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Evasive Driving



Evasive Driving and Awareness of Threats

Tim McGill

Much of this article was produced as a training course for drivers who drive VIPs and celebrities who are at risk of Attack or Kidnap, however the rules and advice can be extremely useful in situations facing ordinary citizens.

The article is designed to make you better prepared should an incident take place, and to help you to develop an of awareness of threats and risk.

We hope that you will learn some basic driving tactics to enable you to improve your level of security in travel.

We have also introduced some evasive techniques so that you are better able to withdraw from developing threats.

Route Planning

Types of Journey

a) Daily. A known quantity and perhaps the most dangerous

b) Special events. The attendance at such may be public knowledge and attract the attention of groups not necessarily a threat to your principlal but in which you could become involved.

c) Unscheduled. Perhaps the safest of journeys as it is unplanned; therefore no one can plan anything untoward.

The most likely places for any attacks to occur will be those that are known and predicted. That is why the areas in and around the residence and office are considered danger areas.

Plan any aspects of your journey. On daily trips it is essential to:

Identify over a period of time those vehicles domiciled in the area of your residence or work. Then it is possible to locate those that should perhaps not be there or may present a threat.

Know where the closest hospitals, police stations etc. are so that at any stage when required you can move quickly to them.

For special events make plans including:

Communications with all parties concerned
Arrival point
Routes to and from
Security at venue
Timings for event
Alternate routes

Vehicle Protection and Preparation

General guidelines

Garage your car
Lock and secure
Avoid leaving unattended where possible
Check surrounding area prior to leaving
Carry out regular checks and searches


When to search

Daily or whenever the car has been left unattended

A full and thorough search should be conducted if the vehicle has been to a garage for service or repair

Sequence of search

Surrounding area
Exterior of car
Interior of car
Final systems check

To carry out the full search sequence it is ideal to have at your disposal a trolley mirror so that the underside of the car can be checked effectively. It is also advisable to have on your person a small torch and a mirror. Obviously any search undertaken away from your garage or box area will be conducted without a trolley mirror.

Only carry and load luggage that has been identified as belonging to your principal. Never load luggage that you do not recognise or is given to you by a stranger.

Mobile Security

Ensure your vehicle is properly equipped
Good communications
First Aid kit
Fire extinguisher(s)
Rear vision – use extra mirrors if necessary
Spare wheel/tyre
Wheel changing kit
Spare keys
Good maps
Run flat wheels or tyres
Vehicle tracking device e.g. Datatrak
Panic alarm


Use the “One Minute Pick Up” wherever possible:

Warn principal of your approach by telephone if possible
Stay in the vehicle with the engine running
Keep doors locked until principal is close
Covert signal to principal – “all clear”
Lock doors as soon as principal is on board
Move away as quickly as possible

Operate similar system at drop off point if possible

General measures to note:
Never park “nose in”
Windows not more than 2 inches open
Never open the sunroof – tilt only if VIP insists
Search car regularly

Vehicle positioning / Tactical driving

Always allow yourself room to manoeuvre
Do not allow yourself to be hemmed in
Give hazards and obstacles a wide berth
Keep well back from the vehicle in front
Use read ahead technique to plan vehicle position in advance
Travel with flow of traffic
Maintain continuous movement
Use the offset driving position for best visibility

Vehicle Speeds

When reacting to a threat, speed becomes the most dangerous element to your VIP passenger.

Accidents caused by excessive speed kill more VIP’s each year than terrorists or criminals do.

In normal public driving, travel with the fastest flow of the traffic.

High speed can only be used when: -

You have been trained to drive at high speed
You know, understand fully, and can apply the principles of high speed driving and car control
Traffic conditions allow you to do so
You know and have tested the car you are driving to its limits
You can gain some advantage by doing so.

Incident Recognition and Reaction

Develop and maintain your sense of awareness and suspicion in all matters by keeping up to date with current affairs (by way of radio, TV, newspapers, documentary programmes and especially the Internet).

Of prime importance is to practice all the defensive skills on a daily basis so that an attacker is deterred, and you can detect problems before they arise. In this way confrontation is avoided. Your sense of awareness and suspicion is your best defence.

However, there may come a time when other action is required. If an incident occurs, you must make a decision quickly and carry it through with conviction. Remember that your prime objective is to remove the principal from the scene of confrontation.

You have the following options: -

Drive past – if the road is clear ahead, do not stop or slow down. Consider using main beam headlamps, and drive past at the greatest possible distance from the confrontation.

Turn away – if you see the confrontation well in advance, turn off your route and use an alternative.

Reverse out – a simple reversing manoeuvre to remove the car from the scene quickly and break visual contact. May be incorporated with a lane change.

Gap turn – where space is restricted and turns need to be made between parked cars or in driveways, farm entrances etc.

Reverse turn or “Reverse flick” – a disruptive reverse turn using the weight of the engine to turn the car quickly and efficiently, in order that escape can be made driving forwards.

Forward turn or “Handbrake turn” – a disruptive forward turn using the handbrake to turn the vehicle swiftly and within a confined space.

Ramming is not covered in this article. Ramming is an extreme last resort option, and you should be aware of the following: -

It may fail

Innocent parties may be hurt

The decision to ram must be made rapidly and instinctively. It requires a degree of training to achieve this ideal.

In most cases one of the other manoeuvers is the superior option.

You take the principal closer to the attackers, and maximise the dangers.

Modern vehicle are designed to crumple in an impact. Ramming in modern cars is to be avoided - unless the situation is extreme. Disabling your vehicle is the most likely outcome.

Tim McGill


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