Saturday, August 24, 2013

Being followed while driving?

I might be just paranoid, but this happened to me today. So I was driving around, and came upon this intersection where I intended to make a right turn. In front of me was a red van. It wasn't moving. There was an empty road, and the van wasn't turning right. I checked around the signs- none of them indicated a right turn was illegal. So I gave a gentle beep to remind the van to move. It waited around another 5 seconds, and then started to go. I moved up, stopped, checked, and made my own turn. So all was good. The van was in the lane to my right. It soon switched lanes and got behind me. I didn't really notice at first.

Then, I made a left turn. I was on the way to a friend's house, so this turn was into a somewhat secluded neighborhood (I didn't see another car on the street.) In my rearview mirror, I noticed a car turn in. The red color caught my eye, and I remembered the red van (I'd been wondering why the van had not moved.) Coincidence right? Then I made a right. The van made a right. I made another right, onto my friend's street. The van followed that right. Finally, I made one more right. The van followed me. One left, three rights. Coincidence? Maybe, but now we were right back towards the street I'd originally made a left to. I went onto that original street, went towards a busier intersection, and then waited just before a large group of cars came. I made my right and left the van behind.

I know I might just sound paranoid, but it struck me as odd that the van would be behind me for so many turns. Maybe it's just a coincidence. Maybe not. Either way, I wasn't going to stop and lead them to my friends house, nor stop the car in general. It's best to keep moving I think. They can't do anything while I'm in the car moving. I locked the doors as soon as I realized the van had stayed behind me for the two turns. Had I not been able to get rid of it, I would have made many more turns- enough to definitely confirm it was following me, and called 991. Maybe this post isn't really within the realm of EDC, but the purpose of an EDC is to be prepared for the everyday problems in life. To me, that includes personal security. No point in playing the hero and getting out to confront the guy.

I'd rather assume the worst in these cases. Maybe he wasn't following me. Well in that case, my little "escape" maneuver would not have affected anyone but a little bit of my gas. This is also why I do not pick up hitchhikers (you know the driver becomes responsible for any illegal things the passenger is carrying?) and will not be alone with a stranger to help them- except in the cases of an immediate danger. I know it sounds selfish, but I've had bad experiences, which have taught me that other people are not always very kind.

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