Sunday, March 8, 2015

How to Drive a Getaway Car

How to Drive a Getaway Car

New York Times
MARCH 6, 2015

     Never mind trying to outrace another vehicle when you need to escape, says Walter Farrer, a security consultant who teaches evasive-­driving courses to business executives and wealthy Mexican families who want to avoid kidnappings. Disappear instead: drive a mini­van, which is like an automotive duck blind, mobile camouflage for the road. “They make you hard to follow,” Farrer says. A newish mini­van or midsize S.U.V. in gray with no bumper stickers is ideal. “Make sure both taillights work,” Farrer says. “You don’t want anything on your car that is easily identifiable.” In particularly high-risk cities — kidnappings for ransom are a persistent problem in Mexico — he presses his clients to drive cars covered in dust bearing local plates.

     Once behind the wheel, follow a few basic rules — what Farrer calls “habit changes” — no matter whom your pursuers are. Vary the routes you take to work, your children’s school, the gym. Predictability makes for easy surveillance, and, as Farrer tells his students, “routine movements are the riskiest.” Keep the windows up and the doors locked. To facilitate speedy exits, back into parking spots. Wait for a well-lit public place before pulling over, especially if it’s for a fender bender. Never tailgate: “Give yourself space to maneuver,” says Farrer, whose courses include instruction on how to ram through roadblocks, drive in reverse in a slalom pattern to dodge bullets and skid 180 degrees in what’s called a “bootlegger’s turn.”

     Still, the most basic evasive-driving lesson is one that could make better drivers of us all: be more keenly aware of your surroundings. Notice the quotidian. If something is off — a car is following, a strange roadblock looms ahead — early recognition will give you a few moments extra to react. “A successful criminal surprises the victim,” Farrer says. “Become more alert, and you’ll be harder to catch.”

No comments:

Post a Comment