Vehicular attacks have been on the rise in the past few years. It’s less rare and emerging as a possible common tactic for newly radicalized terrorists.

On the evening of 14 July 2016, a 19-ton cargo truck was deliberately driven into crowds celebrating Bastille Day on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice, France, resulting in the deaths of 86 people and injuring 434. It was an alarming day – and a tactic that’s becoming more common than not. It’s a car ramming attack – where the perpetrator deliberately drives a vehicle into a building or crowd of people. As the world saw in Nice, this form of attack can be devastating.

Since the vehicular attack in Nice, we saw this tactic used in America. Earlier this year 13 people were injured in a car ramming attack at The Ohio State University. That attack was inspired by ISIS propaganda, according to law enforcement officials.

Yesterday, December 19th, there was another vehicular assault. This time it was in Germany, a truck drove through a Christmas market at Breitscheidplatz in Berlin. The attack killed twelve people and injured 48 others (45 hospitalized).

How to Survive a Vehicular Attack

Avoid high-threat events and areas whenever possible.

Most important is to think about where you’re going and employ situational awareness to avoid a potential target. Larger gatherings such as tree lightings, Christmas events, even artisan shopping markets could be targets. Whenever significant crowds of people congregate outside, in the open, where a vehicle can approach on the road without suspicion, could be a target.

Situational Awareness

Whenever you’re in crowded environments vulnerable to vehicular attacks, do your best to maintain a high level of situational awareness. Know where the main avenues of approach are from the road. Understand where cars can approach, whether it’s a road or easily traversable terrain near a road or terrain that vehicles traverse. If you maintain a focus on these roads throughout the event, you could spot suspicious vehicles from afar and move toward cover.