When an ordinary citizen is confronted with violence on the street, the most common response is that they do nothing. By the time the intended victim recovers from a state of bewilderment and tries to sort things out, it may be too late to do anything to survive. This is especially true when John Q. Citizen is comfortably ensconced in his vehicle. Whether it is a passenger car, SUV, or pickup, the odds are that sooner or later, something unpleasant could happen in or around a vehicle. We’re a mobile society. Most of us spend much of our time in vehicles.

Few people give thought to their personal safety while traveling from place to place. As is the case in all aspects of personal defense, one must first recognize there are evil people in this world. A proper response to various encounters must be considered at all times which includes being alert to surroundings and readiness to respond immediately to a threat. Most folks don’t give any thought to a potential problem, so they are completely unprepared to cope. It is important to do something now to counter the threat.

Often, it is the quick and aggressive response that’s lifesaving, even if action(s) are not perfect. The point is, if options are considered in advance, a “surprise” is less likely, allowing the prepared driver to do something immediately to counter an attack. It’s important to react quickly, but it’s best to handle a bad situation as efficiently as possible.

Assaults—A Dime A Dozen
The attack most folks think of when they hear “carjacking,” is a violent, surprise entry into the car before a driver can react. There are obviously other variations, but the following are common methods of attack and outcomes: Possibilities include kidnapping, violent attacks or robbery with the threat of violence if the victim does not comply with demands, blocking vehicles for entrapment, waylaying a driver upon exiting a vehicle and pursuit as the driver starts walking. One common assault starts out as a “bump and rob.” This is when thugs bump into a vehicle from behind while stopped or approaching a stop at a light, yield, etc. Once hit, the driver steps out to inspect the damage and the assault has most likely commenced.

The four most important tactics to avoid a carjacking, (1) be aware of the possible threat, (2) be alert to what’s happening around you, (3) have a few simple plans in the back of your mind to meet different problems, and (4) once a threat is developing, act quickly. A prompt response will surprise an attacker and thwart plans, greatly improving odds for a safe escape.


There are tactics that can be practiced for various scenarios. Working in and around a car offers valuable insight about potential problems involved. The more the variables change, the more comfortable and confident one becomes when quickly moving and reacting. Creating scenarios and evacuation plans reveal reactions after “stress,” albeit simulated, is added to a bad situation. Thinking may stop entirely. It’s best to prepare for the worst, and hope for the best, always.

General personal defense tactics apply towards carjacking. Some include: making a conscious effort to cultivate good reaction and thinking habits; being aware of what’s going on around a constantly changing scene, especially when stopped at a light or entering or exiting a vehicle stopping, look right, left and to the rear; prepare to drive out immediately in any direction, if possible; allow enough room when coming to a stop to be able to have room to quickly turn out from the vehicle ahead that’s stopped; keep windows up and doors locked as a matter of habit, especially when in a strange or suspect neighborhood. These are just a few safety tips. Staying alert and aware is vital under any and all circumstances.

Final Notes

Anti-carjacking training schools and auxiliary classes are becoming more available. Practicing, with or without a firearm, is recommended as building motor retention skills gives one a serious advantage should an altercation present itself. Stress safety at all times. Drivers (shooters) should always be thinking about what they are doing, and to take enough time to do it right. If shooting exercises are part of your plan, think smart, speed does not overrule smart thinking in training. In fact, training can be done without ammunition or guns for that matter, vehicles alone offer good equipment. Repetition of “the right” actions are what builds motor skills. Be methodical, learn from your own mistakes and your own success.

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