The Three Second Rule


The Three Second Rule

John J. Woods
Magnolia Outdoor Communications


Carjacking’s and other assaults related to or connected with a vehicle continue as a highly probable threat. Defending one’s self from inside a vehicle is one thing, but always being on the lookout via situational awareness continues to be a smart way to hopefully avoid such situations. And remember, such assaults are not always just related directly to a vehicle either.

Regardless of the situation, when out in public as defined by leaving the relative security of your home or work interior spaces, then you are at all time subject to an outside threat. It may be driving to the grocery in town, to the post office, or any other location for any activity or it may be something as simple as walking to the curb of your house to check the mailbox. It may be stopping at the gas station to fuel up.

It could be driving down your residential neighborhood street to pull into your own driveway or garage to unload the trunk. Maybe you have taken the kids to an area park or to the ice cream shop. You may be dropping off a load of junk at the city clean-up day spot in an isolated area of the city. Potentially, you can be at prey at any time.

Such opportunities for an assault or threat are widespread. Just driving through a bank ATM line when you are momentarily stopped could find yourself blocked in or approached from the rear of the vehicle. Same for a walk up ATM anywhere outside. Shopping center parking lots are often easy locations for a robbery, kidnapping, or vehicle theft. So, how do you deter such events or at least lessen the likelihood of being approached by an unknown person?

Wherever you go, whatever you do, the thing to do is to exercise the 3-Second Rule. That simply means to pause where you are, inside a vehicle, at an exit to the outside, when you park before you turn off the engine or unlock the doors, to take a moment, 3-seconds, to inspect the area around you.

Scan the whole area as you prepare to park, as you approach a drive through, or access an outside entry. Is anybody lurking around the area? What about that guy sitting on the curb or that car at the end of the row with several people inside just sitting there? Park where you can exercise a quick escape or close to the entry.

Always look around to see what is going on. If something does not look right, then quickly leave or even dial 9-1-1. Do not make yourself an easy target. If you carry concealed, then be prepared to defend yourself if necessary, but avoidance is always the best policy. Three seconds is not much of your time to stay safe.

Avatar Author ID 67 - 2137108024

Award winning outdoor writer/photographer since 1978. Over 3000 articles and columns published nationally. Field & Stream Hero of Conservation in 2007. Fields of writing includes hunting most game in American, Canada, and Europe, fishing fresh and saltwater, destination travel, product reviews, industry consulting, and conservation issues. Currently VP at largest community college in Mississippi in economic development and workforce training with 40 years of experience in Higher Education. BS-MS in wildlife sciences from MO. University, and then a PhD in Industrial Psychology. Married with two children and Molly the Schnoodle.

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