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Old 11th November 2013, 14:41   #1
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Default Worried of being Waylaid? Some tips to ensure safety

Off late, there have been several reported incidents of vehicles being waylaid by ruffians. Some of these happen on empty roads in the middle of the night, while others rear their ugly face in broad daylight. Simple fact is that safety cannot be taken for granted.

Some basic preparation and common sense can go a long way in ensuring an enjoyable drive for your loved ones and you.

Here are some tips that I picked up along the way.

1 – Prevention and Precaution go a long way.
  • Lock all doors at all times.
  • Equip your car with a security system that has the ‘Panic’ function.
  • Roll up your windows whenever possible. Especially when navigating empty stretches at night.
  • Let people know of your travel plans and an expected time of arrival. Provide constant updates whenever you stop for refreshments.
  • Ensure that you have emergency contact numbers stored. This includes Police, Highway Assistance, Your Insurance company etc.
  • Do not attract attention to yourself. Thick gold chains, rings, brightly colored and large cell phones etc. are all mischief magnets. Especially with the windows rolled down.
  • If you’re in unknown territory, avoid loud music. You’re just advertising your expensive music system.
  • If you find the road blocked using makeshift measures, Do not stop and get out of the car under any circumstance. Turn around if you have to.
  • Avoid stopping to ask directions in the middle of the night. Plan your route effectively. Keep driving and stop only at well-lit places such as pumps/restaurants etc.
  • Carry a pepper spray. (Do not leave it unattended in a parked car.)

2 – What if someone tries to stop you forcibly?
  • Avoid a confrontation as much as possible. Remember, things can only get uglier from there.
  • Try evasive maneuvering to get out of the situation.
  • Attract attention by using the horn (activate the emergency/panic siren on your vehicle security system if installed) without pause and driving away. Even if you have to ram into the vehicle blocking you, do so. Do not release the horn unless you're absolutely sure you're not being tailed.
  • Do not try to inflict intentional bodily harm.
  • Inform the police immediately whether or not something goes south.

3 – What if a confrontation cannot be avoided?
  • DO NOT GET OUT OF THE CAR!
  • DO NOT GET OUT OF THE CAR! (Yes, its that important!)
  • Your safety first. Your vehicle can be repaired.
  • Remember – your vehicle is your biggest weapon and place of safety. The moment you exit your vehicle, you’re open to harm.
  • Floor it! (Avoid intentional bodily harm), get out of the situation and drive to the nearest police station.
  • If you cannot escape, avoid picking a fight. This is not a test of bravery. Going back to your life safe and sound should be your priority.
  • Comply with their demands, seek help once you’re safe.

4 - Things to keep in mind:
  • You have everything to lose. Whatever you do, keep that it mind before acting on a situation.
  • Do not pick a fight! Do not aggravate the situation.
  • While trying to escape, do not worry about scratching your car. Preserving lives is more important.
  • While carrying a weapon of some sort in the car is a good idea, it is to be done only if you're trained to handle it in emergencies. Else you're just getting weapons for the other party. I know multiple instances where the victim pulled out a weapon, only to be taken by the assailants. Adrenaline is a funny thing and you may not react the same way when pumped full of it.
  • Carrying a pepper spray is a great idea. ONLY if you're responsible enough to take it out of the car when it's parked. The pressurized container may leak if parked in a hot car and the rest can be imagined.

I know that we cannot always avoid mishaps. But that is no excuse for not trying. Please do feel free to add more ideas and tips. After all, there is no such thing as too much safety.

Enjoy!

*mods – A search did not reveal a similar thread in the ‘Road Safety’ section. If needed, please merge with an existing topic if available. Thanks!
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Old 12th November 2013, 00:58   #2
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Default re: Worried of being Waylaid? Some tips to ensure safety

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Originally Posted by Tassem View Post
[*]Do not try to inflict intentional bodily harm. [*]If you cannot escape, avoid picking a fight. This is not a test of bravery. Going back to your life safe and sound should be your priority.[*]Comply with their demands, seek help once you’re safe.
Say you were forced to get out and they are inflicting intentional bodily harm on you. What should one do in such a case?
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Old 12th November 2013, 05:22   #3
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Default re: Worried of being Waylaid? Some tips to ensure safety

Any weapon/contraption that you carry for safety purposes, might be snatched and used against you.

So use it judiciously.
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Old 12th November 2013, 09:53   #4
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Default re: Worried of being Waylaid? Some tips to ensure safety

Tassem, I think you should shed little more clarity on the meaning of waylaid.

Is it
  • Road rage situation
  • Angry mob situation
  • Robbery/Rape situation

Are you suggesting the same prescription in the above situations?
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Old 12th November 2013, 10:10   #5
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Default re: Worried of being Waylaid? Some tips to ensure safety

Just back from an incident that happened in broad daylight in one busy junction in Madurai-This was just a day after I bought my MM550 and that was my Wedding Anniversary too. We were not waylaid but a drunken rowdy in a half-police garb and seemingly built like a Policeman stopped his Pulsar right in the middle of a 4 lane junction, pulled out his mobile and started talking aloud causing a traffic pile on all four lines which has no traffic signal. We started moving slowly, making way for the others too to cross beyond the man. None of the riders honked cos they thought he was a Policeman, but I did when I was just about to cross him as he moved the bike to stop the traffic still.
He saw my wife and kids in the Jeep, looked at the registration number and since it was from another locality, started shouting abusively; He turned the tale stating I was about to run over him and who will feed his wife and kids if he passed away. He made people stop, brought them along and made the scenario appear like I had caused the traffic jam. He asked me to get down, tried opening the door and I was at my wits end and wanted to run my Jeep on his Pulsar and wanted to bang him with the opened Jeep door.
I held the door and shouted back bringing people's attention to his talking on the cell phone and the gathering crowd was moving away. He was still insisting on me getting down and I knew it would be the ugliest episode ever and if he were a Policeman, then the cops can only build stories and evidences in their own lines and hence chose to remain calm and shifted my eyes from staring him and started signalling the other vehicles to move on to my left and right.
The moment the drunkard understood that the crowd had dispersed and I couldn't be intimidated, he let go off the door and took his bike and left the place.
I was jittery about the way mob could turn based on false claims and running into an insane cop on a happy Wedding Anniversary that too driving a Jeep for which I had waited for more than 20 years was the least that I could expect.

The lessons that I learnt:
  1. Be calm
  2. Respond to the situation and dont react
  3. Avoid argument at any cost
  4. Peace is the toughest armor in which lies our safety
  5. Staring into the eyes, raising the eyebrows, pointing fingers, waving viciously, trying to reach for weapons and other such body languages are the most hazardous moves once can make
  6. Be on the lookout for alternatives while being alert on the next move of the attackers
  7. The point of provocation could be in the form of a dent or damage to our vehicle about which we are passionate about.
  8. They might even trick you into flaring up through purposely perpetrated attacks on the vehicle
  9. When its possible, list out those precious things in life that you would be out to hold on dear to you should an eventual incident crop up. Meditate on how to safeguard them all a couple of times and rehearse it in your mind. Then its easier to handle such a situation even if the body is tired after a long drive
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Old 12th November 2013, 10:50   #6
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Default re: Worried of being Waylaid? Some tips to ensure safety

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
Say you were forced to get out and they are inflicting intentional bodily harm on you. What should one do in such a case?
To be honest, I believe you can drive away from almost all situations. What happens however, is people are worried about damaging their vehicles. It's second nature and cannot be blamed. But drive in whichever direction possible and do not worry about dents, scratches etc. Ram into the vehicle that is blocking you. Do not do this at full speed because your engine may cut off. Instead drive into it and then accelerate. I know in a moment of emergency remembering these instructions are difficult. But with a little presence of mind, you can do it. I'm sure you'll agree.

However if for some reason you are dragged out of the vehicle, In most scenarios, if you comply with their demands (money, valuables etc.) they will leave you scathed but unhurt.

However, if you believe your life/modesty is at risk, and you cannot flee, you must be prepared to go on the offensive. A rock, or any other sharp object may be used as a weapon. But be judicious. A loss of life even under self defense would warrant several months of torment from our law. A pepper spray helps a lot in these situations as it does not require contact and can be used from a distance. Due to its diminutive size, its difficult to pry it away from you as well.

Having said all that, using your vehicle is still the best option and provides the highest degree of success.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ramzsys View Post
Any weapon/contraption that you carry for safety purposes, might be snatched and used against you.

So use it judiciously.
I completely agree!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
Tassem, I think you should shed little more clarity on the meaning of waylaid.

Is it
  • Road rage situation
  • Angry mob situation
  • Robbery/Rape situation

Are you suggesting the same prescription in the above situations?
By waylaid, I mean a situation where someone blocks your vehicle with the intention of robbing you. Road rage usually fizzles out quickly if you do not react. However robbers wont.

If there is a lady in the car, then you should spare no effort in driving away from the scene.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JEHU View Post
Just back from an incident that happened in broad daylight in one busy junction in Madurai-This was just a day after I bought my MM550 and that was my Wedding Anniversary too. We were not waylaid but a drunken rowdy in a half-police garb and seemingly built like a Policeman stopped his Pulsar right in the middle of a 4 lane junction, pulled out his mobile and started talking aloud causing a traffic pile on all four lines which has no traffic signal. We started moving slowly, making way for the others too to cross beyond the man. None of the riders honked cos they thought he was a Policeman, but I did when I was just about to cross him as he moved the bike to stop the traffic still.
Thank you for sharing your experience. What an ordeal!

I'm glad you had the presence of mind to act sensibly. And yes, such situations are commonplace these days. The exact reason behind this thread.

Last edited by GTO : 12th November 2013 at 15:59. Reason: Please quote ONLY the relevant bits of a post. Quoting a full, long post inconveniences our mobile readers. Thanks!
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