Video: Defending Yourself From A Vehicle

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Rife with obscals and challenges, defending yourself in a vehicle requires a different set of self-defense tactics.

If you’re like most Americans, you spend an inordinate amount of time in your vehicle. It’s both the curse and blessing of a mobile society. Familiar as your car or truck is, however, the space can become a challenging and unforgiving terrain in a self-defense situation. From stick shifts to seat belts and tight quarters, there about every type of obstruction to hamper or completely hinder your ability to defend yourself. Given the riotous situations on the nation’s roadway last year, it’s obvious not knowing the way around your vehicle can put your life at peril.


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While there are many facets to defending yourself and your loved ones inside a car, Jamey Caldwell goes to the bedrock of the topic in the above video. Much of what the former Sargent Major in the Army’s Special Mission Unit and firearms instructor preaches is situational awareness. It doesn’t matter if you’re walking down the street or pulling up to a red light, observing and evaluating conditions around you is perhaps the A-No. 1 self-defense skill. However, he also touches upon another pertinent concept important in defending yourself in a vehicle—environmental awareness.

Sounds silly, right? You know your way around your car, so much so you can tune in your favorite radio station while changing lanes and never bat an eye. Well, there’s a nasty illusion in that example. You have a lifetime of practice operating your vehicle; chances are you don’t defending yourself in it. That’s not a comforting thought.

Caldwell covers some of the main concerns armed citizens confront in facing lethal-force events in vehicles, from avoiding getting hung up on a seatbelt to shooting through a windshield. But the overall thrust of his message goes beyond mere tactics. Like anything pertaining to self-defense, deftly maneuvering in and around a vehicle in a defensive situation requires practice—plenty of it.

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