As enjoyable as a road trip can be, driving in a lawless world might not be all sing-a-longs and guessing games to help pass the time -you may need to seriously up your driving game. Here are some practical ideas, and a few unconventional ones, to better your odds of safely reaching your destination.
-Practice defensive driving skills if you can find a safe place to do so. Some areas even offer closed course classes and like self-defense courses –they’re money well spent. Your life and the lives of your family may depend on your ability to navigate obstacles at high speeds without losing control.
-If you have a Bugout Location, know your routes (more than one) without a map and practice driving them at night. Keep clear goggles in your car kit in case you need to hang your head out the window and drive without headlights at night. Of course I don’t suggest practice driving without headlights, but it might be a good idea to be prepared to do so -a concealed target is not an easy target. Goggles will also protect your eyes from broken glass.
-Have actual maps and a compass for reference –GPS devices won’t work if the satellites are down.
-Keep a full range of supplies in your vehicle -food, water, first aid, duct tape, flashlight, tools, fuel can, syphoning hose or hand-crank pump, spare tire and jack, portable compressed air tank, emergency battery charger, extra motor oil and other essential fluids, etc. That may sound like a lot to haul around along with all your personal gear, and for some vehicles it may very well be, but if you simple put all your supplies together you can better judge what you have room for and what you don’t -most of these are practical supplies you should have around anyway. If you would rather not drive around with your vehicle fully stocked like a portable bomb shelter at all times -have your survival vehicle supplies consolidated somewhere close for quick loading.
-Run-on-flat tires are not cheap but are the best defense against getting a flat tire -otherwise keep a few cans of aerosol tire-patch products in your kit -Fix-A-Flat and the like. Tire puncture plugging kits are available at most auto parts stores and are inexpensive and fairly simple to use to fix a tire puncture yourself -you’ll need a portable air tank to inflate the tire back up though. If all else fails don’t hesitate to run on the rims -your vehicle control will be extremely poor and you’ll permanently damage the rims, but police chase footage prove it’s not out of the question -rims can be replaced, lives cannot.
-Should your radiator spring a leak or blow a hose, you can still operate the vehicle, just watch the temperature gauge and pull off the road and shut off the engine (if you can) when the needle reaches the limit or it will eventually permanently damage the engine. Open the hood for ventilation and let it cool down. Periodically turn on the ignition key and see where the temp needle goes. Don’t pour water on your engine to help cool it down unless you know what instruments to avoid getting wet. Once your engine is cold again you can continue on. I once drove a vehicle over 70 miles after my radiator blew out and completely drained of fluid. It took me 4 hours because I had to pull over and shut off the engine every time the temperature red-lined and let it cool down, but I got to where I needed to go.
-DYI spy car defense tactics may sound drastic or even absurd, but keep in mind what kind of environment you might be driving in. Without the aid of law enforcement to help you, you may be on your own. Glass containers of nails can be thrown out behind your vehicle to puncture pursuing vehicle tires. Glass containers of motor oil can also be thrown out behind you onto a hard surfaced road, and especially effective around curves. Have you ever been following another vehicle and they turn on their windshield wiper fluid and you get sprayed too? Imagine what spraying a toy water pistol out your window would do if it was filled with an oily substance. Those little globe-like plastic containers that cheap toys come in, like from a coin machine, can be filled with petroleum jelly and thrown at a pursuing vehicle. The worst practical joke I was ever subjected to was when a “friend” of mine smeared petroleum jelly on my wiper blades and then put a small blob of mud right in the driver’s view on the windshield. Instead of getting out of my vehicle and wiping off the mud once I noticed it, I simple turned on my wipers and fluid -and petroleum jelly smeared across my entire windshield. It took more than a couple towels and some serious degreasing cleaner to clean it off well enough to see again. Please don’t do this to anyone, it’s really not a joke -thankfully I wasn’t flying down the road when this happened or I might not be here to suggest that you think about trying this yourself, but like any of these tactics -only if you’re in serious danger and fending for yourself.
-If you can’t afford a bullet-proof vehicle or full riot gear for every passenger in your vehicle, fiberglass ballistic panels sell for less than 20 bucks per square foot and can be merely set beside you to possibly redirect a bullet -you could even attach a handle to a small panel to make a handheld shield. Even laminated plywood or sheet metal might redirect a projectile away from you. With today’s weaponry, it’s hard to guarantee anything to be totally bulletproof, especially if you take a shot straight on, but anything between you and a bullet, especially if you’re angled away from it, adds to your chances of surviving a shootout.
Your ability to remain calm in a stressful situation is the best defensive skill you can possess. Practice and preparation will help you keep your cool -even if you’re dodging flaming rubble while zombie mobs paw at your car.
Buckle up and Godspeed.