PDA

View Full Version : Road Rage



Guantes
03-24-2005, 11:23 PM
You are driving down the interstate (divided highway, 2 lanes each way with a dirt center divider) with your significant other in the passenger seat through open plains country. It is the middle of the afternoon and traffic is light to medium. You are in the # one lane going about five over, passing another car. Another car comes up fast behind you and starts blowing its horn. You complete your pass in 3-4 seconds and move over to the # two lane. The honker passes you and as he is doing so, gives you an evil look, flips you off and speeds away. About a half mile down the road you come up on the rear of the same car in your lane (# two) going ten under. You move over to pass him and he speeds up. You back off and so does he, staying even with you. All the while eyef***ing you. You see him leaning down like he is reaching under the seat, then sit back upright. There are no other cars within several hundred yards of your car and his.
What do you do?

There is no prewritten end to this. That way it can unfold for each person as their own mind sees it. As you take action and you see (visualize) him taking another action and your counter action, state same.

blastjv
03-25-2005, 05:45 AM
Well, I guess I'd:

-Have my wife call 911 and describe the car and the individual, our approximate position and the situation (including that I do have a pistol, but that we're doing absolutely anything we can to avoid any problem).
-Access Pistol (In case he forces us off the road or otherwise MAKES us have to stop and fight)
-Stay right behind him where it would be hardest for him to shoot at us (if that's what he has planned).
-Slow way down, either he'll get sick of driving 30MPH on a highway and speed off, or he'll slow down with me and want to stop. Either way, at this point I don't want him behind me.
-Try to find a spot on the divider that will allow me to make a quick U-turn. We'd probably be in our Honda CR-V, which is not a big tough SUV, but does have AWD and handles pretty well with some minimal off-road driving.
-If he tries to stop completely, I'm going over the divider whether it's a good place for a U-turn or not.
-If that's just not possible I would try to stop as far back away from him as possible (I'm NOT driving past this guy now, giving him a near 'contact distance' shot at us). I'd put it in reverse and back away even farther along the shoulder, with my wife reporting on what he was doing.
-Once we had a little distance, I'd switch seats with my wife, to allow me to shoot if necesary, and have her continue to back up for as long as it takes to find an exit, or for the cops to arrive.
-Driving out over the plains is an option, but there's always a good chance of getting hopelessly stuck on uncertain terrain, but this might be a good choice if he's only in a little sports car or something.

I really don't see this one getting to a gunfight if we were determined not to have one (which we would be).

If it came to that and we couldn't go anywhere with the car, I'd probably have my wife run diaganally away from him and the road while I used the cover of the vehicle. I don't think I'd run in this instance since there are too many ways for him to catch up to us, and I don't want to be panting and trying to make an accurate shot at some distance if I can help it.


That's what comes to mind immediately, anyway...


-John

Sam Spade
03-25-2005, 08:52 AM
I think blastjv just about nailed it. Separation is your friend here.

The only difference is that I wouldn't "access" the pistol. In the event of a crash, I want it where it belongs, not somewhere down on the floorboards.

blastjv
03-25-2005, 09:06 AM
Yeah, I think you're right.

I considered that, but felt like I wanted it in-hand if he started shooting, but I think that with the other moves I am (hypothetically) making, it would be best to keep it 'where it belongs' as you stated.


-John

WD_40
03-25-2005, 11:14 AM
I would also have my wife recline her seat all the way incase I need to shoot through the passenger window, also to give her more cover from the doors. Not the best position for her in the event of a crash, but to me, gunfire seems to be a more imminent threat.

blastjv
03-25-2005, 11:33 AM
She might be better off squished down on the floor in front of the passenger seat. If she was braced in there pretty good she'd probably be pretty well protected in a crash and the firewall would provide good cover from incoming fire.


Just a thought,

-John

Guantes
03-25-2005, 11:49 AM
You guys are too good.

I think time is another key element in addition to separation. Polic response should be quick with weapon(s) involved, but who knows.

I like blastjv's response and the additions of Same Spade and WD40.

A couple of minor thoughts, mainly personal preferrence.
1. I would have wife get on floor in the back seat, we will not be at any significant speeed re a crash.
2. I don't like the u-turn, it allows him to get behind me. I am not going to attain high speed, I am more worried about a high speed crash than engaging him.
3. Backing up, I would keep speed low so he could not ram my vehicle into oncomming traffic.
4. In this case I would keep wife with me where I could protect her better with the cover of the vehicle, instead of out in the open.

I wrote my responses when I wrote the scenario.

blastjv
03-25-2005, 12:15 PM
I was also thinking about the time element, though I don't think I made that very clear. Hopefully with your wife on the phone with dispatch, you'd have a running timeline of their ETA.

I didn't really think about the U-turn giving him my back, which is a very good point. I still think it has some advantages, such as if he's ahead of you and passes a rare 'good spot' to U-turn, you can use it after he passes it, leaving him mostly unable to follow (though nothing's certain).

My wife can run pretty quickly, so I was thinking that distance be a better protection than the car for her while I covered her retreat.

But, as you say, much of this is personal preference, some wives can't run fast, or may be ill. In our car the floor in the front would make more sense than the back, but other vehicles are certainly different, etc...

As with all of these things, try to make the best decisions you can based on the developing situation and knowledge from whatever preparation you've been able to do ahead of time (like this useful little exercise).


-John

BreacherUp!
03-25-2005, 12:26 PM
Your best weapons in this scenario, from my point of view, are your phone and that 2 ton monster under your foot. Until that car ceases to function, it is your best bet to break contact or use as a weapon if need be. Shooting from a moving car through your pax window doesn't sound like something I'd be willing to do, especially with your better half in the car.

Steve Camp
03-25-2005, 12:43 PM
She might be better off squished down on the floor in front of the passenger seat. If she was braced in there pretty good she'd probably be pretty well protected in a crash and the firewall would provide good cover from incoming fire.


I disagree. A CR-V is little more than a car body with AWD attached. Honda does a real good job in the crash tests -- they really design their crumple zone well. While being squished down on the floor in front of the passenger seat may prevent her from getting bounced around... what might happen

her head get's bounced off the dashboard and a few other things?
the crumple zone actually intrudes on the space into which she has squeezed?
for whatever reason, you decide to sue Honda later because of injuries your wife suffers... but she wasn't strapped into her seat the way most people do and the way Honda assumes they do and designed accordingly... that is, Honda cannot be held accountable if people are not going to sit in their seat with seatbelt fastened as they should... so your case gets tossed out
the airbag goes off and really wacks your wife's head and neck but good


No... the only time I'd really get down there is if I really feel gunfire is imminent, and the vehicle is really big, beefy, and stiff: Chevy Suburban, Ford Expedition. I might with a Ford Explorer... they are pretty heavy.

But still... reclining the front seat to the rear seems best. While you're at it... you might have her put her window down so that in addition to the door metal between her and any potential inbound rounds... there is also a layer of auto glass. The disadvantage with doing this, is that the guy in the other car may view this as provocative -- that is you are preparing to shoot yourself ("Captain... they are opening their torpedo doors!").

Steve Camp
03-25-2005, 01:01 PM
You guys are too good.

I think time is another key element in addition to separation. Polic response should be quick with weapon(s) involved, but who knows.


Yeah... who knows... from your scenario:


You are driving down the interstate (divided highway, 2 lanes each way with a dirt center divider) with your significant other in the passenger seat through open plains country

Just where did you picture this in your mind? Depending on where you may be driving in open plains country:

Wyoming
Colorado
Montana
the Dakotas
New Mexico

it may be 30-60 minutes minimum before a trooper can get to your location. Maybe that is excessive... but it could very well be a LOOONG time (many minutes) when you are involved in such a squeamish, second-to-second affair. Do NOT count on any help from the authorities. But don't do anything rash either.


A couple of minor thoughts, mainly personal preferrence.
1. I would have wife get on floor in the back seat, we will not be at any significant speeed re a crash.

How do you know this? The scenario is light to medium traffic... open plains country... traffic is probably hauling ass... and you're contemplating stopping so as to not let him get behind you? So you slow down... he slows down... you slow down some more... he slows down some more... Now you're going what, 20-30mph? Or you stop? 0 mph? And that tractor trailer, with a tired driver who's been at it for many a mile and many many hours, is barreling down on you at 70-85mph... No sir... on the floor in the back is the LAST place I'd want any of my loved ones...


2. I don't like the u-turn, it allows him to get behind me. I am not going to attain high speed, I am more worried about a high speed crash than engaging him.

While I can see problems with him getting behind me... if I can do a U turn and gain some separation from him in seconds... if I can cross the opposite direction lanes of traffic and get to the beakdown lane... and unass my vehicle and assume a firing position, say around the right rear of my vehicle -- more for concealment than cover, while my wife get's in the drivers position... that might be one possibility... do I have my truck / trunk gun with me? :D


3. Backing up, I would keep speed low so he could not ram my vehicle into oncomming traffic.

I still remember the words of our local police officer speaking to my driver's ed class, "NEVER NEVER NEVER EVER back up on an interstate highway... it is the number one cause of accidents and deaths on highways" or words to that effect. Do you really think it is best to back up on the highway?

Since I pulled out to the #1 lane to pass the idiot who has slowed way down... I picture myself in this scenario as being trapped in the far left lane... Where am I going to back up?

Once, in traffic, my friend and I were in the far left lane of a multiple lane divided, local street. The far left lane ended as it merged to the right (the street was going from 3 lanes to 2 lanes). I did not agree with what he did... but traffic was heavy and there were only so many options. My friend speeded up to pass by one vehicle that had plenty of room (well, maybe not plenty) in front of it. His cutting in front of this one car really pissed off the driver -- who we could see in our mirrors was flipping us off, jumping all around, hollering. Well, traffic came to a dead stop (stop 'n go traffic). This guy jumped out of his car and started agitatedly walking towards my friend's car. But... when he saw my friend reach up and retrieve something (his cell phone) from above the passenger visor... he turned right around and went back to his car.

So.... what if you ensure the other driver sees your wife or you on the cellphone? AND... if you have a camcorder... why not get it out and start recording the other driver? If he is planning anything untoward...he may not like being recorded... and may decide to just leave... since the price just went up...

Guantes
03-25-2005, 01:42 PM
Steve.

I agree about the time factor and not doing anything rash.

1. I am in the # one lane. Jam the gas, he should speed up. Hit the brakes and drop back into the #two lane behind him.

2. You are in a concealed position behind stopped veh while wife is in drivers seat exposed? No truck or truck gun.

3. Re the speed; as soon as we start slowing down my flashers go on. If we slow way down, pending traffic, do the pass, gas, brake thing again. Or pull over on shoulder and start backing up.

Seeing cellphone or camcorder might work.

Steve Camp
03-25-2005, 01:56 PM
1. I am in the # one lane. Jam the gas, he should speed up. Hit the brakes and drop back into the #two lane behind him.

One possible or potential problem with such a sudden, swerving maneuver... other vehicles (i.e. witnesses) might only remember your vehicle making radical maneuvers on the roadway...


2. You are in a concealed position behind stopped veh while wife is in drivers seat exposed? No truck or truck gun.

Yeah... I'm not liking my suggestion of unassing the vehicle while my wife remains in the vehicle. Doesn't seem smart. Doesn't seem to buy me anything... Besides... what am I going to do? Attack or assault a vehicle while I'm on foot? Them odds seem worse then handgun vs. rifle.


3. Re the speed; as soon as we start slowing down my flashers go on. If we slow way down, pending traffic, do the pass, gas, brake thing again. Or pull over on shoulder and start backing up.


Man... I really don't like the idea of backing up on an interstate...

If I'm in the #one lane (far left)... how about just slowing down and parking in the center divider strip with my hazard lights flashing?

There is no reason for the other driver to approach... and if he were to unass his vehicle... or stop and start backing up towards me... I think that would be a good (and defensible) trigger. That is, I slow down he slows down, so I quickly slow down and park my vehicle in the center divider (where traffic can still see me pretty good -- not behind a curve or rise). If he swerves all the way to the center divider, stops, and get's out of his vehicle... open door, get out, draw sidearm, assume firing position, pointing in on this guys groin... and command him to "STOP. STAY WHERE YOU ARE. THE POLICE ARE ON THE WAY." Wot sayeth ye?

One other thought is to slow down to 40mph or so (with hazard lights flashing)... and wait for other traffic to catch up... so it is not just you and he. Then see if he still wants to play his game(s). If he stops... be wary at all rest areas, restaurants, gas stations at which you might stop... this ahole may just resort to stalking you...

Cold War Scout
03-25-2005, 01:59 PM
I think on a good day I might be willing to die over this...but did you say wife or ex-wife in the passenger seat?

Guantes
03-25-2005, 02:23 PM
Steve,

1. I could explain that.
2. Agree
3. I agree about backing up on/near interstate, I'm trying to avoid a possible gunfight.
Re center, stopping again, I would prefer to keep moving.
Also, with center ( or any) stop and he approaches, your back into that does he have a weapon, justifiable force thing again, attys, etc. If it must be, so be it, but would prefer avoidance.
Agree re last.

Guantes
03-25-2005, 02:34 PM
Have to go to "The Market", back later.

Anthony
03-26-2005, 09:30 AM
Nice little scenario. Not at all impossible these days.
OK, time for my 2 cents. Before anybody jumps on me, remember where I live. Things are alittle different here.
I bought my vehicle - a 4x4 JEEP type ( not an SUV ) for various reasons. I use all terrain tyres habitually, even when I'm not intending to go off-roading.
In this scenario, I would look for the first possible track or open field, whatever, either side of the road. As soon as I see something suitable, I will take that option. Engaging 4x4 'on-the-fly', I will excelarate away from the main highway. Hopefully this a**hole has neither the vehicle nor the ability to follow.
If he does, then I'm afraid that he has convinced me of the worst possible intentions. I will stop at a suitable location that can be put to good defensive use. Taking suitable cover, this guy will get engaged with accurate fire.
Read my posts on the thread "Carrying in a Non-Permissive Environment" to find out the rest of the story ;)
Regards,
Anthony.

Al Lipscomb
03-26-2005, 10:55 AM
First get on the horn to 911 (or in my area *FHP) and let them know about the problem. Give them a full description of the other car and make sure that you state 'for the record' that you are trying to get away from this guy.

If my wife is in the car, well she can help by staying on the phone and as a second gun if needed.

I am more than willing to hang a U-Turn to get away from the nut case and let the troopers down the road deal with him.

Guantes
03-26-2005, 12:51 PM
Anthony.

Can I ride with you?

RMF
03-26-2005, 01:36 PM
one thing to keep in mind. In the open plains or mountains there are many areas where there is no cell phone coverage. You will be on your own for many miles.

blastjv
03-27-2005, 05:39 AM
One other thing which no one has mentioned, and which I forgot to mention is the ways to avoid this stuff in the first place.

One of the best is to shrug your shoulders with your hand in the air, while looking like you're sorry and mouthing the word "sorry". Suck it up, eat some crow, maybe not have to worry about all that other stuff...

When someone pulls up behind me impatiently flashing their lights and honking their horn, I try t put my hand up so they can see it in the universal "I see you, I'm moving, sorry I'm so slow" gesture. It's hard to get mad enough to shoot at someone who's appologetic.

Having said all that, It is VERY DIFFICULT to keep yourself from giving some jerk the finger or going out of your way to drive slower to tick some guy off who's trying to pass you. I think it's one of my biggest struggles. I find that the more I let people pass, and the more I give the right of way, the calmer I am, and the fewer problems I come close to having.


-John

PS - Another way is to simply drive carefully and correctly. While the reaction is obviously disproportionate, I'm sure that a lot of shootings start when someone has a legitimate gripe about another's driving...

Guantes
03-27-2005, 07:08 AM
blastjv,

An excellent point that I don't think anyone brought up befor.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Al Lipscomb
03-27-2005, 07:20 AM
True enough, if you are being a good driver and not being a jerk, it is a lot harder for someone to get ticked off at you. If it does happen it is much better to back off, take the next turn or whatever.

Many years ago, before Florida had the good CCW laws I was driving home and my wife was following me in her car. I was driving a Geo Metro, which is a tiny car. As I made a left turn across a divided road I paused in the median to wait for my wife to catch up. In doing so I ended up blocking an old beater pickup truck that was trying to turn into the road I was coming out of.

He got upset and leaned on the horn and yelled a bit. So to give it back a little I blew him a kiss (great way to piss someone off) and drove on. I made a right hand turn and was driving along and in my mirror I saw the truck weaving through traffic to catch up with me. A few blocks down the road I was caught behind another car at a red light and there was one car between us when I saw his door open and him get out.

I watched with care to make sure his hands were empty and decided I did not want to get caught sitting in the car with him approaching. So I take my seat belt off, open the door and get out. As I get a look at this guy I see that he is about 5'8 and 150 pounds. About the same time he is looking at me at 6'2" and 240 pounds and comes to a stop (I think the small car fooled him as to my size).

As I walk towards him I notice that there is a lady and two young kids in the cab of the truck. I ask the guy if he wants his kids to see him get is butt kicked and he decides to get back in his truck. I get back in mine, the light changes and I take a right.

That one ended with nobody hurt but the older and wiser me knows now how many different ways I could have ended up in a world of hurt.

Guantes
03-27-2005, 08:25 AM
If I could live my life over with what I know now I think it would be much easier.
A similar type story, just off road, if I may.

One night as a young and naive LEO I was coming home from furniture shopping with my wife and two children. I had to stop for gas to get home.

While pumping gas, it was a warm summer evening and the car windows were down. An individual working in the gas station was yelling at a couple of his cronies sitting near the office in a most vulgar and profane manner. I politely advised him that I would be gone shortly and I would appreciate it if he would curtail his vulgarity in front of my family until I left.

He responded with "f**k you" and pulled a switchblade. He was about 20-30ft away( this was prior to the advent of Tueller), I drew my weapon and told him to stop where he was. His reply was "Oh so your a f***ing pig". I thought "oh Sh*t, I am going to have to shoot this guy and probably get fired". My mind was racing as he obviously was not intimidated by LEOs. Then I said, "I ain't no pig you mother f***er". A look of fear come into his eyes, he dropped the knife and went back to the office.

A couple of the main lessons I learned were the fact that there were those who did not fear LEOs and I had tried to sheild my family from profanity and wound up exposing them to it from my own lips.

Anthony
03-27-2005, 10:28 AM
His reply was "Oh so your a f***ing pig". I thought "oh Sh*t, I am going to have to shoot this guy and probably get fired". My mind was racing as he obviously was not intimidated by LEOs. Then I said, "I ain't no pig you mother f***er". A look of fear come into his eyes, he dropped the knife and went back to the office.

A fine example of what many of us know to be true. - The BG generally fears the armed citizen more than anything. - And so he damn well should. :)

PS Guantes, ride with me whenever you visit Rio. It would be a pleasure. Although right now I think I would prefer to ride with you in Idaho. - What a great state. I have driven through it many years ago.
Regards,
Anthony.