The idea of kidnapping someone by placing them in the trunk of a car has been repeated over and over, to the point of becoming a cliche. You see it in old mobster movies and spy TV shows, but does it ever really happen anymore? Actually, it does, and you might be surprised by the frequency.

Escape a car trunk 2

Here's an example from last week of a man who kidnapped his ex-girlfriend's son by placing him in the trunk of his car. There's also the Houston car salesman who was forced into the trunk during a test drive, and the Miami woman who was taken hostage by a fugitive and thrown into the trunk of his car. All three of these examples happened within the last six months, so it's safe to say victims of kidnapping often end up in this dangerous predicament.

With this in mind, it's important to know what to do if you find yourself locked in a car's trunk. This infographic from The Art of Manliness demonstrates five viable methods for escaping this form of captivity:

Escape a car trunk 1

This graphic is an excerpt from 100 Deadly Skills: The SEAL Operative's Guide to Eluding Pursuers, Evading Capture, and Surviving Any Dangerous Situation (quite the mouthful).  For the sake of clarity, we'll explain the military acronyms used in the graphic:

  • CONOP – Concept of Operations – A description or summary of the intended goal.
  • COA – Course of Action – A recommended plan or potential choice.
  • BLUF – Bottom Line Up Front – A short statement that explains the conclusion, typically placed at the beginning of a body of text (although it's not in this case). Similar to a TL;DR.

Pulling the emergency release, as seen in COA #1, is usually the best course of action. These were mandated for all cars made after 2002, and they're even designed to glow in the dark. For older cars, you'll need to resort to the other methods in order to escape a car trunk safely.

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