Guest Column: Eight Tactics for Vehicle Self Defense



Lee’s note: Here’s a great column from Peter Burlingame, AKA VIGunfighter,  president of the Self Defense Initiative on St. Thomas. Peter’s  work is highly recommended.

You can access his You Tube Channel here.

Eight Tactics for Vehicle Self Defense

by Peter Burlingame

This is a new wrinkle on attacks that can happen in and around your vehicle. Car jackings have been around for decades as have bump and robs. More unusual is the robber impersonating a cop and pulling you over. This article highlights a south-of-the-boarder robbery tactic springing up in Chicago.

So. What can you do?

1. Drive a ‘self defense’ type vehicle.

[yt url=]

2. Be as alert while driving as you are at other times. You’ve got all those mirrors. Use them. See as far ahead as possible, not only as far as the car in front of you. The ‘self defense’ car rides higher, allowing you to see over many other, lower cars. Pulling slightly left can also offer you a view past the car(s) in front of you. You are probably more on the ball than the drivers around you. Don’t rely on them to provide you with a proper and timely warning that there is a problem.

3. Always have an ‘out. continuously look for places you can put your vehicle if you need to MOVE NOW! Realize that might involve contact with another vehicle or other objects.

4. Watch your following distance. Leave yourself room to MOVE NOW!

[yt url=]

5. As much as possible, mentally prepare yourself to run someone over. You’ve spent your entire driving life doing everything you can to avoid accidents and hitting pedestrians. That’s no small thing, easily overcome. Mental preparation alone is of limited value. Your firearm training simulates shooting people doesn’t it? There’s an old saying that applies here: “The car can’t go where the mind’s never been” (ok, so I paraphrased a bit.)

6. If you carry a gun, practice using it from a car. Remember you CAN shoot through the glass. An open window will help mitigate damage to your ears. Practice drawing while seated and belted in. DON”T CROSS yourself with the muzzle. Use Airsoft trainers if you don’t have a range that let’s you shoot from your car.

[yt url=]

7. Understand the use of lethal force and how it relates to the vehicle. Not just the legal aspects but your political/social climate. When can you justify running someone over in the context of legal/social/political considerations? You are in an escape pod. It is going to be harder to justify shooting someone if you had the option of driving away from the attack.

8. Be aware for scams/traps such as this. Think of proper responses NOW while you can. Your awareness of your environment shouldn’t be limited to the Tactical, but also to the Strategic. What sort of things are the bad guys doing in your area?

These 8 things will help you successfully deal with an attack while you are in your car. You will also find that they make everyday driving go smoother and safer.

Disciplina remumenor fidelis!



About Author

Lee Williams can’t remember a time in his life when he wasn’t shooting. Before becoming a journalist, Lee served in the Army and worked as a police officer. He’s earned more than a dozen journalism awards as a reporter, and three medals of valor as a cop. He is an NRA-certified law enforcement firearms instructor, an avid tactical shooter and a training junkie. When he’s not busy as a senior investigative reporter, he is usually shooting his AKs, XDs and CZs. If you don’t run into him at a local gun range, you can reach him at 941.284.8553, by email, or by regular mail to 1777 Main St., Sarasota, FL 34236. You can follow him on Twitter: @HT_GunWriter and on Facebook @The Gun Writer.


  1. I have windows security film on both my land rovers, great for piece of mind against thugs and grab and run window breaking robbery. Well spent $200 and you cannot tell it is even installed on the windows.

Leave A Reply