Get out of the car and run away...it's not ninja-like (or is it?), but I think it's the best option here.
This is a discussion on Scenario: Drunk driver comin' atchya? within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Get out of the car and run away...it's not ninja-like (or is it?), but I think it's the best option here....
Get out of the car and run away...it's not ninja-like (or is it?), but I think it's the best option here.
Handguns, as already noted, aren't very good at stopping vehicles. Besides, to stop a vehicle you have to stop the driver. That's why current LEO teaching is to shoot the driver.
The driver is the one commiting the act against you, not the car. The car is only a "tool" of that assault. Look at it this way; You don't shoot the gun, or at least aim for it, when a miscreant has one pointed at you. You aim at the miscreant. Preferably in the upper thoracic triangle
For those of you wondering what the "Triangle" is:
The top part is the point between your eyes. The base of the triangle is the nipple line. Now connect those dots and you will have a triangle. Any flesh in that area is what you aim for.
Someone ramming your vehicle, while under the influence is trying to kill you. The intent, for whatever reason, is directed. Depending on the physical situation(ie, somehow your vehicle is knocked over/across a barrier that the assailant's vehicle cannot pass), odds are pretty even that someone in your vehicle is going to die, or be permanently injured.
Short answer: stop driving immediately, and prepare to shoot- high-capacity is your friend here. If it's someone venting road-rage, they'll likely give the finger and go on. If not...
You won't stop the vehicle, as noted, you can stop the driver. Equally, if the situation escalates rapidly, and you have no ready access to exit the road and stop safely, there are ways to cause the other driver to lose control of their vehicle violently. Several schools offer offensive driving courses.
I've run 2 premeditated murder/vehicular homicides, both deceased remained in their cars, both had VPOs.
So as I'd read it this is a fender bender typical road accident.You're driving on the road and someone comes up behind you and bumps your car. (Bunny Jr. said that for his theory, the driver is very drunk!) Suddenly you find yourself in a ditch, your car is completely disabled, and the DUI guy backs up and rams you again !
You're driving along and thump dude misjudges speed or direction and clips you from behind causing your vehicle to be destabilized and at that you wind up in a ditch disabled.
That doesn't mean the car is all tore up and totalled. It's just no longer able to move such as one wheel off the ground or high centered on dirt. Both instances that have occurred to me IRL.
At this point whether or not the guy is drunk/drugged/stupid or had been driving while texting (!) is an unknown to the victim(s) in the immediate. The victim(s) has not way to know the mental state of the BG and has no direct physical interaction with that person. The guess that he/she is drunk is nothing but a guess, at best. For all he knows the person could be an elder or a person having a medical emergency and that is semi lucid.
My dad had his drivers license lifetime revoked for just this reason as a result of having two such accidents whilst having a medical emergency. He would though have seemed to someone who is not a medical professional to have been drunk at first blush...assuming of course they were seated with him in his own vehicle, which the victim(s) in this scenario would not be.
As the victim(s) are still in the vehicle getting their wits about them and checking to be sure no one is injured the 'BG' has come to a stop immediately to the rear or side of the victims car, as they are still within their vehicle.
The 'BG' whos mental state remains an _unknown_ to the victims in an attempt to flee the scene "bumps" the victims car once more on his way out.
Now I thought of "bump" for the first hit because that is exactly the verbiage used by the OP. In my world being 'bumped' is far from being "rammed".
Later the OP uses the phrase "rams you again". No the qualifier of 'again' indicates this second hit is a second 'bump', even as to ram a person is completely different than to be bumped.
By that the overall analysis for the situation on the whole is significantly different than to have been rammed from the start as the primary action.
Going with "bump" this to me is nothing more than a traffic accident and the 'BG' in an attempt to flee upon realizing what he/she has done clips the victims car a second time.
I would not fire on to that car nor would I deem doing so as justifiable use of lethal force.
Yes I could have been killed by the action of being bumped and by that going off road. But the action is not on it's own a direct without question act of intent to kill. It's a fender bender.
BTW the OPs proposed theory of shooting at the car is fubar.
If the situation were one where the person was actually ramming the vehicle with malicious intent and doing so with enough velocity to instill _real_ fear of _imminent_ death then taking shots at the tires would not be possible considering the vehicle would be coming straight at the person as opposed to at an angle, so as to flee (!).
And we all know, or should know, that shooting at the engine block with conventional carry handguns does little to nothing to engine blocks in the sense of making them stop functioning. Even in Iraq/Afghanistan using rifles and rifle caliber ammunition this is not an efficient means to stop a vehicle. If you want to stop a vehicle you take down the operator, and even with a fatal hit success there the vehicle itself having mass and velocity does not come to a halt immediately. Cars will continue to move and 'drive' on flat tires and even on rims and with cracked open blocks too. Proof of this can be found every summer at county fairs around the country during auto derby events as junkers bash each other as in "ram" for real. Cars can take a tremendous amount of harsh damage before they actually do fail to the point of non-movement. Handguns are not a good choice to stop them, outside of movies and TV shows.
The shoot at the cars components to stop it idea is technically and functionally fubar.
The view that the driver has malicious intent as per the written statements of the OP is also fubar.
If the OP had seriously intended this to be a reflection of what to do as the person does actually to start 'ram', rather than "bump", the victim(s) vehicle then the OP should have stated so in so many words. That alone is a good lesson as related to relation of a story as say when dealing with a police (on-site), investigator (off-site), or judge/jury after the fact. All of whom have to discern the story as told without having actually been there to witness as much (!).
One last thing.
If the victim(s) are in a disabled vehicle having been run into a ditch, and again this has literally I kid you not occurred to me, then guess what your view of the world looks like. It is very much skewed. You are in a seat buckled and all you see around you is a Batman view at odd angles as opposed to flat and normal.
Sight lines out of your _rear_ window/backlight are now facing the sky and titled up.
Even if you're not in a ditch but have hit a solid object or are high centered (both have occurred to me as well including being high centered in a car on a mound of plowed snow berm which got me stuck), you still only have a sight view to target muchless fire that involves firing a handgun round through your own rear glass/backlight and from there hoping to penetrate the front windshield of the BG car.
As per many other threads here as related to fighting from within a vehicle many folks, here, have commented that doing so just at their drivers side door is a near impossibility, to which I am on record a multiple of times as of the view and knowledge that this is false. It is very much possible to fight in a car from the drivers seat to the drivers window. But now folks here in this thread are theorizing that it is possible for them and anyone to from the same position fight to their direct rear/six from the drivers seat whilst within the confines of the vehicle, and at that shoot car components to a functional degree such as tires (!) and engines. It makes no sense.
Bottom line again per the OPs stated description and going by that alone without inserting additional unstated factoids, it would not be proper to apply lethal force and fire onto the car or anyone there in.
Not without clarification and/or additional information in detail.
If I were on the jury this would be my view.
If you're solo and can get out, step into the woods, or unavigable terrain for a vehicle. Call 911.
If there is a family member/friend still in the downed vehicle, and you cannot get them out, and you fear for their life, stop the threat.
If you and/or family members are out of the vehivle, but in terrain where you cannot evade his charges, ie, flat land, fields, etc. Then move to stop the threat.
If someone happens to run me off the road and I end up in the ditch disabled and not able to move, I generally am not going to be worried about them coming back and trying to hit me again. Being that 90% of the time I am in my Jeep, if they are able to get to my disabled vehicle to ram it again, they have got to be in something more capable off road than mine, if not they are stuck too, and there will be no further ramming.
But taking the OP scenario, no I am not shooting at the vehicle as it comes towards me for the aftershot in the ditch. I probably am not going to exit my vehicle either, unless I happen to be on the side of a road with some kind of extreme verticle drop that if the vehicle went over would be certain death. There are some roads that are not too far from here that it could be a problem, for instance tonight I will be going up Hwy 71 to Mena.
Anyway, back to the scenario. Even though my Jeep doesn't offer much in the area of cover if someone is shooting at me, other than directly from the front, if your coming at me with a ton or two of vehicle, it is going to offer some protection from that. If the driver of the other car continues on his quest to repeatedly ram my vehicle, at some point then, I more than likely will be firing at the driver, not the auto, to make them stop the assault on me, more than likely from inside my vehicle. Certain situations may dictate that I would leave my vehicle but it would have to be one that gave me more protection than the vehicle I am already in.
Just remember that shot placement is much more important with what you carry than how big a bang you get with each trigger pull.
Texas CHL Instructor
Texas Hunter Education Instructor
Thanks all. Just a reminder, this was posed to me by my 10 YEAR OLD. So it may sound a little odd. He just wanted to know if someone bumped you off the road so you were in a ditch and the car couldn't move, and then the driver came back at you, ramming/rear-ending the car again and again, would you shoot the car to stop him?
Obviously, a small caliber handgun wouldn't do the trick.
But we got into whether or not it was a whole immediate threat on your life thing, or not, and I told him I would post it here to see what everyone else thought. He's been reading this along with me, and Bunny Jr. says thanks to all who replied.
Don't frisk me, I am the weapon.
Sig Sauer P239 DAK (9mm)
NRA Member & Pistol Instructor
That is sooo great that you as a parent AND as a mother can and are having such a discussion with your child and SON.
Seriously, I commend you....and some day down the road when he's an adult he may just find himself doing same thanks to lessons he's learning today.
I know I did from my mom doing same.
Tough call. In my situation I'd more than likely have my two year old son with me. If when trying to get him out of the car, my car is rammed, I will yell STOP and if rammed again I'm shooting. Take my chances with the jury but no one will ever hurt my son. Period.
07/02 FFL/SOT since 2006
If that other driver had run me off the road into a ditch and then gotten out and started trying to get me with a baseball bat or tire iron then heck yeah, I'd consider my life in danger and use the protection I had. No jury would hold that against you. But if it was "merely" some nutjob who was fixated on ramming my car, I'd certainly remove myself to a safe distance and call the cops.
The first rule of self-defense is to avoid the situation. The second rule is Train and Prepare.
Seriously, +1 to the 'exit if you can', 'let him have the car' and 'go for the driver if he's after YOU or there's someone stuck in the car'.
And bravo, BunnyJr! Keep thinking and training. Your job right now is to be a good student (and it sounds like you're a VERY good student of self-defense already - you're turning over in your mind the things you've learned, and applying them to new situations); soon your job will include being provider and protector for your family. I sure wish I had started learning as early as you have. You have a LOT of people here (hundreds, so far) who think you're on the right track.