Interesting video out of Kenya offers some good lessons-learned in situational awareness and using your car as a defensive tool.
The people in the car notice in advance that something didn't feel right about the vehicle in front of them. So at least in the subsequent split seconds, they were amping up for something to happen.
When something did happen in the form of three machete-wielding assailants, the driver chose to back-up. There are times when backing up at speed and executing a J-turn to get out of Dodge would be a good idea. But that requires training and a bit of practice, and doing so on a dirt road is an iffy proposition at best. Backing up rapidly under stress is where many will lose control of the vehicle. Also, in this scenario we don't know where the van the attackers were in is at, but presumably near by.
Eventually the driver stops and decides to proceed forward--a correct course of action in my humble opinion. One of the people in the car suggests running one of the assailants over (kudos for him in wanting to take the fight to the assailants).
Being situationally aware and acting decisively are keys to staying alive.
Lack of situational awareness works both ways. In the this video, lack of situational awareness by the criminal led to a gratifying end. Great friends...