To protect yourself against a carjacking you need to have your Active Self Protection on point. This off-duty officer certainly did!
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What does this video teach us about defending ourselves 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. This carjacking didn’t go south for the victim because she was aware of what was going on around her.
- Your car is not a private space, and you must continue to think of yourself like you’re in public. If ever you wonder if people don’t think of themselves as in public in the car, pay attention to drivers in their cars and see how often they are picking their nose or singing along at high volume. Don’t let your smartphone take all your attention when you’re in the car, either! Think of yourself as walking down the street and pay attention accordingly. In a carjacking of course they want your car, but kidnapping happens as well, and the best way to avoid both is to recognize that your car is public space.
- 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. In this carjacking, the open car door served as an effective counter-ambush point, but it also served to put the woman in immediate danger.
- People have to fight from their car more often than we care to think about. You should consider and prepare for fighting for your life and freedom while in the seats of your car! These kinds of skills can be practiced in a good force on force class and should prepare you to win against a determined attacker who means to harm you and yours in your vehicle. This woman needed to know how to shoot from inside her car to stop the carjacking, and it’s not as easy as untrained people might think. Take a vehicle defense class!
- One of the best ways to protect yourself from a carjacking while you’re in the car is to simply drive off. 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.
Attitude. Skills. Plan.
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