How do you keep yourself and your loved ones safe? You might carry a gun or some other type of weapon. You certainly pay attention to what’s going on around you. But do you have a plan?

Situational awareness is one of the keys to effective personal defense. Another one of those keys is conflict avoidance. Getting away from a dangerous situation is a great way to stay safe. Look at this video. You see the bad guy show up at the drive-up ATM and start waving his gun at the motorist. The motorist complies but is relying on the robber’s good nature for her safety when she should be trying to put some distance between the muzzle of that pistol and her head.

She should just drive away. I don’t know why she didn’t drive away, but I suspect it is because she never thought she would be robbed at such a location and she had not developed a safety plan in advance. Think ahead about locations like this. The best way to get out of there quickly is to be ready to flee from the moment you roll up to the ATM. Keep the car in gear and simply step on the brake to hold your position during the transaction. Then, if a guy comes up waving a gun, you need only move your foot from the brake to the gas and get out of there. Being aware of your surroundings is great, but you must also have a plan as to what you will do if things go bad.

But She Survived…

Some people will say the woman in this video did everything correctly because she survived the encounter. I don’t believe relying on the mercy of a criminal is a good plan. If she had driven away, the robber may have started shooting at her, but who is to say he was not going to shoot her and take her car after he got some cash? And if the robber had demanded the woman’s purse, he would then be in possession of her home address and any other personal information found in the purse. The best course of action is to take action.