One of the biggest vulnerable positions we’re placed in on a nearly daily basis is the seated position. From the seated position, it is very difficult to gain an advantage over someone who has use of his feet and legs to maneuver. Yet, we can always find ourselves waiting at a red light or stuck behind a stopped vehicle and wonder how in the heck could we be expected to defend ourselves from within our own vehicles. An added challenge: you’re usually buckled in tightly for your own safety, effectively immobilizing you from many options you’d have otherwise.
It is possible to stop a carjacker using just your bare hands. It’s not fun, but it is possible.
The one advantage of being in a car is you have airbags and more than 3,500 pounds of steel and plastic that’s capable of reaching speeds greater than a man can run. Anyone who makes the mistake of reaching into your car to take control of your steering wheel does not.
- All doors should be locked and stay locked.
- Windows should always remain up.
- Your attention should be balanced between what is in front of you and what is going on around you.
Scenario 1: Potential carjacker reaches in to grab your steering wheel
A carjacker requires two things to pull off his craft: surprise and opportunity.
If they are dumb enough to telegraph his intentions as he approaches your vehicle, flee. Worry about red light cameras and potential tickets later. Your life is worth far more than that.
However, in the case where they are able to take you by surprise and attempt to grab your steering wheel, grab hold of their hand and hit the gas. If you don’t have any stopped vehicles in front of you, feel free to hit the gas until they are off their feet and then let go. Get a safe distance away and call the police immediately.
The purpose of this ought be self-evident but here it is: if they are taken off his center of gravity, they can’t gain control of the situation. You don’t have to drag them down the street but you do need to ensure they completely releases all grip from the car and does not attempt to regain control.
Scenario 2: You’re blocked in and someone puts their hand on your steering wheel.
This is a MUCH more common tactic used by groups of thugs who have at least some rudimentary background in what they’re doing. Any experienced criminal knows that they are putting themselves at risk the second they put their hand inside your vehicle. When you pull up to an intersection and have vehicles in front and behind you, you’re pretty much pegged in. And, if your window is open, the lead attacker is going to attempt to either open your door or grab your steering wheel. That’s why they are probably going to strike you to stun you and get you to drop your guard. Because you’re limited in options and so are they, this is where you have to assume a decent bit of risk and try your luck anyways. Whichever vehicle is farthest, move your vehicle in that direction. If you have to hit the vehicle behind you in order to gain that advantage, so be it. Your life is worth it.
Next, pivot your steering wheel so you can get out of the jam. Pick a direction and hit it. If they have any limbs or appendages in through your side, grab onto them because now they are along for the ride until you say stop. Let go once you’re sure they no longer pose a risk to your health and safety. Get to a safe distance, call police.
There’s all sorts of variances in these scenarios and from reviewing quite a few previous cases, you can successfully move out of the center of the ambush or carjacking just by focusing on keeping your vehicle moving. If your opponent doesn’t let you go, bring his arm, hand, or finger along for the ride.