, but driving a car is the most dangerous things most of us ever do. It's far more dangerous than many supposedly "dangerous" hobbies, such as skydiving or whitewater rafting, let alone owning firearms and shooting. We're far more likely to die in a car accident than in any sort of encounter with a bad guy, with or without a gun.

Given how concerned many of us are with our safety and with self defense, it simply makes sense to learn how to drive well. People who know how to drive their car well are more likely to avoid trouble (accidental and criminal) and more likely to survive if they do get into trouble.

When I lived in the Silicon Valley, we had the tracks for a regional commuter train (CalTrain) right by a major street, crossed by feeder streets at street level. I repeatedly saw people drive onto the tracks when the car in front of the tracks was stopped cold. :/ That's not legal -- not in California nor anywhere else I've lived and had a driver's license. (Texas, Washington, Oregon, Nevada) Drivers are supposed to stop at a safe distance *before* crossing train tracks. Drivers should cross only when there is room on the other side so that they won't have to stop on the tracks for any reason.

Stopping on the tracks isn't just illegal -- it's also INSANELY dangerous. Locomotives used by common carriers (public companies) weigh anywhere between a quarter and a half million pounds each. That's between 100 and 300 *tons*, people. The average passenger car weighs between 1 and 4 tons. (1 for a miniature subcompact, 4 for a Hummer H2.) Even if you don't consider the weight of the loaded cars behind the locomotive, and even if you assume that the train uses only a single locomotive (not usually the case with freight trains), that's a difference of approximately 2 orders of magnitude in weight. Simple physics tells you that in a collision between the two, the car and anybody in it is toast.

Going up against a train with any car, SUV, or pickup truck is like going up against an antiaircraft gun with a .38 special revolver.

Getting back to the issue of avoiding carjackings, the same instincts that should keep you from stopping on train tracks should also allow you to avoid being boxed in by traffic in the city. Foresight and planning are the keys. First, where possible, avoid rush hour traffic. There's no way to guarantee enough maneuver space during rush hour in most large cities. Second, learn the surface streets and back routes between your home and workplace, and learn the traffic patterns on those streets at different times of the day. That way, you can deliberately take routes that won't have too much traffic, but avoid roads with no or minimal traffic after dark.

Third, know where the police stations and other safe havens are in the neighborhoods where you live and work. If someone is following you or something feels "wrong", you don't want to have to look those locations up in your GPS or get a 911 operator to direct you if you can avoid it. You need to avoid splitting your attention if you are being followed by a potential carjacker, kidnapper, stalker, whatever.

I've always been safety conscious, and in high school all those mumble-mumble years ago had an unusually good driver's education teacher who was a retired police officer. He taught us a lot, some of it in the book, and some of it decidedly *not* in the book. :cool: I've managed to avoid ever being carjacked, mugged, robbed, or accosted by any criminal who was bent on doing me harm for over 48 years. I did not acquire a gun until the day after my 48th birthday, however; it is a late and relatively minor addition to my set of self protection and self defense tools.

Someday I might take a "tactical driving" class if I think those skills might be good to have, but it would also be a minor tool in my set. Most of what people need to do in a car to protect themselves from accidents and bad guys isn't any special driving skills, but just knowing the basic skills well and using them.

Chettt
August 23, 2009, 11:20 PM
I thought I was the only one who leaves room between my vehicle and the one in front for an escape route. When driving at night the radio stays off as well.

eclipsetactical
August 23, 2009, 11:41 PM
Definately helps if you ride a motorcycle to know how to drive "tactically" or in a way to get out of a situation without stopping quickly. What Mark said is so true, as a rider myself I always am looking to keep my bike in a postion I can get out of a situation with a car that is acting stupid. If they are braking hard infront of me I back way off and stay to the inside so that if they stop to quickly even while I am backed off I can proactively use the bikes capability to move past them on one side or another. Same can be done in a car, you can always keep yourself in a possition where you have several options of movement even though it is not quite as nimble as a bike.

As far as being in a car I have my control system setup to lock my doors when I put it in gear and not open it till I manually do it. One of the great things about Cadillac you have the control system to tell it exactly how you want things done. But yeah always keep your doors locked.

I mean last resort if you get in a box in car jacking situation if you can at least move your car forward even if having to ram the car jacker and turn hard left exposing your passenger side to the danger then you have the car covering most of your body as a shield if they start shooting and a level roof or hood to shoot from. Always know everything around you though, alot of these guys have a car in back watching out so you need to be concerned with that as well. Using your car as a weapon first then your gun is really the best way to do things. You would be suprised how quickly crooks will rethink things when they figured out you are not going to just sit there and be boxed in that you will run over them if needed.

Heck I live in a nice area though don't really have to worry about this stuff. If I lived in a rough area though I would prolly carry my conceil and then a back up weapon with some real fire power in the trunk like an AR or AK loaded with a roation of AP Tracer, AP, Incendiary AP....Put one of those incendiary through about where their gas tank is you are going to get to see a wonderful fireworks show :D

Skan21
August 23, 2009, 11:50 PM
My biggest suggestion would be to always drive and behave in a way that is least likely to cause problems. Cutting people off, passing in unsafe ways, giving people the bird when they cut you off, "brake checking" tailgators.... etc.

That may be the smartest thing that has ever been said on this forum. Just because you're packing, doesn't give you the right to drive like an a**hole. My brother is probably the worst driver on earth, because he gets road rage like you've never seen before.

ECHOONE
August 23, 2009, 11:57 PM
I'll just say this short thing 20 yrs ago when I took training to be a UPS driver I was taught a very easy simple thing: ALWAYS LEAVE YOURSELF AN OUT!!!! always leave a car length space in front of you when ever you come to a stop where ever you are even at a stop light!!!!!

stephen426
August 24, 2009, 12:03 AM
My biggest suggestion would be to always drive and behave in a way that is least likely to cause problems. Cutting people off, passing in unsafe ways, giving people the bird when they cut you off, "brake checking" tailgators.... etc.

As a matter of fact, it's a pretty good way to go about your everyday life whether in or out of the car. Basically, don't cause trouble and don't aggravate or respond to those who do.

Very wise words my friend. I am lucky to have survived my younger and stupider days. If some jerk wants to cut you off and then drive slowly, how much time will that cost you versus getting into a shootout? I get shot... I lose. I shoot him and get arrested... I still lose. Cooler heads usually prevail.

One other piece of advice... Get a car that can outrun most cars or drive over most cars! That is a great tactical advantage. :eek:;)

SAIGAFISH
August 24, 2009, 12:10 AM
my take is put a beefy bumper on your truck'and be ready to pay your
deductable,and your can push your way out running over said scumbags
in defense.

Ares
August 24, 2009, 01:57 AM
One other piece of advice... Get a car that can outrun most cars or drive over most cars! That is a great tactical advantage.

I would have to argue most of it is not the car but the driver. running over another car does not seem like the best idea. However. Learning to drive your vehicle properly to outrun some one that might be chasing you is a big plus. I suggest (if you own a car and not SUV or pickup) trying a autocross or rallycross which will help you learn the limits of your vehicle in a legal way. (or a track day at a road course near you). If you can drive your own vehicle to its limit at all. You are probably a lot better than most people on the road. I had someone chase me once. I was able to evade them by knowing how to drive at least better than them. Breaking line of site and then changing directions a few times is a very good way to end it.

Trooper Tyree
August 24, 2009, 05:16 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by peetzakilla
My biggest suggestion would be to always drive and behave in a way that is least likely to cause problems. Cutting people off, passing in unsafe ways, giving people the bird when they cut you off, "brake checking" tailgators.... etc.

As a matter of fact, it's a pretty good way to go about your everyday life whether in or out of the car. Basically, don't cause trouble and don't aggravate or respond to those who do.
Very wise words my friend. I am lucky to have survived my younger and stupider days. If some jerk wants to cut you off and then drive slowly, how much time will that cost you versus getting into a shootout? I get shot... I lose. I shoot him and get arrested... I still lose. Cooler heads usually prevail.

One other piece of advice... Get a car that can outrun most cars or drive over most cars! That is a great tactical advantage.

It's hard for people to do this, driving a car does funny things to people. Some of the nicest mind mannered people turn into monsters behind the wheel of a car. :eek:

Really though, it's not that important, life is just a journey that we meander through, sometimes it's important to stop focusing on what is going to happen if we're late to the appointment or whatever and all it's repercussions, and instead say, hey, I'm probably going to be late, so what? In the overall scheme of things this isn't a drop in the bucket, there's nothing I can do about it. Roll down the windows, enjoy the rest of your drive.

I'm usually a very mellow driver, I like to drive fast though, and people who don't leave the passing lane open, don't signal, cut you off, or otherwise disobey rules making the road dangerous for others can really steam my hat.

I find there is very little use for horns, usually if you have time to use the horn that time would be better used for maneuvering and getting out of the way. Most people just use them out of anger or because they think that's the proper responce to someone about to hit you.

I'm sure we've all heard or seen accidents where one person has 3-4 seconds to blare the horn before you hear the crash. I've always been bemused by that, if I see someone coming and have 3-4 seconds all they're going to find when they arrive at the end of that 3-4 seconds is a little puff of dispersing smoke from my tires where I had been sitting...

I watched a truck ram into line of stopped traffic, ramming about 5 cars all over the place. I ran up to see if anyone needed assistance, but luckily no one was hurt too badly and we just waited for emergency crews to arrive. I was getting ready to walk back to my car when I heard one of the drivers talking to a fireman. She said, "I saw him coming, and I knew he wasn't going to stop". She then sat there and watched him crash into her.

There was construction going on, the right lane was merging into the left.

That merge lane was clear for a good 1/2 mile forward and back (traffic was backed up about 2 miles). Any number of the people in line, had they been observing their surroundings, should have noticed that truck. The one person who did, didn't react. If she had left the space to get out of line, she could have pulled into the merge lane. Any of them could have. She froze and sat there.

I'd feel bad about getting out of line and leaving someone else to take the brunt of the impact, but to just sit there and watch a 1/2 chevy truck going 50+ MPH hit you? I'm not sticking around, unless I"m in my truck and there's a little compact car in front of me that would probably be obliterated. Then I might pause, take my foot of the brake, and wince. :D

Road rage is for the birds. Ya know I've never been a fan of obscene guesters or any of that, but one day some twit cut me off, and I was having a bad day, and I kind of flipped the bird at the rear of their vehicles. I was surprised at myself, I'd never done that before. I've never done it again though, because being chased down the highway for countless miles by an angry black man in a minivan, while I was in a 4 banger PieceOrubbish S10 that could barely break 80mph, and was unarmed, not even a tire wrench in the truck. (good think I didn't blow out a tire ehh? :D )

Emotions, they'll get you killed. It doesn't pay to have them.

That last bit though, about having a fast car, that's good advice. My usual car won't win any races, but it's turbocharged and out on the highway it gets up and goes, at least you don't have to worry about playing tag with minvans. :rolleyes:

There's a pretty good book out called "Drive to Survive". I'd recommend it. It goes into mindset, being aware of your surroundings, and finally techniques, how to properly adjust your mirrors and seat, how to control your temper and how dangerous road rage and emotions are, how to corner, spin the car around, how to get away from people, how to escape carjackings etc. It's worth reading.

I recall a example he used to illustrate to people how unaware they are of their surroundings. Using colored stickers he had them put one on their mirror every they found someone behind them, beside them, or in their blind spot that they hadn't been aware of or noticed. For the average person their mirror will get plastered with stickers in no time. Using little tricks like that will really sharpen up your awareness, many of us don't even notice how unaware we are in the car.

I've had a horrible kink in my back for years, and me and my chiropractor finally figured it out. When I drive, I sit with my head and torso angled in towards the rear view mirror because I constantly scan the left mirror, front, rear view mirror, and right mirror. With my head and torso twisted in slightly it allows me to flick my eyes from one to the other without moving my body. It's killing my back for some reason though. I'm really having to fight to remember to change my posture and just move my head and look.

ndbbm
August 24, 2009, 09:32 PM
Hey Soupie, remember everything you were taught about driving when you were first learning. Apply that along with the "escape route" when stopped. I also always watch my mirrors to see who's following me, espeically when I first stop to see if someone behind me exits thier vehicle to approach me. If you see someone following you, start making turns in the same direction, that will usually be a good clue. Forget the tactical driving courses unless you work a personal security detail. The courses usually cost several thousand dollars and you really don't need much other advice than what you got on this thread. But if your interested check out this site, the guy gives alot of good articles on tactical and security driving. The best way to avoid a problem is by not projecting yourself as a "Victim". Keep an eye out on whats going on around you and if you see someone suspicious, eye them for a minute, usually the person will move on to an easier target if he is detected. Hope this helps!

http://www.securitydriver.com/

Dr Raoul Duke
August 27, 2009, 06:51 AM
I drive a 3/4 ton Ford 4 wheel drive van with a big V8 with re-enforced front and rear bumpers and a winch. I don't mind paying for the gas because between the weight and power of my van I can get out of most threatening situations by pushing other vehicles or outright bashing, or throwing in the transfer case and leaving the pavement. I also have room for a second spare tire, serious off road jack, and survival gear. I have an emergency retreat I share with a few friends in the Sierra foothills, and should staying in the central California cities be inadvisable, I can run farm and fire roads that only 4 wheel drive vehicles can manage year round to get there. When I was with the PD I went to the CHP's offensive/defensive driving school in Sacramento, and that is a real eye opener. Knowing how and where to hit other vehicles to disable them might come in handy one day, and while there are a whole lot of tricks I simply can't do in the van, I could use them in my '99 Camry. I never get within a cars length of a railroad track, and put the van in park and put on the parking break in case I get rear-ended when I'm the first one waiting for a train. If I'm in a situation and feel uncomfortable it's nice knowing I have my CCW, but if I can get to my van I feel I'm almost as safe as in a tank.:)

Dr. Raoul Duke
Gonzo Forever

stephen426
August 27, 2009, 01:01 PM
I would have to argue most of it is not the car but the driver. running over another car does not seem like the best idea. However. Learning to drive your vehicle properly to outrun some one that might be chasing you is a big plus. I suggest (if you own a car and not SUV or pickup) trying a autocross or rallycross which will help you learn the limits of your vehicle in a legal way. (or a track day at a road course near you). If you can drive your own vehicle to its limit at all. You are probably a lot better than most people on the road. I had someone chase me once. I was able to evade them by knowing how to drive at least better than them. Breaking line of site and then changing directions a few times is a very good way to end it.


I said the bit about having a fast car partly tongue in cheek. I just got the new M3 sedan. It will probably outrun 95%+ of the cars on the road. I drive fast, but I make a huge effort not to drive like a jerk and attract road ragers. I don't tail gate, I don't cut people off, I use my turn signals (briefly), and I don't cut to the front of a line of cars and cut in. I do weave in and out a bit though, but I make sure I have plenty of clearance.

Stevie-Ray
August 27, 2009, 01:26 PM
Originally Posted by stephen426
One other piece of advice... Get a car that can outrun most cars or drive over most cars! That is a great tactical advantage.Funny, but true for the most part. I've always said that speed control will definitely show you the idiots on the highways, the ones that don't like to be passed. After passing one 2 or 3 times at a controlled speed and then having them repass me at 90 mph, get in front of me, just to slow down again, I simply don't let them pass me anymore. Both my trucks are supercharged and there's not too many vehicles that will hang with them. Those that will usually do not contain those kind of drivers, it seems. For the most part, when I do that, they get the message and realize what they are doing and pay attention. No hand gestures, no accidents, but they are then usually traveling at a fairly constant speed rather than a 30-40 mph range.:rolleyes:

Glenn E. Meyer
August 27, 2009, 02:35 PM
If by suggesting that you don't let them pass you - you are suggesting some kind of race - then that's illegal and counterproductive.

I think we have enough legit suggestions to avoid trouble and/or get professional training for truly tactical needs. So, this one is closed.