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Actions on vehicle based attacks

The number of terrorist attacks have intensified around the world, using weapons such as knives, fake suicide vests and more recently vehicles – causing maximum harm and fear to innocent people. Protaris have put together some useful tips and advice if you ever find yourself in this vulnerable position.


Vehicle deterrents have been installed in most public spaces, such as large concrete posts, concrete flower tubs and street furniture. However, older streets and shopping areas do not have the infrastructure for modern security measures like vehicle mitigation defences.

When entering a location with your family or yourself, have a look at the vehicle mitigation measures and ask yourself - could you drive a vehicle directly down the road, the answer will probably be “yes”.

If the area you are in is open and has vehicle access, consider these tactics:

  • Walk against the flow of traffic
  • Keep close to the building line and not immediately next to the road
  • Watch for the flow of people and sounds

If you hear shouts and screams, you MUST immediately look for a place of cover, something that would stop a vehicle from moving through it. A waste paper bin or a bench is not a safe area and will not stop a vehicle. Immediately look for concrete structures and solid base furniture that offers you impact protection and cover from sight.


  • Run in straight lines. Run at angles – think to yourself how quickly can you clear the front of a vehicle if you run or dive
  • Run with a crowd. People in critical situations act like sheep and all follow each other, this increases your risk extensively. Make a decision and act on it NOT what the crowd are doing
  • Sit in a café or restaurant with your back to the road or area. Always sit facing the road, so that you can have maximum vision. Remember, if you hear anything unusual, do not dismiss it actively. Look, establish the risk and then REACT
  • Wear headphones in public places
  • Wear high heels whilst shopping or going to work. Consider wearing some flat shoes for your journey to and from your office.

Always be aware of what’s going on around you, keep up with local and national media and look for indicators from the security services about the likelihood of attacks.

Extra security, such as armed police is a sign of reassurance, but also an indication that you should plan where you walk and where you sit down. Ensure you are in an area where there are roadside furniture’s that can offer you protection.

Remember: It’s never a bad idea to formulate a plan in your head – “If this happens I’m going in that direction to that location etc.”

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