DEFENSIVE DRIVING/CAR SAFETY: PART TWO

PART TWO: Car safety.  While I defined defensive driving as any precautions relating to movement of your car, car safety was defined as those precautions pertaining to the stopped vehicle. Car safety pertains, quite simply, to when the car is stopped; preparation in case of potential scenario, your own body language, awareness of potential hazards around your car. Examples?

I advocate locking your doors BEFORE you put your seatbelt on. This is a mistake that seemingly the majority of us make. If our seatbelt is on and someone opens your car door with the idea of kidnapping you, stealing your car or otherwise perpetuate an assault, you are now direly limited in your movements. (striking with power, accessing your tactical folder at your pocket or other defence weapon, moving to face your opponent, etc.

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As mentioned, keep your personal effects out of sight. In CR often motorcycles approach a car on the passenger side and see a purse/wallet/cellphone/sunglasses that they’d be interested in breaking the window for with or without you in the car. Why give them the temptation? Keep these things under the passenger seat, inside the glovebox, in the trunk…wherever they cannot be seen easily by a potential thief.

When getting in your car, whether at home or at a different location (mall, movie, restaurant) make a quick check of the area. Visually sweep the backseat, under the car, the vehicles next to and around yours. It only takes a brief few invaluable seconds when you’ve trained yourself properly to peruse these places and it may save a lifetime of trouble. Is that a minivan/van parked next to you? Many kidnappings and hostage-taking scenarios have started this way by strategically parking next to someone perceived as a victim.

Scams? Spam left on the windshield to draw you out of the car while three guys wait by a near vehicle ready to hijack your car. (Always drive away first as you can always look at the paper at a different location and if it’s a legitimate product deal there’s no harm done) The flat tire ploy of someone in need of “assistance” on the side of the road while buddies wait in the bushes on the opposite side. (If you’re determined to help and it looks like someone legitimately in need, you can always, with your doors locked and window open a crack, offer to call for help for them on your cellphone)

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Though this is just a small discussion of literally hundreds of scenarios, skills and precautions to take, I hope it creates even a little awareness in a few of you. Then this entire article that should be common sense and basic was worth the review. Stay safe.

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