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Old November 14, 2005, 07:53 AM   #1
tuckerdog1
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Spotting potential trouble

Wanted to ask those trained ( LEOs or others ), what they might be looking for to spot potential threats while driving.
My situation every morning on the way to work, has me on a semi-main road ( two lanes each direction & turn lane in the middle ). Traffic lights at every intersection. The lights are timed pretty well, so most are green. But I will always hit 2 or 3 red. Traffic is very light. Often sit at a red light for the full cycle, and see zero cars anywhere ( hate that ). It's 0230, and this is a less than desireable part of town. Lots of drunks, as the bars have just recently closed ( 0200 ). I always scan the area around the intersection when I hit a red light. Eyes are pretty good at picking up movement, but are there any "signs" to be looking for before you see movement. An example might be a car parked out of place ( lots of those on this street ), with foggy windows. Could indicate somebody inside.

Anyway, just curious, I go through this head turning drill at every red light, every morning. Looking for any advantage I can get.

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Old November 14, 2005, 08:53 PM   #2
araebisu
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ive become pretty good at picking up on things that are out of place. driving around in iraq did it for me. however i dont actually recomend that method. theres a certain level of gut feel when looking for things taht are out of place. things that have never been in that spot before, things taht are usually there, that are now gone, things that just dont look like they belong. just keep looking, youll most likely know when something is wrong
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Old November 14, 2005, 09:15 PM   #3
greeneggsnham
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If a car is in one lane at a stop light, pull into the other lane, but stay just far enough back that you can observe the other cockpit. There are those that will intentionally hit brakes to have you hit them... marking the more expensive autos at a certain location. If you must pull up behind, leave plenty of room to turn and burn if they decide to back up. Use the sidewalk or whatever you have to do. Considering the time of day, practice a full speed reverse switcheroo. Always use the rear end of your car to ram, and not the front. Try to disable the other guy's radiator/front end. If he's on you brake and ram him in reverse while keeping low. If he's cutting you off and you've got him in front of you, corner swipe him and push his rear end around wrecking him or pushing him into something. Sounds to me like you're already doing a good job. If someone approaches your car at zero hours, screw the stop light and floor it.
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Old November 14, 2005, 09:24 PM   #4
Dwight55
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When I have a similar situation, I am in the left lane, . . . doors locked, . . . and firearm within useable distance (legal but ready). I am grateful that I very seldom find myself in this situation any more, . . . but there was a time when it was more often.

The left lane affords you the most "open" space that the attacker has to cross and can give you the opportunity to leave if necessary.

As before mentioned, . . . if your gut tells you to leave, . . . get it on. If there is an LEO watching you, . . . and gives you a ticket, . . . well: its better than what could have been otherwise.

But then again, . . . the majority odds, . . . by a great big margin, . . . is that the others you see, . . . are also wondering about you.

May God bless,
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Old November 14, 2005, 09:43 PM   #5
Sir William
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Many years ago, I was a trusting individual. No longer. My partner and I were returning from an early AM EMS call and a guy tried to hold us up for the morphine. IOWs, everybody should worry about spotting trouble. Keep the tires of any vehicle in front of you visible to allow for an escape route. ONLY use the rear of your vehicle as a battering ram if you have to. The last thing you need is to set off your own airbags and injure yourself or disable your vehicle. The principal visual clues are weird driving, odd behaviour, out of place grunge drivers in luxury vehicles and the flat tire gimmick. A vehicle will often pull up beside of you and tell you a tire is going flat. Keep driving. Blow the light if you are truly nervous, you have already scanned L-R-L, if it is clear, go. I hope you have a charged cell phone with good signal. Call in and report strange things that you see. If a guy is hitting somebody in the head with a hammer, be a good witness. Do not ever get out of your vehicle, it is your fortress, stay in it. Use your mirrors and if they are remote, move them to keep a visual on anything you think odd. Be aware, drive defensively or even offensively when you must and decide when to take action. Do you wait for a homeless bum to jump into your vehicle before having your door locks fixed? Maintain your vehicle in good repair. You don't want to break down if you can avoid it. I don't suggest you place a loaded weapon on the front seat either. If you have to escape, the weapon is unsecured and probably not at hand.
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Old November 14, 2005, 10:18 PM   #6
JohnKSa
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I don't suggest you place a loaded weapon on the front seat either. If you have to escape, the weapon is unsecured and probably not at hand.
Excellent advice. At least one of the FBI agents in the Miami shootout drew his weapon and placed it on the seat while chasing the suspects. In the ensuing car-stop which involved some bumping and banging, the gun flew off the seat and the agent was unable to find it while under fire. He was forced to use his backup gun during the shootout.
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Old November 15, 2005, 10:01 AM   #7
Mikeyboy
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Quote:
An example might be a car parked out of place ( lots of those on this street ), with foggy windows. Could indicate somebody inside.
Or that could be a young couple who need to get a room. Anyway, parked cars are not the problem, your concern is someone who attempts to rob or hurt you. Threat #1, car jacking by a guy on foot while your at a red light. Look out for someone approaching your car in a weird way. A drunk walking the cross walk is one thing, but someone crossing the street from behind your vehicle is up to something. Keep the doors locked at all times, seatbelt on, watch your rearview mirrors for pedestrian sneaking around your vehicles. If you see its about to happen, put your hand on your gun and look at the opposing traffic, if nothing is coming, blow the light. Don't try to be dirty harry, if you can get away, do it. Problem is your at a disavantage due to angles if the guy is armed, since he will be approaching from behind your left shoulder with a clear shot at your head. If you see a weapon, and you can't flee, if the guy touches your door, shoot

Threat #2 guys in a car looking to pull someone over and rob them. Unless you driving a real cool car (sports car, cool flame paint job), or you a real pretty woman, the 4 guys in the vehicle next to you should not be starting at you at 2:30 in the morning. If you see this, hand on gun, and stear clear of them, if they try to bump you, don't stop until you get to a police station.
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Old November 15, 2005, 11:59 AM   #8
gddyup
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Late at night or early in the morning when I have to be out, I just become more aware of whats around me. If I have to stop at a stop light or an intersection somewhere, I'll stop, sweep the area 360 using my mirrors to complete the corners behind me, then I'll procedd right through the intersection whether the lights red or not. I simply dont wait around. During the scan, I'm also checking for the PD so I don't get bagged for running the red. Obviously, this works best when there isn't a threat of oncoming traffic in any direction...
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Old November 15, 2005, 12:25 PM   #9
greeneggsnham
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That's half the trouble with this country. Everyone is above the law. Integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is looking.
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Old November 15, 2005, 02:46 PM   #10
tuckerdog1
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Thanks All

Some good points. Thanks for all the input. MikeBoy, the example about the fogged up car windows was as a clue that someone may be using that car as a place to be out of sight, until I was stopped. Then possibly exit that car in an attempt to rob or carjack.
Over the years, there have only been 4 occations where individuals on foot ( other than drunks ) approached & came close to my vehicle. I was ready to run the light if it became necessary, but it never did. On one of those occations, a single male came directly toward me. The crosswalk was off to another completely different tangent. He was definately headed for me. Again, I was ready to go if necessary, but a stern look straight into his eyes, may have told him there is easier pickins elsewhere. He just made a serious change in directions & walked away.
Probably the biggest danger is the drunk drivers. I don't have enough fingers & toes to count the number of times I've had a set of headlights coming straight at me on my side of the street. I've actually become pretty accustomed to it. Doesn't scare me anymore, just ****** me off.

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Old November 15, 2005, 06:06 PM   #11
gddyup
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Quote:
That's half the trouble with this country. Everyone is above the law. Integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is looking.
And I suppose you follow all the speed limits and have never run a yellow light in your entire life...??
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Old November 16, 2005, 11:39 AM   #12
araebisu
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i do obey speed limits and you dont have to stop at yellow lights, only red
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Old November 27, 2005, 06:15 PM   #13
RochPersDef
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Don't worry about looking at everything. You know what 'normal' is, so look for anything that stands out as 'ab-normal'. This is less stressful and will actually free up your senses to enjoy life more.
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