Stay Calm and Drive Defensively to Lose a Tail

  1. GPS1504
    Commuting to and from work, dodging the appalling actions of fellow drivers on a daily basis, can be a trying process. Some folks simply cannot drive, others are obliviously chatting away on cell phones, but still it gets worse. In the sea of bad drivers we face every day lingers something more sinister, that being the person who follows behind you with unknown intentions.

    The world we live in at present is scary at times. You never truly know what is going through the head of the person next to you, so it naturally becomes alarming if someone starts to tail you in traffic. It could be that person is looking for a child to abduct and has their sights set on yours. Maybe they saw you pull up to an ATM and drive off with a wad of cash. Perhaps they know you're a prepper and would like to make themselves at comfortable amongst your survival stash, but first they have to find it by following you home.

    Whatever the case may be, being following is a source of potential danger, not to mention a frightening scenario. Not knowing why you're being followed or what your tail's intentions are as well as if or how he's armed is enough to make anyone's blood run cold. The first step, tough though it may be, is to remain calm. Instead of letting panic take over, calmly survey the situation. Pay attention to your tail and his actions but don't proceed to your destination wherever it may be. Instead, make a series of turns to determine with absolute certainty that you are being followed and take as many mental notes as possible about the identity of your tail and his vehicle.

    Photo: Piston Heads

    Bad intentions alone are not enough to commit a crime. The stars still have to align in order to give the bad guy a chance to follow through with his plan and it is up to you not to allow that to happen. This means staying on heavily travelled roads in public places with lots of other cars that look just like yours. Being surrounded by other cars may prevent your tail from getting too close to you or could even cause him to give up out of frustration, but that's not to say he won't try again another day.

    As you drive, try to put distance and other vehicles (especially box trucks and tractor trailers) between you and your pursuer to make it harder for him to see and keep up with you. Do not simply hit the gas and flee and definitely do not pull over to initiate a confrontation. Instead keep driving, matching speeds with the traffic around you will help you blend whereas going slower or faster makes you stand out. Interstate highways and freeways are good for this purpose but abandoned streets should be avoided. On city streets, try to get a jump on light that forces you to yield to oncoming traffic; your goal is to make it through while your pursuer in turn gets blocked by a wall of cars. If you find yourself having car trouble or running out of gas, choose a crowded service station that is well-lit in a busy part of town to address those issues.

    In a perfect world, you may be able to call the cops for assistance, but if you are being tailed post TEOTWAWKI expect to be on your own. Even so, if there are no police in the vicinity, it could take time for them to catch up to a pursuit, precious time that could cost you your life if you don't take action to protect yourself. If emergency services are available, go ahead and call 911 to make them aware of the situation and request assistance, being sure to relay as much information as possible such as locations and vehicle descriptions. If not, however, it is up to you to remain calm, blend with traffic, and slowly but deliberately put distance and other vehicular obstacles between yourself and your tail by driving defensively until you're safely in the clear.

    Have you ever been followed by someone suspicious? What actions did you take to evade and break free of your tail? Let us know about it in the comments.

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