Tips On What To Do If You’re Being Followed By A Car
Updated: Aug 7, 2020
August, 6, 2020 By: Rebecca Brando
My story about being followed by a car in Hollywood and tips on what to do when you think you are being followed while driving.
Tips on what to do if you suspect you are being followed by a car while driving by The Big Magazine
Many years ago, I was followed after driving from an event I attended in Hollywood. I noticed a car tailing aggressively behind me once I merged onto the freeway from Highland Blvd. The vehicle lights were so bright they were almost blinding. Before I could merge, the driver quickly pulled his car beside my car. The car was a Lincoln Town car, burgundy in color with dark-tinted windows that could have maybe passed for an undercover cop car. All of this was happening around 1am, in the dark, with almost zero other cars on the freeway. The situation was no bueno. The car would not allow me to pass. If I sped up, he would too. If I slowed down, he would also to make sure his car was beside mine.
I was in the farthest left lane, so there was nowhere for me to go but right. I felt trapped and immediately panicked, wondering wtf I should do. The driver then rolled down his window and started waving his hands, telling me to pull over and screaming that he was a cop. This man was wearing a suit coat and dark aviator sunglasses at night, with a mustache. There was no way I was buying he was a real cop.
The driver then started waving some whatever badge at me while screaming to pull over. At that point there were more cars on the freeway and I could outmaneuver him to drive ahead. I didn't care if he was real cop or not, this guy was scaring me. White-knuckling the steering wheel, I drove at a fast rate of speed to ditch him and get myself home. Even though I lived in a gated community, I still didn’t feel safe. That event haunts me till this day. The “what if’s” are infinite and frightening. From that point on, I kept very aware of my surroundings and the possibility of being followed in a car, whether it was day or night.
I often look back at that situation and wonder what I could have done better in response to being followed besides driving like a bat out of hell. The Big Magazinehas put together some helpful tips on what you should do if you think you’re being followed in your car.
1) First off make sure you are in fact being followed and remember that surveillance teams would never make themselves known.
2) Gather info once you’ve confirmed you’re being followed in your car. If you can see the car’s license plates, start getting information on the tailing vehicle to potentially look into yourself later or pass along to the police. Record the vehicle’s make and model if you can’t get the license plate info or the car has no plates.
3) Make sure your doors are locked and your windows are up.
4) Grab pepper spray or another form of defense handy if you have one in your car.
5) Call 911 while the person is following you and remain on the phone with the dispatcher. Give them all the details of the car and the person driving. Often being on the phone is enough to deter a possible assailant.
6) Merge onto well-trafficked roads with lots of other cars and businesses. Your pursuant might also get stuck at a light or behind more traffic, giving you the chance to get away.
7) Try to get distance between you and the car in front of you so you can make an escape maneuver if needed.
8) Don’t pull over off the road.
9) Try not to make any contact. Don’t respond to yelling or the driver trying to get your attention: ie flashing lights and honking their horn to pull over.
10) Drive directly to the police station, hospital or well-populated safe place with lots of lights. Don’t expect a gas station to help you. They are usually the worst at this. A parking garage might also be safe if your car is a make and model that can easily blend in with other cars.
11) Be prepared to escape on foot.
12) Give up your car if they attempt to carjack you.
13) Only return home once you feel sure you’re no longer being followed by your tail.
14) Change your driving routine the next day. Don’t be predictable.
15) Above all else, you will probably panic but try to keep your wits about you. Most articles say “don’t panic” but it’s inevitable in this situation.
16) Never follow back the person following you. You want nothing to do with some creep who means real harm or trying to scare you.