The tickle of curiosity. The gasp of discovery. Fingers running across the keyboard.

The tickle of curiosity. The gasp of discovery. Fingers running across the keyboard.

The World of Iniquus - Action Adventure Romance

Monday, June 3, 2013

A Heroine's Plan to Escape a Car Abduction - Information for Writers


Cain surprises Tom and Sadie
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
DISCLAIMER - This is a non-political site that is geared to help writers write it right. I am presenting in
formation to help develop fictional characters and fictional scenes. In no way am I advocating any position or personal decision.

Car abduction 

Statistically, being moved by an attacker from a primary location to a secondary location is extremely dangerous. Consider any movement to be imminently life-threatening.

Most abductions are done by someone who is known to the victim. The heroine should treat the perpetrator, known or not, as a deadly enemy and do everything in her power to escape.

Optimally, your heroine was on her toes. She was aware of her surrounding, and she was prepared
with a hand-held weapon such as a KUBOTAN, ASP, PEPPER SPRAY, or ELECTRIC WEAPON
(clicking on any of these links will take you to a how-to blog)

I took this picture on December 17th, 2006. It...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But those heroines always seem to be getting themselves into trouble!

Escape Action Plan

1. Noise! Research shows that just making noise is a deterrent to a potential attack. Further, research has proven that yelling "help" is an ineffectual way to get help. When people hear help, they are alerted to a danger and move away. Screaming "fire" on the other hand has the opposite effect, people will come.

 * Video Bystander Effect

2. Resist - studies prove that resisting an unarmed assailant is an
  effectual way to thwart an attack. Unless there is a personal
  component such as a stalker or a vendetta, the attacker will look
  for a victim-personality. More on victims' behaviors at this link
  Your heroine's efforts make her too much trouble and too risky
   or the attacker.      

English: left limbic lobe(red). Polygon data a...
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

3.What if he has a weapon such
   as a gun or knife? 
  That's a trickier call. The best
   advice here is to let you limbic
   system tell you what to do. If
   you feel like an action is the 
   right one - even if it seems
   counter intuitive - trust that 
   your brain is processing
   more than is on the surface.
   is a link to a blog about how
   your limbic system can
   get you out of trouble)

   Somehow he got the girl in the car and is
   taking her to another location:
   She must assume that the other location
   means death, so the heroine must take whatever
   action she can even if it causes her injuries.

1. Jump out of the car when it slows or stops in a
    populated area.
2. Cause the car to have an accident by pulling on the steering
    wheel  or suddenly shifting the gears
3. If the attacker stops the car for any reason, jam something into
    the ignition so that it can't be restarted.

If she is locked in the trunk: 

1. If she has been restrained she will need to break free
    If you need a tutorial on breaking out of tie rods or
    duct tape CLICK HERE and if she is handcuffed,
Front left of car
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
2. Feel around  the trunk for a
    release latch (required
    on cars since 2000) Have her
    try to spot the
    location before the trunk is
    shut because she will be
    in pitch black. Most of the
    pulls are made of glow-
    in-the-dark material.
3. If none, search for a weapon to
    use once the trunk
    is opened.
4. Does she have her phone on her? Call 911 (This
    might have been missed if she carries it in her
    pocket or bra. Remember the attacker is
    experiencing an adrenaline rush, too.) Give as many
    details as possible about the car and the attacker.
5. She can attempt to kick in the back seat and crawl
    through to attack the driver.
6. She can attempt to kick out the brake lights to call
    attention to the vehicle, especially if this is seen by
    handy-dandy police officer who happens to be
    patrolling that stretch of highway.


If the heroine is taken to a location and not killed immediately, she might try:

1. Getting a hold of a phone and dialing 911 then walking away

   from the phone so the abductor's attention is not drawn to the
   movement, and the police might have time to trace the call.
2. Clog a toilet or create another distraction that might allow
3. At night, flash the lights in a pattern of three repeatedly. Sets of
   three - horn blasts, light flicks, whistle blows are a universal sign
   of distress. (If you hear or see this, call authorities to investigate -
   you may be saving a life.)

Older car escape using the locking mechanism (1:01)
Showing the escape chord (:55)
Safety Instructor Talking Through What He Tells His Students (8:56)

And on a final note, many cars have crawl-outs from the back seat. If your heroine goes into water, the back will float; the engine will sink. The passengers can escape through the trunk, in many cars. Authors, check on this possibility for your character's car. This might be something she remembered as a safety feature pointed out to her during the sales pitch.

Thank you so much for stopping by. And thank you for your support. When you buy my books, you make it possible for me to continue to bring you helpful articles and keep ThrillWriting free and accessible to all.


  1. Pfew - just considering the possibilities, even without characters or plot, has put the hair on my arms on end. Very thorough.

    1. Thanks, Meritdith. Yup - huge nightmare, excellent for plot twists though :)

  2. I know someone who has a car with one of those quick-release things in the trunk as well as the hatch to the backseat. But that hatch is extremely small. I have wondered how easy it is to get to one of the releases if you're actually locked in there. I didn't know they glowed in the dark.

    But in a story it seems like a rather easy way for a hero(ine) to escape. You have to make it harder for them to get out for more drama.

    Also, it seems to me heat would be a big danger of getting locked in a trunk, especially this time of year. You might not survive the ride if it's a long one.