Do you think about carjacking much as a threat to your security? Depending on where you live, it can be a vitally important part of your Active Self Protection! But whether you’re in a high crime area or not, knowing how to respond to a carjacking attempt is an important skill.
Original video of the carjacking: https://get-asp.com/9v6b
How do I protect myself from a carjacking?
- I can’t believe how often I have to say this, but LOCK YOUR CAR DOORS. When you get in the car, lock the doors. If your car automatically unlocks the doors when you put it in park or shut the engine off, read your owner’s manual and change that setting. Your car door is a great barrier to keep between you and any potential carjacking, so keep it locked for your safety! Your order of operations should be get in the car, lock the doors, start the car, seatbelt on, drive off.
- One of the best ways to protect yourself while you’re in the car is to simply drive off from a threat like a carjacking. The car can get away quickly if you are ready, taking you out of danger. So be ready to drive off if you need to! Keep the car in drive until you’re ready to get out. Keep the engine running. If you’re aware of your surroundings you can escape a lot of problems.
- Your car can be used as a very effective force multiplier if you are willing to use it. While a handgun might deliver 300-500 ft-lbs of energy, a car delivers on the order of 200,000 ft-lbs of energy at 40mph. (calculate your car’s KE here: https://get-asp.com/swon if you’re a nerd like me!) Being behind the wheel with a deadly threat in front of you also puts the engine block between you and the threat; engine blocks are effective cover. It makes sense to use your car if you are in it to defend yourself against a carjacking.
- Situational awareness is your best friend. It doesn’t mean that you always are paranoid or living in “condition orange,” but it does mean that you know Col. Cooper’s color code of awareness and you live by it. Pay attention to your surroundings, and recognize that when you’re in public places you need to be more aware of your surroundings than when you’re in private. When you’re in your car, you are in public and transitional spaces abound. Be aware of that and watch for the possibility of a carjacking!
- Transitional spaces are places where we MUST be more careful of potential attack. A transitional space is any location that (1) allows attackers to prey on potential victims with an element of surprise and (2) provides ready escape for the attackers. Carjacking always happens in a transitional space, and the thing about cars is that they become transitional spaces regularly! When you’re entering and exiting your car, you’re in a transitional space. Also, as this carjacking shows, when you’re stopped at a light or boxed in behind other cars, your car becomes a transitional space where you can be ambushed! A moving car is NOT a transitional space, but a stopped car is. So be aware of that and protect yourself accordingly.
Attitude. Skills. Plan.