Your Car is a Weapon

Updated: Sep 28

Wherever I drive in the world, I have one habit that I employ no matter what country I am in. When I come to any kind of a stop, I always leave at least one car length between me and the car in front of me. A good number of abductions, smash and grab robberies, car jackings, and terrorist attacks against people in cars happen when the car is stopped, either due to traffic or because one the attackers blocked your forward passage with one of their cars. But here is the deal. The average compact car weighs just under 3,000 lbs and an SUV typically weighs about 4,000 lbs. That means, you have a battering ram weighing several thousand pounds at your disposal. All you have to do is continue sitting while you literally floor the gas pedal and keep the pedal all the way down as you run over and through your attacker or crash through his car (or on a good day, both.) There are two points of possible failure in this course of action.

The first is psychological. Most people are understandably squeamish about the idea of running over another human being, even when they are under attack. Similarly, all of our driving lives we have tried (some of us harder than others) to avoid hitting another car and in the moment of truth, many people will hesitate. Don’t be one of them. Mentally envision the act and how you would hit the person or ram the car (by the way, using your car to hit closest to the wheel axle on your target car is the best course of action to move it after impact.) A second potential point of failure is letting your foot off of the gas after impact. Again, this is instinctual based on trying to avoid crashing into someone all of our driving lives. So in sum, give yourself room; aim for the wheel axle of the target car to ram through it (if you hit the soft part of the target vehicle, you run the risk of having your car get stuck in it). Finally, if you gave yourself room you may have also given yourself the option to simply drive away quickly in the event of a carjacking or terrorist type incident. There is one caveat here. In many parts of the Third World any space you create between you and the car in front of you might quickly fill up with motorbikes like mosquitos in a poncho air pocket. If you are facing imminent death, chances are many of those motor bike riders will also be cognizant and start to scatter at the onset of a violent incident. You may have to consider the consequences between waiting to die and potentially injuring some motor bike riders while executing your escape. If you think about it ahead of time, you are more apt to make a better decision than waiting for the moment of truth and then trying to figure it out. -- Excerpt from "Seconds to Live or Die, Life-saving Lessons from a Former CIA Officer" available on Amazon Books and Apple Books.

In this video taken from CCTV in the Philippines, the driver made the decision to drive through the threat.