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doghair

Surviving the Commute

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Here are some daily driver tricks I’ve adopted, especially working swing and having to commute home late, and let’s say it’s not through Disneyland. We have to make it to the end of the world if we are going to make it past it, right.

 

Doors always locked as soon as the door shuts.

 

At a minimum 2 gallon canteen and survival food bars onboard.

 

When arriving home I hit the close button immediately and wait until the garage door shuts before unlocking my doors. If someone, or more likely in my neighborhood, a mangy pit bull wanders in behind me, the door will start back up.

 

I try to stay in the lane away from the curb when stopping at a light, if anyone wants to come up and chat they are in the street. I learned that one the hard way on the Harley.

 

Leave enough room between you and the car stopped in front of you so you can crank the wheel and haul ass without backing up if you need to.

 

I have a 4D Maglight in reach in case there is something I need to deal with I don’t necessarily want to shoot.

 

Always have enough gas in the tank and food at home so I don’t have to tank up or stop at a store on the way home at night.

 

If stopped and making a left turn, keep your wheels straight so if you are rear ended you won't be pushed into oncoming traffic and get a head on as well.

 

My cage is gray, both literally and figuratively. No bumper stickers, special plates, HID lights, etc. I guess you could call it a plain dark colored small SUV?

 

I always break my line of sight with others with the windows, tinted windows are an Arizona bonus.

 

If someone rages, I let it roll off. If changing lanes or whatever is that important to them, they can have it. Especially on the bike, don’t bring a motorcycle to a car fight.

 

“Get new idiots”. This is what I call it when my gut tells me the drivers around me need to go and either pull over for a few or change routes. I get to trade those idiots for a new batch of idiots. I do this on the bike quite often.

 

If driving home on a Friday night and you see someone speeding up behind you, don’t change lanes to get out of the way, they have already vectored and executed passing you at Mach2.

 

Thoughts?

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All good stuff. I work in mental health out in the community so have to go into some pretty undesirable areas. A few additional things to remember are to vary your route if you can. And when you park up, do so under or very near street lighting and park with your nose out so you can get away faster. Good point about locking the doors before you get in, but also remember to remotely unlock them as you approach. Minimise the amount of time your stood outside your car, and it makes sure your keys are to hand straight away.

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Varying the route is a great idea. I live in a rural area so dont have to worry as much about crime, but Ive had a few times where Ive had to detour from weather related events and wished I knew the area better. I also carry a the 4d cell maglight. Def need to add water and food bars though. I drive about 40 miles each way. I thought about carrying a bike in the back of my pick up too.

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All good stuff. I work in mental health out in the community so have to go into some pretty undesirable areas. A few additional things to remember are to vary your route if you can. And when you park up, do so under or very near street lighting and park with your nose out so you can get away faster. Good point about locking the doors before you get in, but also remember to remotely unlock them as you approach. Minimise the amount of time your stood outside your car, and it makes sure your keys are to hand straight away.

 

I agree with all of this.

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You folks would make good FedEx couriers. We have to do our paperwork on road, before coming back to the station. Once, when I was young and invincible, I parked in a dark area with nobody around---I thought.

Caught some movement in a mirror outta the corner of my eye. There was a guy sneaking up each side of the truck toward my doors. Youth and fast reflexes won the day and they ate gravel as I hit the gas.

Needless to say, I am VERY observant of my surroundings nowdays.

I've even been known to call the local cops when I've seen a car following me from stop to stop. Turns out they were druggies waiting on me to make a delivery to a certain house. They went to jail that night and the house was busted two nights later.

 

 

"get new idiots"--- that's gonna be a classic!

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I don't drive anything, anywhere with the doors unlocked. You're too exposed in a vehicle. You have no room to react, you're wearing your seatbelt (or should be!), and you can't just get out if it's moving slowly although you can get in one rather easily.

 

A few things I do which are the same things I do on the job are leaving the doors locked, leaving enough distance between me and the vehicle ahead of me (where reasonable) so that I can pull out and not be stuck between the car in front of me and that behind me, and driving off as soon as I get in a vehicle. I don't sit and fumble with stuff. I get in it, and as I'm locking the door I'm hitting the ignition. I then move out, situate myself, and apply my seatbelt. Likewise, when coming to a park I've got my seatbelt off, and everything ready to go before I turn the motor off, unlock the door, and hop out. I also try to park under a light at night time in my personal vehicle. I don't believe that deters crime, but it allows me to see if anyone is around it or if it's been vandalized.

 

When I'm driving where there is a parallel, same direction lane of traffic and someone is pacing me, that is staying alongside me, I tap my breaks and merge to get behind them. There's no way to tell what their motive was for that action.

 

I always look around when I'm walking to or from my vehicle whether at work or when I'm off. I look inside cars to see who or what is inside, and I look between them for people crouched down. I also look for sources of cover, concealment, and escape when I'm walking across parking lots and so forth.

 

Am I paranoid? Somewhat, but then I've been an officer for nearly a decade, and it's made me that way.

 

Vehicle EDC is another matter entirely.

Edited by ArkansasFan30

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I would say that all of the aforementioned are good tips, from personal experience. In my former company vehicle (while studying a Mapsco trying to find an address in a gas station parking lot) I noticed a person pacing in front of my vehicle. Did my best to look like I wasn't watching him, up until he yanked the driver's door of my truck open. After his forehead was introduced to the muzzle of a Ruger P94DC, he quickly stated that he used to work for the same company and thought I was a friend of his. Was robbed at gunpoint 10 ft from my door in 2008 North Dallas. Noticed 2 males in the shadows, not unusual for that neighborhood, and proceeded on my way until a Glock was against my temple. My Glock, unfortunately, was upstairs with my wife and 2 small kids. They got me for over $900 in cash plus 2 phones and my keys, but I wasn't hurt and don't leave home unarmed now, ever. Had a man yank my driver's door open when I was a teenager, put a machete to my throat, and make it clear he intended to kill me. Luckily, a friend in the car with me reached into the glovebox as I fumbled with the seatbelt and pulled my .380. The guy took off and was caught by police shortly after. I'm a firm believer (and find it the safest state of mind) that I'm not safe anywhere. Not at home, not at work, not at my kid's school functions, not at the movies since Friday night. Don't mean to sound paranoid, but the fact is that there are a lot of sick, stupid people out there who wouldn't hesitate to kill you if you have (or they think you have) what they want. I don't want my wife to be the one on the news saying "I never thought it would happen to me, here in this quiet little town." I won't let that happen. Preparation cannot be beat. You can act faster than someone else can react.

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When I first took the new guy to Detriot to work I got in the van and said "time to strap up" he put on his seat belt and looked at me....he got my point when I racked my 9mm and put it under my leg where it rides when ever I am in an area that I feel in the least uncomfortable.

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Ok Im not the only one being safe!

 

2 week's ago in rural WV.20 miles from my home.Road rage..gun shoot's and a car crash..the 6 males were caught 30 minutes later by the local Sherrif's department..2 had just got out of jail..the 4 other's all had warrents..A bad drug deal..

 

same day very rural area(McDowel county)..58 year old man walking up to his home with food,one young male bolts out the front door,the other was facing a 9mm and still ran..He caught one in the leg..the other was caught 1 hour later.

 

All were DRUG related....RX drugs,Hillbilly herion....in VERY RURAL WV..............

 

So my wife Has her Ruger SR9c with hollow point's(17+1) at all times..I now have mt CC permit and my 1911.45 is Alway's with me....

 

Life is short..dont take the chance..

 

When I park in any parking lot I ALWAYS Back IN ..Never ...Never..back into trafic..

 

I still have family in Annarbor...It's scarry..

 

"the new guy to Detriot to work I got in the van and said "time to strap up"

Edited by 101matt

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WHat all this really comes down to is #1 aware of your surroundings and #2 Defensive Driving.

 

Recent Story:

I was in Port Huron doing what I do. On the way back south, i cruise in the middle lane 90% of the time. SOme low-life riushes up on my bumper, swerves over along side me, yelling and popin me the bird,,, i dont know WTF he's pissed at.

 

I slow down a little and get behind him... to let him go on ahead. He does the same to me, like backwards leap frog. I speed up and go back to the middle lane. SO does he, matching lane change and speed for the next 20miles. Not going any faster than normal traffic. But matching my every move around trucks and slower traffic etc.

 

SO up comes a major intersection with a East-West freeway, he is about 3car lengths behind me, I get off to the ramp like im taking the exit and slow down a little to let him get close, he follows... At the last Second I swerve back onto the North-South freeway, forcing him to continue onto the exit... popin me the bird as he goes by :P

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Rule #1: Pay attention.

From the moment you decide you are going to go drive/cycle/walk somewhere, put your mind on the situation at hand and not where you just left/where you are going. Situational awareness is the cornerstone of every defensive tactic, and the first thing that goes wrong before a crisis occurs. Just go back and read through the entries in this thread (a pretty savvy bunch of folks, actually) and see how many read something like 'I didn't see them until it happened' 'I have no idea why the guy was acting that way' or 'I happened to notice the bad guy(s) just as they got close to me'. Even good people lose SA, and when SA goes you are vulnerable. In air-to-air combat, they say 'lose sight, lose the fight' as a way to remember you have to keep your mind on the situation, and your eyes on the bad guys.

 

A few weeks ago, I got off my bicycle (in a parking lot) to check a funny sound coming from the chain. I fiddled with it and got everything shipshape again, then paused to take a drink out of my water bottle and check my cellphone for messages from the wife. I'm standing in broad Florida daylight, mind you. I am an inch under six foot, 215 pounds, shaved head and mirror shades, wearing flourescent yellow Hi-vis clothing and a blue/silver reflective helmet. My bike is a bright white 29er ATB, with rack/pack and gear on it. I am not hard to see, and that's deliberate.

 

but...

 

Up wanders a guy chatting on his cellphone, carrying a sack of fast food and a soda in one hand. He is clearly going to get into the Toyota right next to me, but doesn't notice me until he literally bumps into me. "Holy shit" he says, and drops the soda on the ground between us, completely startled by my 'sudden appearance' in front of him. He looks panic stricken and he almost falls over the curb trying to back away from me.

 

I told him that drivers like him are the reasons guys like me (waving at my hi-vis clothing) still get killed every day. Then I got on my bike and rode off, shaking my head.

 

If I had been a mugger, he would have been on the news, and I'd have a new cell phone/Toyota/free lunch.

 

Seriously, every single defensive strategy should start with 'Pay Attention'.

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WHat all this really comes down to is #1 aware of your surroundings and #2 Defensive Driving.

 

Recent Story:

I was in Port Huron doing what I do. On the way back south, i cruise in the middle lane 90% of the time. SOme low-life riushes up on my bumper, swerves over along side me, yelling and popin me the bird,,, i dont know WTF he's pissed at.

 

I slow down a little and get behind him... to let him go on ahead. He does the same to me, like backwards leap frog. I speed up and go back to the middle lane. SO does he, matching lane change and speed for the next 20miles. Not going any faster than normal traffic. But matching my every move around trucks and slower traffic etc.

 

SO up comes a major intersection with a East-West freeway, he is about 3car lengths behind me, I get off to the ramp like im taking the exit and slow down a little to let him get close, he follows... At the last Second I swerve back onto the North-South freeway, forcing him to continue onto the exit... popin me the bird as he goes by :P

Had a situation like this a few years ago was leavening a big job and was in the bosses Yukon had two crew behind me in vans when some guy pulls this crap on me so I grabbed the Nextel and called the guys we boxed him in and forced him off the road against a guard rail to a dead stop he was so scared begging pleading and apologizing

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