Self-Defense Tactical Driving Tips

Image of two hands on a car steering wheelSince the early 1960s the phrase “Drive Defensively” has been taught in driver education courses across America. It means the skill to drive a vehicle safely despite any conditions you encounter and the actions of others. In a typical defensive driving course, students learn crucial crash prevention techniques that include:

  • Scanning the roadway ahead and adapting accordingly to your surroundings
  • Expecting the unexpected
  • Being alert and distraction free
  • Employing the two-second rule for following distances
  • Knowing your vehicle’s stopping distance
  • Being aware of reaction distance
  • Looking through a turn to know what you’ll encounter
  • Preparing for environment hazards and vehicle emergencies
  • Driving with the commitment to be the safest driver on the road

[ Read the SemperVerus article, A Simple Chart for Situational Awareness ]

Self-defense tactical driving takes the concept further, putting a motor behind the everyday proficiency of situational awareness. As always, distance is your self-defense friend. The greater the distance from a threat, the more time you have to avoid or prepare for it. Here are a few practical ways to defend yourself in your vehicle:

  • Lock Your Doors: always.
  • Keep your fuel tank full. Fill it when it’s one-quarter empty.
  • Know Your Route: avoid uncertainties that may cause confusion, getting lost, or winding up in a neighborhood with bad actors in it.
  • Constantly Assess: monitor other drivers, pedestrians, and happenings on either side of the road, scanning far ahead and using your mirrors. Stay focused (don’t look at your phone).
  • Keep Going: a moving vehicle is less likely to be carjacked.
  • Practice Reverse Driving: find an empty parking lot to become skilled at safely maneuvering in reverse at a higher rate of speed than is usual. Some day you may need to back up with acceleration to escape a threat.
  • Leave Enough Room: don’t limit your escape options by crowding the car’s bumper (or any object) in front of you whenever you stop your vehicle. Leave space to be able to move. Don’t get boxed in. Anywhere.
  • Be Prepared: pack a vehicle survival kit appropriate for your surroundings; it may include a flashlight, pepper spray, knife, firearm, mechanic tools, blanket, tire compressor, first aid kit, energy bars, water, phone charger, etc.

[ Read the SemperVerus article, Why Use and How to Choose Pepper Spray ]

[ Read the SemperVerus article, Principles of Defensive Driving from the Michigan State Police ]

More self-defense tactical driving tips:

[ Read the SemperVerus article, Defending Yourself Against Mobs and Riots ]

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