With the use of cars to run over people, followed by knives to kill more, and questions from readers coming in, I decided to take a look at this new modus operandi of the terrorists.
And wouldn’t you know, it isn’t new at all. My mind was preoccupied with the horrible news coming out of London, without making even the most casual mental correlation to what happened in Nice, France and Ohio State University and so many other places.
From 2007 until this writing March of 2017, there have been 21 instances that I can find of terrorists using cars to kill by crashing into people (I had to, necessarily, exclude car-bombings). The attack in 2011 at a Tel Aviv nightclub is the first incident of a terrorist using a car to try to kill people, followed by jumping out and attacking with a knife. There have been many more of these attacks since then, and they seem to be happening more frequently.
There have also been other incidents of people using a car as a weapon, but their motives in these cases were not terroristic in nature and so do not factor into what I am looking at here.
The questions that were sent to me were what do we do when this happens?
From a standpoint of personal safety, the old advice of being aware will still be the first and most important key in your plans for personal safety. If you have your head in your electronic distraction devices, you might be hit before you even know anything is happening. Awareness will allow you to notice something going wrong at the earliest possible moment. You need to know what is happening as soon as possible, it will give you time to react. You should be more maneuverable than a car or truck. But you will need to see what is happening and have a chance to determine which way to go.
Crowd size comes into play here as well. I have hated crowded places for most of my life due to some bad experiences. Mostly, this has left me with a lack of trust when it comes to humans in groups, but in this instance, the issue would also be in the ability to get out of the path of the vehicle.
This does bring us back to a point I bring up in the seminars I teach, and that is simply having a plan when you go anywhere. Always be aware of where you plan to go if things go bad. When indoors, you need to know the nearest exits. Outside, be aware of where you would need to go to find an escape and now also to be aware of where to go in the event of an attack by car.
I do not mean for this to seem dismissive, but that is the extent of the advice to give regarding the vehicular portion of these attacks. Y0u will not be able to kung fu the car. Being aware and having a plan is going to provide the biggest portion of your safety during that part of the attack.
The knife part is where we there will be a collective groan as I say the obvious – you need training for that. But even with training, you can get injured or killed. Train anyway. Nothing is guaranteed but get every possible advantage.
To this, I would only add one point. You will miss out on a lot of good things in life if you are in constant fear of being caught up in a terrorist attack. Having a plan and the training to execute that plan will go a long way in easing the preoccupation with this issue.
I hope this helps!