The vehicle approach

In my never-ending journey of self-analysis, I was thinking about the way I approach my truck, particularly in a parking lot. I had a couple thoughts that I wanted to share.

First, how do you approach your vehicle? Do you approach in such a way that you have a clear view (as much as possible) so that you have a reasonably high probability that no one is hiding against your vehicle?

Next, and a lot of my thoughts surround the little unlock clicker. When do you unlock your car? When you do, are you in sight of your car? If you are too far away to have a reasonable view that no one is in the vicinity or that no one was able to jump in and hide while you were unable to see?

Next, how many times did you click that clicker? 5? 10? Click as you walk up so that you are sure its unlocked? Most vehicles are set up so one click unlocks the drivers door, two clicks unlocks the whole vehicle.

So…do you really need to unlock the whole vehicle? Or is a better practice to approach your vehicle and unlock just the driver’s door thus providing only a single point of entry and a little extra security.

And I know, sometimes it’s not practical. I get it. I have a wife and two boys and reality has to be taken into account. And sometimes you have your hands full with the three cases of ammo you just bought. But, the point is, are you thinking enough about the actions you are taking?

Are you creating a vulnerability that is unnecessary by hitting the unlock button like a jeopardy buzzer? When you hit it more than once, is it because you need to? When possible, I try to hit the button once as I am coming up to the vehicle so that I can just open the door and step right in.

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I broke up your paragraph a bit to make it easier to read, @Brian139. Hope you don’t mind!

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In my opinion, there is more danger from people sitting in their vehicles, looking for victims, or prowling the parking lot, than from someone hiding behind your truck.
Examine your truck from the perspective of potential predator - is there anything that would attract attention? Don’t focus narrowly on the routine, it is a distraction from what surrounds you.

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Yes, you always have to be aware. And to your point of people sitting in cars looking for victims, that is exactly the point. A person who is intent on doing harm looking for a victim is sitting in a car looking, then they see the unlock lights come on on a car with no people within 100 feet of the car. That tells the “bad guy” where you are going and that they have time to get set. I wrote this with the assumption that one is always in condition yellow, not tunnel vision. My post is about how easy the conveniences we have can create opportunities for “bad guys” if used without thought. So much of what we take for granted can create vulnerabilities and “we” have to always be evaluating our vulnerabilities.

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In the daylight I approach my vehicle as if there is a bomb in it, cautiously. I inspect vehicles parked next to mine, check windows of all vehicles on either side of mine. Open mine when I’m next to the door, lock upon entering.
In the evening, which is very rare, I approach as if it has a nuclear device attached and the detonator is within 100 yards. This is where my flashlight comes in handy, I “search” my vehicle 360 inside and out including the surrounding area. If something seems off, back to where I came from.
I am the guy that’s walking in the middle of the parking lot day/night towards my vehicle, so I can get a view of everything in the area, bushes, light poles, dumpsters, more than two people together, vans in particular!
Never did this until the world turned inside out. Wasn’t oblivious, paid attention, nothing like today! Today some fool could be hiding under your car! Don’t put it past them!

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For me it’s easy to approach and notice if someone is hiding around my truck. My truck is huge and lifted. Gives me clear site from a distance too see under and beyond. Im forced to park in the ozone layer no matter where I go because truck is just barely able to fit in a parking spot. So I choose to park out further as to not upset others trying to get in their Prius’. Door locks. Of course if Im by myself I just one click,if my teenage boy is with,2 clicks. I wait till im a few feet of my truck. No sense of giving anyone free access and usually soon as I unlock,my finger slides to the red panic button. I always back in wherever I go and educated my boys and gf to do the same. Why? One less motion to flee a scenario. All I gotta do is pull it into drive and im gone. Rather than reverse then drive. I hate my gf’s car,so I never drive it. If Im on the Harley,thats a no brainer as far as visibility and exposure. My truck doors dont lock until Im 10mph or more and my driver side door lock button stopped working years ago,so as soon as im in the truck,i lock up w key fob. If at night,parking way out,I do my best to make sure im under the light or close to it. Heads always on a swivel nowadays to n from any store. Not profiling anyone,just profiling the over all scene. Its amazing how many people walk blindly through life. Heads down,face buried in their cell phones. I

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Here in Kalamazoo county, cars and trucks are be stolen left and right. On the crime map that I view everyday , they are listed as stolen ( professional ) they are coping your clicker… when you lock or unlock your doors, and they also have a device that plugs in to your vehicles computer and program another key and then drive off in under 2 minutes. Here’s a map of the last 28 days … it’s crazy
crime map

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I had a truck stolen in 2004 when I was up in Quebec. Also had a car broken into in Portage back in college (WMU). @Cobra, we are going to need to meet up one of these years.

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I’m game for it. :+1:

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Of all places I wouldve never guess in that area. That is crazy. Would make better sense to own some lemon beater that no one wants, As sad as that is.

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I approach my vehicle as if I’m going to a different car, while scanning the area for anything that seems off, especially a car or cars parked immediately next to mine.
I also am mindful of my six.
When I get an “all clear” in my head, I make a 90-degree turn towards my car.

Also, I only unlock when I’m three steps away. If with family, same thing so I don’t have to rethink.

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And, park further away from the building where there are less vehicles, not only less potential hiding spots for those with nefarious intentions, but less chance of your car being hit… and, if there are people on foot, they would be more visible.

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With the exception that if you do have goods you just purchased, you will need to put them somewhere and can not simply unlock the driver’s door and step right in.

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It all starts before the vehicle approach. Phone and keys are opposite of firearm. Least valued item(s) in dominate hand just in case I need to drop, snatch and draw. I’m scanning the area for an anomaly that wasn’t there before. I’m surveying everyone as a potential threat. Where are their hands? Are they dressed for the elements? I’m assessing escape route and cover. I’m using mirrored objects to check rear view. Vehicle gets unlocked at the vehicle. If it’s just me, only the driver door! Doors locked once inside even though doors auto lock once in gear. Firearm is exposed once buckled and I’m rolling within a few seconds.

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I guess that’s why I feel like I’m the predator in the parking lot, scanning, checking, dare I say profiling. Watching hands especially since now we all look like marauders! Eyes and face used to tell the story. Eyes are tricky these days! Do you find yourself reconnoitering prior to leaving an establishment?

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Once I make the decision to leave the survey start.

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As far as I can remember, I’ve located exits and mapped out an escape route while in the establishment. On planes I physically touch and count each seat between my and the exit.

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Did that a lot when we “used” to go to the movies, and that was be fore the Colorado tragedy. Had to teach the kids and grandkids to understand what and why, I did what I did. Then Colorado spoke real clear to them. Now they test me, grandpa, how many fire extinguishers, how many guys with hats, and on and on. Rather fun, really! But at least they are paying attention. As a matter of fact just yesterday, my number 1 grandson texted me, don’t worry grandpa, you raised two capable men.
I don’t travel any more but I used to try and pick out the Marshals, you know the guy that looks like the customs agent with no where to go! Could never prove I was right or wrong, didn’t really want to find out either.

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2 seater convertibles ftw. You have def leet ninja skills if you can hide in my car. Hell when I go to the range my rifles ride buckled in to the seat next to me. Wearing a :dress: and a wig (no not really) :eyes::innocent::exploding_head::hear_no_evil::see_no_evil::speak_no_evil:

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I unlock it with the actual key I look around pay attention inside the vehicle around the vehicle when I get to my car door, I do another 360 degree check before I unhook my key and open the door. As soon as I get in, I lock the door and take off.

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