Anthony Ricci, President
Advanced Driving & Security Inc.
The majority of todays population uses a vehicle everyday of their life. Whether we are commuting to and from work or taking the family out on a weekend, our vehicles are a means of transportation. As we are driving around we take for granted our personal and families safety. Although many drivers make a conscious effort to drive in a safe manner, most never stop and think of their own personal safety and the safety of the people that they happen to be transporting. Unfortunately, todays world poses a great threat to just about anyone: old, young, rich, poor, etc. Random crimes are happening everywhere for no apparent reason.
As we travel over the roadways, we must remember that as long as our vehicle remains in motion, it is harder for criminals to stop us. By keeping the vehicle moving the people in the car will be much safer. We need not be paranoid, but yet we need to make a conscious effort to be aware of our surroundings. It is essential to always leave an escape route when we absolutely have to bring our car to a stop. Most people today are unfamiliar with the term escape route when referring to everyday driving. To ensure our safety, society must become more knowledgeable in the area of personal security and take necessary safety precautions while driving. We need to prepare our routes and know our surroundings at all times. Drivers must pay more attention to their surroundings while driving. Knowledge of the area will enable the driver to be prepared to handle an unsafe action or potential attack. If traveling in an unfamiliar area, we must prepare ahead of time, know where our safe havens are and how to reach them quickly. The most common security issue that drivers should be aware of today is the prevention of becoming a victim of a car jacking. It is also important to know what to do if you become faced with one of these attacks.
At Advanced Driving & Security, Inc. we take car jacking seriously. Through training in various car-jacking situations students learn how to handle the attack while removing themselves from the attack successfully. The two most important things to remember if faced with a carjacking or vehicle attack situation is:
If the car is moving the bad guy cannot get in
.so MOVE. Do not sit there, react
GO, GO, GO!!!!
If necessary, your vehicle may be your best defense. If used correctly your vehicle could become a very effective weapon. This weapon is much larger than any potential attacker could carry. Think about this
Who do you think has a better chance of winning? A criminal with a crowbar, knife, or a vehicle as small as a Volkswagen Bug?
My money is on the Bug! However, the driver will have to react quickly.
When faced with a car jacking or any type of attack you may encounter, there are three key elements to remember:
SURPRISE: The attacker must be able to surprise you. For example, if a thief came skipping up to the side of a vehicle and politely said, Maam/Sir, I would like your car. Would you, as the victim, laugh at him/her or get out and hand over the car? I hope that your response would be to laugh and drive away. On the other hand, for example: would be a loud person waving a weapon yelling GET OUT OF THE CAR or GIVE ME YOUR MONEY, NOW!
(A: Typical Car Jacking scenario, attempt at Control with threat from a weapon in hand)
The type of action above would usually occur when you least expect it. Such as when you are tired or when you pull up to close to the car in front of you because you did not leave an escape route. This when you are most vulnerable for an attack situation.
CONTROL: Once he/she has accomplished the initial element, surprise, the attacker then will need to take control. In order to control the situation the thief may decide to get rid of the only thing between them and what they want. This of course, would be you, the victim. They must either take control of you or get rid of you. Once the thief is in control, they would help themselves to the car, money, belongings, your child, etc.
ESCAPE: Most criminals do not want to get caught. Therefore, they must prepare an escape. It would be very unlikely that a thief would attempt a car jacking in the middle of rush hour traffic.
However, early mornings or late evenings tend to become the greatest potentials.
The next time you are sitting at an intersection, what should you do?
First off, you would prepare ahead of time by knowing your area and various routes as well as preparing your daily schedule. Predictable people become a thiefs best target. Therefore, while at the intersection, it is essential to place your car properly. A driver should always be able to see the pavement under the tires of the vehicle directly ahead of them at the stop. This will enable your vehicle enough space to escape. (see picture b & c demonstration of car placement).
(B Driver should see the pavement underneath the vehicle in front of them while at a stop.)
(C This distance will enable the driver to escape, rather than being trapped in behind the front vehicle.)
In the event that you are approached, not matter what the reason may be, or that you have reason to feel scared and or threatened, remember to get the car moving immediately.
The important question here is: Which way should you turn the wheel?
If a possible escape route is available toward your attacker, which in most cases would be on the drivers side, turn the wheels toward the attacker by turning your wheel to the left. Now you have reversed the roles, you have surprised the attacker. By driving toward the attacker you force him/her to back up rather than to chase you.
(D - React, get the car moving!)
(F - Driver starts to turn wheels and move toward attack, creating distance between vehicle and attacker)
(E - Driver turns wheel and moves toward attack. Thus creating distance between vehicle and attacker.)
Once you get your car moving, keep moving! Your next reaction should be to go to the nearest police station and report the incident and where it happened with the proper authorities. Hopefully, this will alert the police and prevent the attacker from being successful with his/her next potential victim who may not be as aware as you were.
KEEP IN MIND, THAT, ACCORDING TO THE FBI, A CARJACKING OCCURS EVERY 20 SECONDS!
Please keep your self aware and safe. Pay attention to these several quick tips to help avoid a vehicle attack situation:
- When entering your vehicle always have your keys in hand and ready for use.
- After entering vehicle - lock doors, start car and make sure escape route is available. Then you can fix the mirrors and put your safety belt on etc.
- Park in well lit areas. Backing in to the parking place makes for a quick and easy exit. Never park next to a van, especially next to the sliding door side.
- Always be observant when approaching or parking your vehicle. Scan around and under vehicle as well as looking inside before getting in.
- If children are in the car tell the attacker you are taking the kids with you.
- If in an accident, stay in your car and call police. It is okay to hold your information up to the window without getting out.
- Never allow yourself to be blocked in by other vehicles, whether in traffic or in a parking lot.
- Ensure that all doors are locked and windows rolled up.
- If there is ever a gun pointed at you, give the car up
- Be aware of people creating an accident. For instance, stopping short in front of you in traffic.
- When at the gas station lock the vehicle and take the keys. It is not unheard of that the criminal will sneak into your back seat and wait for you or simply drive off with your vehicle.
- Keep all valuables out of sight in the vehicle.
- Although it may be very hard for you to drive by a stranded motorist, you never know if they are just posing and ready to inflict harm. Just call the police for help and keep moving. Better to be safe than sorry.
- The number 1 rule to preventing a potential attack is always, always be alert and aware of your surrounding. Your first reaction should be to get the vehicle moving. Remember it very hard for the criminal to stop a moving vehicle.