Author Topic: Keeping situational awareness while driving  (Read 7811 times)

Offline ejsandstrom

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Keeping situational awareness while driving
« on: November 11, 2008, 11:39:29 AM »
First a short example.

Four nights ago my wife called some what in a panic. She was driving home and thought a car was following her. She said she thought the car following her was alittle strange, but didn't really know any thing other than a feeling. She wanted to find out the hours at a local store, she turned into an area that is one of those place where you have to be going there to get there. You don't just take this road trying to get some other place. She said that the car stopped by the entrance to the road. She pulled up to the store and started to drive again. She knows her way around that part of town and there is a goat path that runs behind the store that you really cant see until you exit onto the road. She said that as soon as she got onto the road the car turned around and fell in a few cars back. This is where she called me. I kept her on the phone and jumped into my truck. I gave her the route to drive home. She said the car was a few blocks back. We live kinda outta town and have to be headed some where in that area to be going that way. I had her slow down and put her turn signal on a few times just to make sure, you they would slow down and put the signal on. She wouldn't turn and just keep going.  There is a longer road that is dead straight with a few hills, I headed towards her. As she passed me I stopped kinda blocking most of both lanes put my flashers on and jumped out and popped the hood. The car she described pulled up about 10 seconds later. I told the Mrs as soon as she passes me to get on it and put lots of distance between us and get the neighbor, who is a sheriff and send him my way. I had my lights on pointing into his lane, the guy slowed down stopped a few seconds, and then got out. I could see him but he couldn't see me yet. He was an older guy of about 65, and kinda looked like a farmer type in overalls. I told him that I swerved to avoid a deer and the truck stalled. I asked him if he lived close and other general "making conversation" questions as I tugged on plug wires and such. After a few seconds he said he was going to go a different way home. Got in his car and drove off. A couple of minutes later the neighbor pulled up, I gave him a brief description and a licence plate number. He looked up the plate number and it was registered to a woman from a town about 30 miles away. He told me that unfortunately there was really nothing to persue and just keep an eye peeled.

Now It wasn't necessarily the best way to handle it. but the wife was paniced and I made a snap decision. It turned out OK and the word has spread to the neighbors.

Does any one else speak to their spouse about what to do if something like this happens? What if its is just you in the car? We don't really have much of a local PD and they close up shop kinda early. Now she is really carefull about getting boxed in at lights and other defencive driving habits. I have been telling her forever but some times it takes a scare to actually realize the dangers. 

Offline archer

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Re: Keeping situational awareness while driving
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2008, 12:20:21 PM »
I once got a speeding ticket from a feeling.
I was heading home one night after working late on a Thursday. It was after 9pm and on a lonely stretch of wide open, hilly highway. I was in my little sportscar heading home. A panel van came up next to me and paced me for a few miles even when I speeded up/slowed down a little. This was suspicious, made me very aware that no one was nearby.
So when I got to the next hill top I gunned it. I was doing 100 when I reached the bottom of the hill. The panel van could not keep up with me.
But the CHP officer had no problem with his radar gun and I was pulled over. He asked me how fast I was going and I told him about 100. He said since I had been truthful he'd only write me up for going 5 over the limit (which saved me a lot of hassle and money). I was glad to see the panel van pass the CHP and myself as I sat there.

I learned to watch traffic when I rode a motorcycle to/from work for a few years. Keep aware of your surroundings all the time!

Offline ColdHaven

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Re: Keeping situational awareness while driving
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2008, 01:22:41 PM »
Does any one else speak to their spouse about what to do if something like this happens? What if its is just you in the car? We don't really have much of a local PD and they close up shop kinda early. Now she is really carefull about getting boxed in at lights and other defencive driving habits. I have been telling her forever but some times it takes a scare to actually realize the dangers. 

No, but I am thinking about doing so now. There are a few times that I felt I was being followed. Turns out that those times I was just being paranoid. I have always had a plan that if I felt that someone was following me that I would make several random turns and see if they followed me. Usually they were just happening to go the same way I was. I have had the plan if that someone was following me to go to a police station or somewhere with a lot of people and perferrably cameras. I have a heavy logging chain next to my seat and a few other ways to protect myself if I need to.

Offline Tycoon

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Re: Keeping situational awareness while driving
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2008, 01:38:32 PM »
First a short example.



Does any one else speak to their spouse about what to do if something like this happens? What if its is just you in the car? We don't really have much of a local PD and they close up shop kinda early. Now she is really carefull about getting boxed in at lights and other defencive driving habits. I have been telling her forever but some times it takes a scare to actually realize the dangers. 

No, and also now thinking about it more. I have basic rules living in the road rage state that I do that when someone is on my ass for whatever reason I never take them directly to my home. The last thing you want is for someone who you might have accidentally (or intentionally  ;D) pissed off to know where you live. It's sad to say but I know I am way more self aware than my wife, but definitely should bring up some basic rules for situations like these. That said, she is very intelligent and I believe if she couldn't get a hold of me she would either call the police or drive to the station.

Offline Tactical Badger

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Re: Keeping situational awareness while driving
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2008, 06:41:19 AM »
Great teachable moment.  I really do need to talk to the wife about this.  I'm sure she's not as aware as she should be.  Mostly because she's ALWAYS on the cell phone with her family. ::)

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Re: Keeping situational awareness while driving
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2008, 08:56:18 AM »
Does any one else speak to their spouse about what to do if something like this happens?

I keep a cheap handgun stored in my wife's car.  It stays there 24/7, even when parked in the driveway or at shopping centers.

It's cheap enough that I wouldn't cry much if it got stolen.  90% of the benefit of concealed carry on her person, none of the hassle.

I've been threatened by bums demanding money while boxed in at fast food drive-thrus.  They don't actually mug you, but try to be just violent and intimidating enough to get people to give them money to go away.  If they try to come in the window, they get shot.

Offline Tycoon

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Re: Keeping situational awareness while driving
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2008, 09:52:57 AM »
Does any one else speak to their spouse about what to do if something like this happens?

I keep a cheap handgun stored in my wife's car.  It stays there 24/7, even when parked in the driveway or at shopping centers.

It's cheap enough that I wouldn't cry much if it got stolen.  90% of the benefit of concealed carry on her person, none of the hassle.

I've been threatened by bums demanding money while boxed in at fast food drive-thrus.  They don't actually mug you, but try to be just violent and intimidating enough to get people to give them money to go away.  If they try to come in the window, they get shot.


Sounds nice but a few problems with that scenario out here unfortunately.
1. Cannot keep a firearm in the auto unless transporting it and then it has to be locked away, also CCW's are next to impossible to obtain out here.
2. If you shoot somebody here they sure as hell better be armed or there is a good chance your goin to prison.
   Obviously if you can convince a jury that your life was in jeopardy you would probably get away with it and a woman
   would have a lot better chance at that than a 6'1, 195lb martial artist like myself. The prosecution would tear me a new ass.

The first step and best training I can give my wife is to learn to be self aware. Even with all the training in the world, we live on a not so nice planet
and bad things happen to good people, even trained people.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2008, 09:55:30 AM by Tycoon »

Offline DeltaEchoVictor

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Re: Keeping situational awareness while driving
« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2008, 09:10:22 PM »
I've taught my wife real defensive driving skills.

For example, I always leave at least a car length between me & the car in front of me & watch my mirrors when I'm sitting in traffic.  Usually if trouble is heading your way when you're stopped, it's going to come from behind.  That's been my experience anyway, YMMV. 

My wife was sitting at a stoplight the other day with the requisite car length of empty space between her & the next car at the light, when she looked up to check her six & saw a car speeding up behind the car behind her.  She was able to move out from in front of the car behind her when it was ass-ended by the speeding car, if she hadn't she'd have been involved in a three vehicle MVC.  Instead she avoided it. 

First a short example.

Four nights ago my wife called some what in a panic. She was driving home and thought a car was following her. She said she thought the car following her was alittle strange, but didn't really know any thing other than a feeling. She wanted to find out the hours at a local store, she turned into an area that is one of those place where you have to be going there to get there. You don't just take this road trying to get some other place. She said that the car stopped by the entrance to the road. She pulled up to the store and started to drive again. She knows her way around that part of town and there is a goat path that runs behind the store that you really cant see until you exit onto the road. She said that as soon as she got onto the road the car turned around and fell in a few cars back. This is where she called me. I kept her on the phone and jumped into my truck. I gave her the route to drive home. She said the car was a few blocks back. We live kinda outta town and have to be headed some where in that area to be going that way. I had her slow down and put her turn signal on a few times just to make sure, you they would slow down and put the signal on. She wouldn't turn and just keep going.  There is a longer road that is dead straight with a few hills, I headed towards her. As she passed me I stopped kinda blocking most of both lanes put my flashers on and jumped out and popped the hood. The car she described pulled up about 10 seconds later. I told the Mrs as soon as she passes me to get on it and put lots of distance between us and get the neighbor, who is a sheriff and send him my way. I had my lights on pointing into his lane, the guy slowed down stopped a few seconds, and then got out. I could see him but he couldn't see me yet. He was an older guy of about 65, and kinda looked like a farmer type in overalls. I told him that I swerved to avoid a deer and the truck stalled. I asked him if he lived close and other general "making conversation" questions as I tugged on plug wires and such. After a few seconds he said he was going to go a different way home. Got in his car and drove off. A couple of minutes later the neighbor pulled up, I gave him a brief description and a licence plate number. He looked up the plate number and it was registered to a woman from a town about 30 miles away. He told me that unfortunately there was really nothing to persue and just keep an eye peeled.

Now It wasn't necessarily the best way to handle it. but the wife was paniced and I made a snap decision. It turned out OK and the word has spread to the neighbors.

Does any one else speak to their spouse about what to do if something like this happens? What if its is just you in the car? We don't really have much of a local PD and they close up shop kinda early. Now she is really carefull about getting boxed in at lights and other defencive driving habits. I have been telling her forever but some times it takes a scare to actually realize the dangers. 

We had something similar to this occur as well. 

Some idiot she use to work with decided to stalk her.  She called me & I met him in the driveway with my 870 when he slowed down behind her in front of the house.  No more stalker.

« Last Edit: November 12, 2008, 09:17:11 PM by DeltaEchoVictor »

Offline Tactical Badger

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Re: Keeping situational awareness while driving
« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2008, 09:49:16 AM »
Excellent stuff in this thread!  I do the same thing with making sure I leave enough room for me to move t stoplights and such.

Another thing I do, that I don't think anyone has mentioned yet, is lock the steekin' doors.  It's the first thing I do when I get into the car.  It's become a game with the wife and I.  If we're driving somewhere together and one of us sees that the doors aren't locked we say, "What the heck"  Are you trying to kill us?"

Offline cdnshooter

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Re: Keeping situational awareness while driving
« Reply #9 on: November 14, 2008, 09:27:23 AM »
As she passed me I stopped kinda blocking most of both lanes put my flashers on and jumped out and popped the hood. The car she described pulled up about 10 seconds later. I told the Mrs as soon as she passes me to get on it and put lots of distance between us

B. Z. !  Well done ! Quick thinking on your part! By positioning your vehicle to block and illuminate his, you ended the pursuit and put yourself in a dominant position. You also stayed there long enough to force him to come to you for an "interview".

You read this one very well. I wonder how the owner of that car, the "woman 30 miles away" is doing....

I will remember this one for the playbook!

Thanks for sharing!

Ben

jeremya

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Re: Keeping situational awareness while driving
« Reply #10 on: November 14, 2008, 10:33:39 AM »
Does any one else speak to their spouse about what to do if something like this happens?

I keep a cheap handgun stored in my wife's car.  It stays there 24/7, even when parked in the driveway or at shopping centers.

It's cheap enough that I wouldn't cry much if it got stolen.  90% of the benefit of concealed carry on her person, none of the hassle.


Since it's legal, here in Texas, for me to do so I am thinking about getting cheap guns for both of our cars.

If/when I do there will plenty of discussion with my wife about what types of situations would warrant the use of deadly force.

-- Jeremy

Offline cdnshooter

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Re: Keeping situational awareness while driving
« Reply #11 on: November 14, 2008, 12:02:16 PM »


Since it's legal, here in Texas, for me to do so I am thinking about getting cheap guns Glocks for both of our cars belts, carried at all times.

If/when I do there will plenty of discussion with my wife about what types of situations would warrant the use of deadly force.

-- Jeremy
[/quote]

There, fixed it for you, man.

Do you know how much I ( and the vast majority of people on this planet) would dearly love to have the right to CCW recognised and legalised? It's like voting- you should, just because you can, and so many can not.

Mindset and training are of course required, as you alluded to with "plenty of discussions". Save yourself a lot of time and money, pay a professional, get the training. Cost of a course or two is a lot less than a law suit, or a funeral.

Stay safe,

Ben

jeremya

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Re: Keeping situational awareness while driving
« Reply #12 on: November 14, 2008, 12:20:45 PM »


Since it's legal, here in Texas, for me to do so I am thinking about getting cheap guns Glocks for both of our cars belts, carried at all times.

If/when I do there will plenty of discussion with my wife about what types of situations would warrant the use of deadly force.

-- Jeremy

There, fixed it for you, man.

Do you know how much I ( and the vast majority of people on this planet) would dearly love to have the right to CCW recognised and legalised? It's like voting- you should, just because you can, and so many can not.

Mindset and training are of course required, as you alluded to with "plenty of discussions". Save yourself a lot of time and money, pay a professional, get the training. Cost of a course or two is a lot less than a law suit, or a funeral.

Stay safe,

Ben
[/quote]

Nice! I have a Glock 19 for my belt... waiting on the plastic to come in the mail so I can carry it. My wife doesn't like the way the Glock feels so she will be getting a Springfield XD and will also be getting her CHL in the new year.

We've both had training and will continue to get more training in the future.

I will still be thinking about getting guns for the cars because... well because I can. ;)

No matter what I will constantly be talking with my wife about what situations the use of deadly force is appropriate since every bullet used to defend yourself has a dollar amount attached to it. In the form of defending yourself in court... even in the Great State of Texas. Getting training is important but constantly reinforcing that training is equally important.

-- Jeremy

kaiservontexas

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Re: Keeping situational awareness while driving
« Reply #13 on: November 14, 2008, 10:56:43 PM »
I always scan around me at intersections. I always look in my mirrors every so often while driving. I also scan around in front of me while driving. You never know when someone is driving to fast and getting out of the way is important, nevermind just that weird looking guy standing on the corner.

Tommy Jefferson

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Re: Keeping situational awareness while driving
« Reply #14 on: November 16, 2008, 09:14:13 PM »
Be careful about situations where your car can get pinned in.  I've had bums hassle me in restaurant drive-throughs, the kind with the curbs and shurbs on either side.

When stopping at redlights, always leave enough room between you and the car in front of you to cut your wheels and escape.

Last year my mother was washing her car in one of those self-serve spray wash stalls at three in the afternoon in a nice part of town.  Suddenly a car pulled up to her front bumper and another pulled up her rear bumper, pinning her in. 

She immediately jumped in her car and started the engine.   She retrieved her S&W .357, revved her engine to 7,000 RPM, and pointed her gun at the guy who jumped out of the front car.  He stood and looked at her for a second, then jumped back in his car.  Both cars sped away.

She said "I wanted him to know I would shoot him through my windshield and ram his car if I had to".

We live in a small town in Texas.  It can happen anywhere.

Offline TekkieFae

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Re: Keeping situational awareness while driving
« Reply #15 on: June 01, 2009, 05:06:38 PM »
 Hi guys,
I am the daughter of a decorated Vietnam Army Special Forces pilot and X-Sheriff. As a woman living in a major city, I have been followed while driving at night alone almost a dozen times over the years. I am not being paranoid here. I lost every tail by driving evasively in such a way they could not follow. I guess it’s the pilot genes. If that had failed I would have gone to the nearest populated place and lay on SOS with the horn until someone responded, or called 911 on my cell, or both.
This is a common threat to women, especially in major cities. This does not happen to men like it does us, so I do think you should discuss it with your spouses, sisters, etc.. Talk to them about eye contact at stops. Teach them how to make sure they actually have a tail (doubling back, etc.) Don’t just say, “Situational Awareness” but tell them what to look for, and what they can do about it. Make sure they know where the police stations are along their routes. Suggest they hide their hair in a hat when driving alone at night.

I hope this helps someone.

Offline Buffy

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Re: Keeping situational awareness while driving
« Reply #16 on: June 01, 2009, 05:21:15 PM »
Once while driving with friends to go camping, at 2:am we were the only car on the interstate when a call full of idiots pulled on an decided to play chicken with us.
After a near miss or two I rolled down the window and pointed my rifle at the driver.
I think they decided to find another form of entertainment as they took the next exit rather quickly.

Goatdog62

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Re: Keeping situational awareness while driving
« Reply #17 on: June 01, 2009, 05:22:55 PM »
Hi guys,
I am the daughter of a decorated Vietnam Army Special Forces pilot and X-Sheriff. As a woman living in a major city, I have been followed while driving at night alone almost a dozen times over the years. I am not being paranoid here. I lost every tail by driving evasively in such a way they could not follow. I guess it’s the pilot genes. If that had failed I would have gone to the nearest populated place and lay on SOS with the horn until someone responded, or called 911 on my cell, or both.
This is a common threat to women, especially in major cities. This does not happen to men like it does us, so I do think you should discuss it with your spouses, sisters, etc.. Talk to them about eye contact at stops. Teach them how to make sure they actually have a tail (doubling back, etc.) Don’t just say, “Situational Awareness” but tell them what to look for, and what they can do about it. Make sure they know where the police stations are along their routes. Suggest they hide their hair in a hat when driving alone at night.

I hope this helps someone.

It does happen to men, just not for the same reasons. In addition to driving to a PD (fewer in number and at times few officers are present), most Fire Halls have been declared safe havens and firefighters have received training for this.

I plan to do an entire thread on having the right street sense. It includes a lot of good to know stuff. I have to make sure that it is tailored to this subject specifically (some editing). Watch for it soon.

Offline Buffy

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Re: Keeping situational awareness while driving
« Reply #18 on: June 01, 2009, 05:23:39 PM »
Speaking of situational awareness in general:
I highly recommend "The Gift of Fear" by Gavin de Becker.

Offline TekkieFae

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Re: Keeping situational awareness while driving
« Reply #19 on: June 01, 2009, 05:37:05 PM »
GoatDog62,
Thank you for your input! I hadn’t even though about going to a Fire Station if I’m being followed!
If I may ask - I thought ‘Safe Haven’ was for dropping off babies. You mean firefighters are trained to help women in that kind of situation?

Thanks again, and I will also look for your upcoming thread.

Goatdog62

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Re: Keeping situational awareness while driving
« Reply #20 on: June 01, 2009, 07:23:00 PM »
GoatDog62,
Thank you for your input! I hadn’t even though about going to a Fire Station if I’m being followed!
If I may ask - I thought ‘Safe Haven’ was for dropping off babies. You mean firefighters are trained to help women in that kind of situation?

Thanks again, and I will also look for your upcoming thread.

The firefighters I know and hang with are. It is put out in public service announcements on TV there. In fact, around 2001, a woman fled from her wifebeater husband to one. The firefighters took her in and police officers were dispatched, arriving within two minutes. He arrived at the same time. When he was told to wait outside while things were "sorted out" he pulled his gun and started shooting. It was suicide by cop and he got what he asked for. I have no doubt that he'd have killed her had she not made it to the fire station.

Oh yeah, I started it;

http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=5951.0;topicseen