You are driving down the expressway minding your own business when you see a car pass you and fire a gun in your direction. Just like the 17-year-old in an incident out of Ohio, the decision you make next will impact your chance of survival. You can check out the news report of that incident by following the link at the end of this post.
Distance is Your Friend, Even during a Road Rage Incident—
The first thing to remember in a situation like in this story is distance is your friend. Change lanes safely and get off at the next exit and get to a safe location. Do anything to create distance without stopping. If you stop, they may stop and that puts you at a disadvantage.
Stay calm and, if possible get the license plate of the vehicle and descriptions of the car. A simple way of doing this is by asking your smartphone to create a note; saying the car license plate number, description of the car, and description of the driver or passenger. Don’t put yourself in greater danger by trying to write something down or take a picture with your phone while driving. This could be illegal in your state but worse it is very dangerous to your and the other drivers around you.
When you are in a safe place, call 911 and give them the description of the suspect's car. 911 is going to ask you where you are at the type of car you are driving and if you need medical attention.
During the adrenaline rush of a violent attack or in this case being shot at, you may not realize you are injured, so check yourself for any wound caused by the bullet or broken glass. If you have or think you have been shot, request medical attention. Also check anyone else in your car for injuries.
The whole Hollywood shootout scene between two cars driving down the road is not reality. If you are driving, you are trying to get away from the other vehicle and watching out for the other traffic. Don't return fire with one hand while driving. Remember, you're responsible for every bullet you fire. Not only is it harder to shoot accurately, but you can't be sure of your backstop while you are driving.
When you stop if you are still in fear for your life, take a defensive position outside your car. Staying inside your car puts too many limitations in movement and returning fire.
If you can't avoid another driver who is acting irrationally, then make distance by changing lanes. If they threaten you, make more distance, take the next exit, and call 911. The only time you should consider returning fire is if you are not driving and can clearly see your target and what is behind them. However, that isn't all.
You must also be confident you can make an accurate shot. This means you need to have an honest understanding of your abilities. Practicing shooting while seated in a vehicle is something most people don't practice. And no one, including law enforcement officers, practice shooting while driving.
Learning Vehicle Firearm Tactics—
It's possible to learn how to use your firearm for self-defense while in and around your vehicle, using an inert training handgun. This post explains the different options and the pros and cons of each. You may also use your every day carry (EDC) gun, after you've rendered it completely safe by inserting a BarrelBlok.
Pair these great dry fire tools with our course called Vehicle Firearm Tactics.
And don't forget, you are driving a 2-3 ton vehicle that you can also use against a deadly threat. Survival is the goal, and avoidance gives us a better chance at surviving than engaging in a gun battle while driving.
As promised, here is the link to the news report of the road rage shooting incident that led me to write this post.