Random: Traffic Light Scare

This is a discussion on Random: Traffic Light Scare within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; This happened last week and luckily nothing bad happened, but it really got my heart beating fast and my adrenaline pumping. I was driving home ...

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Thread: Random: Traffic Light Scare

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    New Member Array gnutella's Avatar
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    Random: Traffic Light Scare

    This happened last week and luckily nothing bad happened, but it really got my heart beating fast and my adrenaline pumping. I was driving home during the last part of rush hour and stopped at a traffic light. A few seconds after the traffic came to a stop, the person in the car beside me opened their door and jumped out quickly. I looked over, instinctively re-locking my already locked doors and was ready to pull into the incoming traffic lane since no one was coming. It was an intersection with two lanes of traffic in each direction - I was in the left hand lane, he was in the right hand lane, and we both had 1-2 cars in front of us.

    I still am waiting on my CHL to arrive, so I did not have any weapon in the car and really probably would have looked to do the same thing (drive away quickly) even I did have my gun with me. Luckily, the guy (about 20-22) was just getting out to close his trunk and got back in his car. It felt like 5 minutes, but was probably only 10 seconds. We locked eyes for a few seconds, probably because I started turning my car and hit the gas a bit to start into the other lane, but he just got back in his car and we went on our way.

    What would you have done in this situation? Anything that I should or could have done better?

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Array kb2wji's Avatar
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    I'm not sure stuff like this should get your adrenaline pumping. Be aware, but not freaked out. The gun shouldnt be the first thing on your mind any time someone does something "not normal". Dont fall into the mindset that everything abnormal is a serious threat. That just makes for a frisky trigger finger. Relax and evaluate.

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    Rule - never let your primary vehicle be boxed in. At any stop, leave enough space to 'exit' front, side or rear (even if you have to tap a vehicle using a rolling hit).

    Eye contact is good! If you are 'not afraid to make eye contact' it means that you are not afraid to assess the situation and make better decisions. Situational Awareness will be your best friend so that you do not over react.

    Carry Pepper or other spray until you get your permit.

    Practice your driving skills so that you will not get 'boxed in' at a stop. For example, in the PR, we never stopped for Red Lights at night (would get you killed).

    Granted, 99.99999% of any stop in USA urban traffic is non-hostile. But stay aware.

    Edit Add: I agree with Poster #2 (above). Ease into it.

    My .3 Cents worth of info.
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    VIP Member Array oakchas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ANGLICO View Post
    Rule - never let your primary vehicle be boxed in. At any stop, leave enough space to 'exit' front, side or rear (even if you have to tap a vehicle using a rolling hit).
    If I do, I always have a back up vehicle...

    Quote Originally Posted by ANGLICO View Post
    Eye contact is good! If you are 'not afraid to make eye contact' it means that you are not afraid to assess the situation and make better decisions. Situational Awareness will be your best friend so that you do not over react.
    Yes, eye contact is good... I reinforce it with the fingers (Meet the Fockers)

    Quote Originally Posted by ANGLICO View Post
    Carry Pepper or other spray until you get your permit.
    Yes again! Roll on is hard to deploy. Windex does not count as "other spray."

    Quote Originally Posted by ANGLICO View Post
    Practice your driving skills so that you will not get 'boxed in' at a stop. For example, in the PR, we never stopped for Red Lights at night (would get you killed).
    Here, stop for red lights.

    Quote Originally Posted by ANGLICO View Post
    Granted, 99.99999% of any stop in USA urban traffic is non-hostile. But stay aware.

    Edit Add: I agree with Poster #2 (above). Ease into it.

    My .3 Cents worth of info.
    Too much fun... It's too late... g'night!
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    Quote Originally Posted by oakchas View Post
    If I do, I always have a back up vehicle...



    Yes, eye contact is good... I reinforce it with the fingers (Meet the Fockers)

    Yes again! Roll on is hard to deploy. Windex does not count as "other spray."

    Here, stop for red lights.



    Too much fun... It's too late... g'night!
    YOU, SIR ARE AN A ..... Hojle!

    Love you long time!

    Semper Fi,
    Socialism Kills! Time proven, with a very large body count! We are a Constitutional Republic....... not a Democracy, get it correct!

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    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    I've had a lot of weird stuff happen over my many years on the road and sitting at stoplights......believe me. I've been harassed by drunk drivers and dialed 911.....got them caught. I've been at a stoplight in the left turn lane and had the through lane driver get out of his vehicle and attempt to open my passenger side door where I drew and actually fingered the trigger on this AH. Most of these run-ins occurred in the early morning hours on my way to work through several cities when I drove a small car on a 65 mile one way journey to work with little traffic. Must say......after a few times......I was more aware and ready for the risks involved at the times I was on the road. I've also had an off duty (road rage) security guard come to my driver's side door and try to open it while I was at a stoplight. I simply put my pistol where it was highly visible and called the local police where they asked me if I wanted to press charges while the light turned green and Mr DA got left standing and his vehicle inhibiting the flow of traffic. I had a child in the vehicle at the time and she was rather shaken by the incident and my response.
    I don't really have any good advice for you here concerning response....just one of those things that will come with experience I guess. Always be aware of your surroundings........don't over-react to any situation (especially if someone can tell you're over-reacting).......keep a safe zone around you while in your vehicle...and remember that you should keep a safe distance and a means for escape open. Running a red light is a traffic offense and a misdemeanor. If you're gonna get a ticket when you do that, then there was a witness to the incident you tried to avoid in doing so. Explain in detail and be more responsible than the AHs that surround you. You'll do fine so long as you're sensible. Never be embarrassed or intimidated when you're on top of the game. Yes...the game since so many others seem to make it so. I never signed up to play, but whenever I get involved........I play to win. Be careful out there.

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    Senior Member Array Inspector71's Avatar
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    What would I have done? Nothing, nothing at all. Doubt very seriously if my heart would have been pounding and the adrenaline pumping in that situation.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gnutella View Post
    What would you have done in this situation? Anything that I should or could have done better?
    Think you handled it fine. I also think if anything random like that happened that i was not expecting I would have reacted the same. In fact, it did happen to me:

    I was driving, stopped at a stop sign, continued to make a turn (four way stop). Some guy ran the other stop sign and almost hit me head on. We both stopped fast enough. After exchanging a couple "WTFs" I decided to leave the situation ASAP. Quickly looking for my escape, he started to get out of his car and continued toward me. Luckily, I was able to speed off (it was just us at the stop). And this was not a dude i was willing to mess with. God knows what would have happened if i was boxed in.

    Learn to leave yourself an escape to everything. It sounds like being paranoid at first, but it just becomes natural and makes you more astute of your surroundings.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gnutella View Post
    What would you have done in this situation? Anything that I should or could have done better?
    Nothing beyond being aware of the movement and automatically (calmly) attempting to discern the intent of his actions. Getting "freaked" would hardly be warranted, at such a time.

    The more you think through such situations, and absolutely the more frequently you diligently people watch, the better you get at deciphering movements, candidate possibilities, likely intentions. Practice, practice, practice. Better yet, find a knowledgeable guide/mentor and work through such training, until you can pick out those legitimate warning signals that tip the scales. Keep in mind that such violent encounters are, generally speaking, fairly rare.

    Suggestions -- Be prepared and ready for options. For example, keep your car in gear while driving; have your door locks locked; keep good space between you and the car ahead; ideally keep to an outer lane to allow an escape route if it were to become necessary. First and foremost, be aware of your surroundings, keeping your eyes/ears open to possibilities. Unless and until someone exiting a nearby vehicle comes toward you with clear violent criminal intent, it's hard to treat a nearby biped as much more just another working stiff going about his work-a-day life in full ignorance of the fact that you're over there seeing him do whatever he's doing. Be prepared for such an occurrence if it does turn into such a thing, but don't be hair-trigger in your assumptions. Training, practice and time will help smooth out the rough edges.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
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    VIP Member Array Yoda's Avatar
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    After you get a few more years on you and a few more pounds on your belly it probably won't cause quite the level of apprehension and adrenaline.

    I think you did good and your SA is working. No harm no foul but good experience to have under your belt.

    For those here that would pay little attention: read about car jackings in the news.


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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yoda View Post
    For those here that would pay little attention: read about car jackings in the news.
    Of course, being aware and getting cranked about situations ahead of any threat are two different things. There's where the wisdom, experience and training pays off. That said, you're right that one can never be too sure. Assumptions can get a person well behind the curve just as certainly as inattention to one's surroundings.
    Last edited by ccw9mm; June 7th, 2012 at 09:43 AM.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
    NRA, GOA, OFF, ACLDN.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kb2wji View Post
    I'm not sure stuff like this should get your adrenaline pumping. Be aware, but not freaked out. The gun shouldnt be the first thing on your mind any time someone does something "not normal". Dont fall into the mindset that everything abnormal is a serious threat. That just makes for a frisky trigger finger. Relax and evaluate.
    And don't fall into the mindset that the gun is the answer to everything.

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    VIP Member Array BugDude's Avatar
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    I apparently snaked a guy out of a parking place last night in the rain. He blocked me in and just sat behind me apparently reciting words from a play or something because his hands were moving and he was just carrying on. I told my wife and kids to wait a minute before we got out. He went on...but I kept my eye over my shoulder.
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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BugDude View Post
    I apparently snaked a guy out of a parking place last night in the rain. He blocked me in and just sat behind me apparently reciting words from a play or something because his hands were moving and he was just carrying on.
    Hard to say, if there are no other indicators. Perhaps he was a radio opera/play kind of person, and he'd slowed/stop at that spot to reevaluate, not necessarily having anything to do with you and your new parking slot. Then again, if he was giving you the stink-eye, pounding the steering wheel, and had slammed on his brakes to allow eyeballing you ... Hard to say, without more info in indicators.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
    NRA, GOA, OFF, ACLDN.

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    Distinguished Member Array noway2's Avatar
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    Putting the shoe on the other foot, last weekend I was driving home on a Saturday afternoon. I was in the right (of two lanes) on two lane road (marked at 45). I don't know if the lady was deliberarly being rude or just an idiot, but she kept playing the speed up and slow down to "close the gap" game when I kept trying to get into the left lane as I wanted to turn left in a few miles. Finally we came to a stop light and she pulled up beside me. I very obviously turned in my seat and stared at her with a mean look. She quickly noticed and then proceeded to try to act nonchalant, putting her sun glasses on, patting her hair, and a few other nervous gestures accompanied by furtive glances. I continued to stare unmoving until the light turned. Needless to say, the "games" stopped and I smoothly merged into the left lane.

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