Do you think about how you will defend yourself and your loved ones in a carjacking attempt like this one? Your car and your safety in it are an important part of Active Self Protection, and making sure you don’t fall victim to a carjacker is critical!
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Original video of the carjacking ending well is available in our Instructor Development Portal.
What does this armed carjacking victim teach us about fighting back against a carjacker?
- 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. Being aware turned the tables in this carjacking because it gave the victim time to mount an effective defense against the carjacker.
- One of the best ways to protect yourself against carjacking 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. It won’t always work, but if you can drive away from a carjacking attempt, it is almost certainly your best choice.
- Your car can be used as a very effective force multiplier if you are willing to use it in a carjacking. 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.
- People have to fight from their car more often than we care to think about, in a carjacking or in a kidnapping. 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.
- If you can use your car to escape, that’s normally your best bet. If you CAN’T use your car to escape the carjacking for whatever reason (you’re blocked in, it’s dead, etc.) then it becomes a mobile coffin where you can’t really move, and you can’t freely maneuver to engage threats all around you. In that case, do what you can to get away from the coffin. Use the car as cover or concealment if you can, but don’t stay in the car if it’s not going to be moving.
Attitude. Skills. Plan.
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