You can’t just run people over if they are in the road

Saturday, June 15th, 2024

Greg Ellifritz looks back at the “protests” of 2020 and offers his advice for surviving mob attacks on your vehicle:

One scenario that played out over and over again was when a mass of protesters blocked a road or highway. Those “protesters” would occasionally attack people in the cars that were stopped on the roadway. Others used the opportunity to carjack the victims and steal their cars. In one such carjacking attempt, an elderly man was dragged from his car by carjackers and beaten with his own oxygen tank.


Avoidance is key. Many protests and riots are either predictable or planned in advance. Stay away from the riots if you want to avoid being victimized. When you see masses of people blocking the roadways, STOP. Don’t go any farther. Do whatever necessary to change directions and get out of the area.


You can’t just run people over if they are in the road. The safest thing to do in a situation like this is to keep moving, bumping people out of the way with your car. Unfortunately, that usually isn’t legal. It’s considered vehicular assault. Even if people are illegally blocking the road, you will likely go to jail if you run them down absent a legitimate threat to your life.


The situation changes, however, once the rioters attack you or your vehicle. With your vehicle surrounded in a manner that you can’t escape and your attackers trying to burn your car, flip it over, or drag you out, it is reasonable to assume that you will suffer serious injury or death. That’s when you can start striking people with your car.


Doors locked and seat belt OFF. It should go without saying that your doors should be locked when driving.


You may not have enough time to do it, but cracking your windows and turning off your ventilation system would also be a good idea when driving in areas where crowds may gather. Windows that are down approximately 1/2” are actually harder to break than windows that are tightly closed. You want to turn off the ventilation system so you don’t get overcome by any smoke or tear gas that is in the air where you are driving. Your seat belt should be off. Seat belts will reduce your ability to draw a firearm. They will also prohibit you from making a speedy escape should your vehicle be set on fire or overturned. In general, it’s safer to stay inside the car in a crowd. If Molotov cocktails hit your car, drive quickly away. The wind will likely extinguish the burning liquid before you are hurt. If the car is disabled, and under fire attack, get out. It’s best to take your chances on foot than be trapped inside and burned alive.


Beware of other forms of roadblocks. The roadblocks designed to make you stop, may not take the form of people. The rioters will steal cars and then purposely abandon them in the middle of roadways. It causes you to stop and also prevents police/fire vehicles from getting to the scene. It’s a common occurrence around the world. Even more nefarious are homemade caltrops. A bunch of those strewn across the roadway would cause all kinds of havoc.


  1. McChuck says:

    You can strike one or two people at high speed, or almost any number at very low speed, and continue on your way (for a while, at least). Middling speed strikes cause damage that stops your vehicle quickly, and just a few bodies can bunch up and prevent your vehicle from continuing to move.

    This sort of situation is where having a higher ground clearance and four wheel drive really comes in handy.

  2. Lu An Li says:

    I am amazed that these persons even struck by a car going at a pretty good speed often just jump back up with what does not seem to be much injury if any.

  3. Bob Sykes says:

    Why are you living in a city? The fundamental rule of safety is to avoid crowds of any kind, but especially black crowds.

  4. Roo_ster says:

    Slightly open windows are easier to break without tools, forearm strikes preferred. You can get enough flex on the tempered glass so it will shatter into tiny shards. A closed window will resist more, but if you have an object which will concentrate the blow on a tiny surface area, that might be what the author is referring to.

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