COMBATIVE DRIVING TACTICS

Recently, I attended the Mossberg Media Event at U.S. Training…

Recently, I attended the Mossberg Media Event at U.S. Training Center in Moyok, North Carolina. This two-day event was jam-packed with interesting and potentially life-saving information including a maritime security/vessel protection scenario using Simunition, shotgun breaching, low-light shooting, and long range shooting. One of the highlights of the event was the few hours spent behind the wheel during the tactical driving segment. Initially, I wasn’t too excited about tactical driving, since as a police officer, I’ve participated in Emergency Vehicle Operations Courses (EVOC) previously. I figured this course would be more of the same. Wrong!

Driving Position
Things started out in the classroom with a lecture and PowerPoint presentation covering the basics; driver reaction, proper seating position, hand positions on the steering wheel, and so on. Surprisingly, the instructor was not necessarily a proponent of the commonly taught “10 and 2” or “9 and 3” hand positions on the steering wheel. Instead, students were encouraged to grip the wheel with a comfortable two-handed grip, without worrying about exact hand placement on the steering wheel. The only caveat was that the thumbs were in line with the wheel. This reduces the chance of hooking the thumbs inside the wheel and allows the wheel to slide freely between your hands. The instructor indicated the right heel should be in contact with the floorboard, allowing you to easily transfer your foot from the gas pedal to the break and vice-versa. We were taught that the left foot was to be firmly planted to press the shoulders against the driver’s seat. This provides stability, allowing you to better control the vehicle during high speed driving. Of course, use of the seatbelt was mandatory. After reviewing the basics in the classroom, we were paired with an instructor and shown exactly how the course should be driven. Once behind the wheel, I soon realized driving fast while maintaining control of the old Crown Vic wasn’t as easy as the instructor made it look.

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