What To Do If Someone Is Following You In A Car

It’s an alarming and chilling feeling that someone might be following you. You might be wondering what to do if someone is following you in a car…

There are precautions you should take to make sure that you stay safe. 

Here’s what you should do if you think that someone is following you in a car:

Are You Being Followed?

It doesn’t take much effort to make sure that you’re not being followed.

Consider any of the following suggestions:

1. Since most criminals are amateurs, simply drive around the block if you think you’re ever being followed.

2. Make three right turns. If they’re still behind you after that, then yes, you’re being followed.

3. Don’t panic and don’t drive reckless.

4. Calm yourself so that you can think clearly. Get your mind on looking around you to see if there is some place safe you can go.

5. Never stop and get out of your car when someone is following you.

6. Never go straight home. You do not want the ‘nut job’ to know where you live.

7. Be sure that all of your doors are locked. Someone can gain access to a car that’s stopped at a red light or stop sign in a few seconds.

8. Be sure that your windows are rolled up.

9. Stay on well traveled roads, if at all possible. People looking to hurt people in their cars are looking for people who are the most vulnerable.

10. Never stop to let a car that’s following you pass. Pull over to another lane to let someone pass.

11. If you are convinced you’re being followed, dial 911. They will direct you to the nearest police station.

12. Drive to a police station. The guy behind you is not likely to stop there. If he does, don’t get out of your car until there are policemen outside your door to escort you.

13. Another choice is to go to a fire station, hospital, or keep driving until you come to a place well lit and populated. Never get out of your car unless you know that you are safe.

14. If someone is following you, don’t go anywhere where there are not a lot of people.

15. Don’t assume things are safe because they look that way.

16. Come to a stop sign at an intersection. Signal that you are going to turn left and then immediately turn right. Most “tails” will follow all rules of the road so as not to draw unwanted attention from LEO. If they signal left, which they likely will, like you did, but follow you right, you initiate your emergency plan.

If someone is following you, assume that it’s dangerous and err on the side of caution.

[ Read: 21 Things Your Burglar Won’t Tell You! ]

Tip: Many crime victims thought someone was safe because of the way they looked or because someone was with them. Don’t assume that someone is safe because they’re well dressed, female, or young. Criminals often go out of their way to appear as ordinary and trustworthy as possible.

Crooks even use young kids to do their dirty work. Home invaders are famous for this one – using a child to knock on a door selling something so they can get you to open up and then rush you. Don’t assume anything.

[ Read: 5 Drills for Situational Awareness ]

[ Read: Situational Awareness Tips ]


  1. A long time ago (before cell phones) my brother was driving home from work late at night. Someone rear-ended him and when he got out of his car to exchange information, the occupants of the car pulled weapons and robbed him.

    Now that we have cell phones, I would make another suggestion. If you are in an accident — especially at night or in a isolated location, where there appear to be no injuries and you are not at fault — then lock your doors and don’t get out or turn off your engine. Immediately call 911.

    If someone from the other vehicle approaches your car, call out to them that you have already called 911 and ask them to return to their vehicle and wait for help. If they refuse, drive away.

    1. Is it against the law if people in their cars almost every single day when I get to go somewhere they are always following me.

      1. You never told me where there’s against the law or night for someone to follow you for like 8 months. Shelly

  2. Ken, believe it or not, there are areas of this country where carrying Mace or Pepper Spray are frowned upon by LEOs and Judges. Supposedly we are supposed to surrender our vehicle and its contents to any perp who demands it. It is even illegal for a convicted felon or someone found guilty of domestic violence to have Mace or Pepper Spray in their possession. But a can of windshield De-icer makes a good substitute.

    1. Yes, it is remarkable the differences from State to State with regards to Laws. Some quite stark.

      1. Dennis
        Seatbelt laws and helmet laws are kinda the same, aren’t they?
        I’d just love to smear my face against the asphalt at 55/65/80/100+mph.
        But yet with the helmet law, I have a choice, in my state.

      2. Joe c,

        (I’m laughing) Yep. Some of these laws protect us from ourselves. Before wearing seat belts became the law in Texas, I was as bad as most back then. My ’81 Ford pick up had them, I seldom buckled up. One morning, about 4:30 am, I was on my 61 mile commute to work, running 70 mph down the rural Interstate. Suddenly, without any warning, I was in a herd of about 80 head of cattle roaming all 4 lanes of traffic, the median, and both sides of the freeway. Grabbing brakes and swerving to miss them several times before coming to a stop, where I started trembling realizing how close I’d come. The overturned cattle hauler was laying in the ditch beside me. About the same time the highway patrol showed up with overhead lights to help slow traffic. I strapped on my seat belt, continued on to work, and have worn it ever since. A week later, an officer I worked with (he was also the pastor that married my wife and I) hit a cow on his way to work on one of the farm to market roads (one step below a state highway in Texas) and totaled his full size Chevy Impala, but was unhurt himself because he was wearing his belt after hearing of my close call.

        I’m a certified million-miler on motorcycles. Road ’em since early childhood. Kept the greasy side down most all of them miles. Placed in the top three at a couple of Police Motorcycle Rodeos against competition from all over. Anyone who doesn’t wear a helmet is kidding themselves. Ride long enough, ride far enough, no matter how good a rider you think your are, you will find that day that that helmet was not the inconvenience you thought it to be. When you have a wreck on a motorcycle, it don’t matter who’s at fault, you lose.

      3. I have been follow for the last four months and I don’t know how to help my self what do I do? I have been follow by sever cars.

        1. carolyn Riddick
          Go immediately to you sheriff. Tell them what you know, and your concern for your safety.

          Do it NOW..!! Do not wait.

          No one on here can help you in the present situation, only your local Sheriff

          Call them now..!!

        2. Are you delusional? Better get license plate numbers and pics of the cars. Ask a friend to wait on a side street as you drive past and have them drive behind the cars you feel are following you. This crap just happened to me, I didn’t know what to do, it was four times during a two-week period. It was a co-worker that had her relatives do it for her so I wouldn’t recognize her, or her car! I did, though, luckily, recognize one person because we had email contact a couple of years earlier, work related and I noted his pic because his last name is the same as hers. She has demonstrated unreasonable hostility towards me. I reported it and was labeled “PMI” and I may lose my job. It’s all been completely unreal. My employer says anything that happens off-site, even if it involves their employees, is not in their purview. Police are only interested if it is in process.

        3. I too have been followed home several times from a friend’s and I took pics and got license plate numbers. When I called the local PD the dispatcher refused to let me talk to an officer or make a report unless I gave her my home address first. I found and still find that disturbing. I should be able to make a police report at least at a minimum without having to give up my location to do it.

        1. Preston, I don’t understand your question. You will have to be more specific…

    2. As a boy I carried the morning paper. I had a squirt bottle of ammonia for dogs. It stopped even the most vicious acting dog.

    3. Yeah, so does bear spray and those cans can project out 30′

    4. I carry a can of hornet spray…. It can shoot up to like 10-15 ft away and painful if you get it in your eyes.

    5. AND, a can of “Starting Fluid” and a BIC make one hell of a flamethrower……

    6. Hornet and Wasp spray are Legal to have and some brands shot up to 75 feet! I am allergic to Bee’s and started carrying spray for my allergies, but a few girls all together talking about this exact situation about Mace being illegal, and we came up with a solution. Lets hope that Wasp spray does not become illegal, lol Bear Mace is also legal in some states ;)

      1. Ida know,
        if it comes down to a life threatening situation, don’t worry about the legalities, just do what you have to do to stay alive. it will work out in the legal system if it was to even go that far.
        if it was to ever come down to that, put them on the ground and do everything that you can do to keep them from getting up until help arrives. if they get up then they have a second chance to get you. put them on the ground and keep them there.
        bear spray works well from what i hear. there are bears in 49 of our states and it’s legal to carry.
        stay safe, and always be aware of whats going on around you.

  3. Many, many years ago before cell phones I was driving home from my second shift job when I suspected that the car behind me was following me. I made two right hand turns and on the third turn I headed down a one-way street, the wrong way. The car stopped at the intersection and sat there for about 2 seconds before driving on. After seeing them move on, I quickly turned around and headed back, and made it home with no further incidents.

  4. See how that works out if it’s the police following the wrong car.

  5. Josh,

    Hopefully that was a tongue in cheek comment. If you’ve been following MSB very long, you should have realized that this is not a shoot first, ask questions later, bunch. Rather, we tend to espouse recognition of possible trouble as early as possible, take steps to avoid that trouble if possible, but to be prepared, trained, equipped, and ready to deal with it if all else fails.

    If you are comfortable with that philosophy, hang around and share. If you fantasize about a world gone mad and a chance to roam the countryside playing Rambo, hope and pray you don’t run into one of us if it does. I’m guessing most of the guys and gals here are better prepared for that scenario than your average Rambo wannabe. Don’t equate fight avoidance with cowardice or inability to respond if necessary.

    That said, I’m not trying to read your mind, only you know the intent of your words.

    1. Josh
      Don’t mis-understand our tolerance to the left as a weakness.
      We are Christians, an have an obligation to our heavenly Father for love, and understanding.
      That being said, Us Patriots, we have teeth, and will bite you bad, if threatened. No cowards here.
      Time to chose?

      1. Good responses fellas.

        On the other hand, let’s switch roles for a second.
        And yes, I do think of this, and the so many not so stable people out there on the roadways.
        I travel 20 miles to and from work. I’m not following anyone. I just happened to be traveling in your same direction. Same roads, same turns. You assume I’m following you.
        In a panic mode, you stop, pull out the AK/AR, (which would be very awkward, to say the least.)
        My standby, would be pulled.
        Weak hand /strong hand. Doesn’t matter.

        Josh, if your serious, your post is idiotic, and a good way to ruin your life and others, if you still have one, after such an ordeal.
        Just saying

  6. It’s a good “what if” game to play. You’d be surprised at the number of people who can’t tell you where they are at the moment.
    Drive with your family then randomly stop and ask them “if you had to give an exact location right now to dispatch where are we?”
    I’ll bet ya dinner the majority can’t.

    1. Matt in Oklahoma; No bet, not with my wife, she can’t even read a map. I’ve tried to teach her but, no luck.

    2. Matt in Oklahoma;
      Don’t make that bet with someone with a Teenage Daughter.
      99.9999% of the time they will say “we are 2.593274 miles from the nearest Mall”.
      Or that teenage boy will say “583 feet from the nearest food”. HAHAHAH

  7. Matt in OK,

    Good observation. Might point out that calling 911 on a cell phone doesn’t pin-point your location to the operator/dispatcher. Also if you are on the outer edges of a 911 area, you may hit a cell tower in an adjacent county or jurisdiction. I run into that frequently in my location. I will hit one of two cell towers, both in different counties from my own when calling 911 from close to my home. Most rural 911 operators are familiar with this problem and, if you can give them an address or road intersection, patch you through to the correct dispatcher. I did this two evenings ago. Called 911, asked the operator who answered what county she was in, that I was on cell phone in V******** County, she immediately patched me through to my county. Took less than 10 seconds.

  8. I was working at Old Tucson in the 1990’s. Someone was following me home through those desert winding roads late at night. I sped up a bit as there was no place to turn, no place to go, and all of a sudden red lights began flashing. It was a cop. He gave me a lecture about driving to fast and let me go. jerk

  9. If someone is on my tail, I tend to slow down. If they match me, I tend to slow down even more until stopping. This has happened several times. To date seems like its just been impatient tailgaters, thank goodness.

    However if they get out of their car when I have stopped my plan is to to pull out quickly and execute an escape plan such as Ken has outlined above.

    Another thing I always do is to leave at least a car length of empty space in front of me at a stop sign, especially in the city. This allows you to pull out or even pull a U-turn, and not be trapped by a wall of steel.

    Safety lies in thinking ahead.

  10. all good stuff if at all possible go someplace that has security cams that way if anything happens ITS ALL ON VIDEO so if you need to use deadly force ITS ALL ON TAPE just be sure that YOU dont start it

  11. old lady,

    The cop was a jerk for driving down the same desert road you were, stopped you for speeding when you sped up, then didn’t write you a ticket? If so, I must be a jerk to. I’ve let many folks off with, not a lecture, but an admonishment not to speed up in response to the suspicion that someone is following you. Would a speeding ticket been more palatable? I drive winding two lane mountain roads for 28 miles one direction and 60 miles in the other from my home before it’s feasible to pass slower moving traffic. In most stretches, even maintaining the 55 mph speed limit is dangerous. Most folks know this and don’t attempt passing. Those caught behind a vehicle going anywhere close to a safe speed don’t attempt unsafe passing. Speeding up to determine if someone is following you is not a good idea, nor is stopping in a desolate area to find out. Just keep driving, obey the traffic laws. If you are convinced you’re being followed, choose a destination where help or plenty of by-standers are before stopping. What was your plan had the car behind you was not a cop, rather, a ne’er do well intent on harming you, and sped up too? Out run him? Not unless you’re Parnelli Jones (I’m dating myself) and no one else is on the road that could be harmed during the escapade.

  12. I had this happen to me about twenty years ago. Got off work after dark and stopped to gas up my vehicle. My spouse was on shift for 24 hrs so would not be home until the next morning. As I left the gas station, I notice a car pull out behind me and stay behind me. I had to leave this town to get home to my town, the next one over. The car stayed on my tail. I entered the highway, it stayed with me. I slowed way down to 40 mph in a 65 mph zone and it slowed way down. Since my town is very small with no hospital, police, or place where people would be around other than our small grocery store, I thought about what I should do. I also knew the road very well. I sped up quite a bit and the car stayed right me until I floored it in an area where the LEOs like to hide. Of course I got pulled over, but the other car Was forced to keep going. The LEO asked me what I was thinking and I explained what was going on. He was nice enough to let me go and keep an eye on me as I went all the way home. Even though it is only ten miles, it is two different counties but he made sure no one was following me the rest of the way.

    It is also interesting that he stated that I should have slowed way down and I told him that I did that and the other car did the same. No cell phone for me at that time so that was not an option either.
    We are very fortunate to have all the many options we have now.

    The scary thing is, even though it was very troubling to have this car follow me, I still didn’t know for certain what that person wanted. I do not know that it would ever be appropriate to just blast away because I am being followed as someone stated. It could have been some harmless person just trying to flirt with me and not have the good sense God gave him to know he was causing problems. It is up to us to individually figure out how vulnerable we are and what actions can we take to alleviate the situation without harming anyone when possible (me or others).

  13. Thanks to the folks that had more patience with the comment than I did.

  14. 12. Drive to a police station. The guy behind you is not likely to stop there. If he does, don’t get out of your car until there are policemen outside your door to escort you.

    My son did that and even went inside to the lobby. The guy followed him into the police department lobby. He then started yelling at my son. The subject was eventually detained by officers, and determined to be mentally ill.

    Bottom line is you just don’t know who you may be dealing with and how dangerous they might be!

  15. Mountain Trekker,

    Your comment……”Robert too bad your son didn’t have his AK!!! I think Josh was a little off the wall but all those responses made me want to gag.”

    Interesting. Share with us all, or maybe even one instance, that you personally responded to a perceived threat by displaying a deadly weapon, more specifically an “AK”, to a person you felt was a threat, but had displayed no deadly intent or imminent threat of grave bodily injury up to that point towards you.

    At first blush, it would appear that you are telling Robert that his son would have been better advised to have confronted the mental patient that was following him himself, rather than doing what he did, leading him to the police station.

    On the other hand, if your advice was to have the means (and training) to survive an imminent threat of death or grievous bodily injury, I wholeheartedly agree. To intentionally force a deadly confrontation……well, that would make me want to gag.

    Not lecturing, but would love a clarification of your post.

  16. Mountain Trekker,

    Not my intent to upset you. Most folks who follow this blog, including me, ascribe to carrying firearms, either on their person or near enough to be readily available when needed. We also stress the need for training for how to use them, when to use them, and when it’s best to swallow our pride and walk away.

    The example you cited is a good one, and points out several things. One never knows when the need to protect themselves from a threat. It can happen anytime, anyplace. Many times your choices of action are limited. It also points out that, some times, your initial suspicions that you are being threatened, can be wrong. Your response to the perceived threat of being followed, in the second instance, was reasonable. Having a weapon to defend yourself, had the person following also stopped and approached you, intent on harming you, was advisable. Waiting until he actually presented a threat if he did stop before pointing a gun at them is also advisable.

    I don’t believe I called you Rambo in my initial response. I was responding to what you posted. I asked for clarification of that. You clarified what you intended to say, and I thank you for that.

    In closing, like I said in my initial response, my intent was not to lecture. As a career LEO, one of the things I try to bring to the table on this blog is sound advice on subjects that may, and probably will, end up with police being involved, should events culminate in a deadly force encounter. Avoidance is number one. You don’t need my permission to post anything, that’s Ken’s job. As a commentator myself, I feel an obligation to make sure fellow followers of this blog are not getting unchallenged advice that can result in them being thrust into the criminal justice system. If that advice is unwelcome, I’ll try to refrain from offering it. Sorry I offended you.

  17. Trekker,

    No problem here with any of those positions you stated. I share them in spades. I, and most here, stress training with weapons, not as a prerequisite to ownership, rather as advisable. With training comes competence and increased probability of surviving if you find yourself depending on that right to bear arms to protect yourself or other innocents. Should training be required? No. Does a gun owner owe it to himself to get it? He should.

    Guns have been a part of my life since early childhood, for hunting, for recreation, serving my country in the military, and 34 years in law enforcement. Yet, I would wager, I spend more time training with them now, well into geezerhood, than most reading these words. Why? Probably number 1 is my enjoyment working with them. Also, as I steadily lose physical strength and ability, I feel it necessary to hone the skills I still possess. I also love sharing my skills and knowledge with those who are new to guns or want advice on getting better with their skills. I’ve never charged anyone for passing this on.

    As for Josh’s comment. I don’t know the intent of his short comment. It may have been tongue in cheek, but it also could be a “drive-by” like has happened in the past, trying to make it look like we are a haven for a bunch of irresponsible neanderthals. I thought my original response was very a reasonable request for more context and enlightenment of his intent. You responded by saying my response made you “gag”. I wasn’t looking for a fight, but I don’t shy away from explaining my position. -Dennis out.

  18. Wrong
    Look it up on YouTube. A couple of trainers actually did it and it was ineffective. Stop believing internet junk and get real training please

  19. Yesterday, at around 6:30 pm i went for a walk along the main road. While i was returning i saw a white van parked by the road… I continued walking a after a while i took a left turn and stopped In front of a store….Then i saw that the same van passed me and went off …i was really uneasy so i thought of walking in the direction in which it went…I could not see it again..I circled my neighborhood and came up on that same road where the van was initially and walked in the exact same manner upto that store..but i did not see it again…I have lost the peace of my mind after that.How can i be assured if i was being tailed?

    1. If the van drove past you and kept going, and you never saw it again, even after you circled your block and went back to the same place, it wasn’t following you. If it had been, you would have seen it again.
      With cell phones people will pull over on the side of the road and some will even stop in the road to use them. It may look like they’re sitting in their vehicle watching you, but they’re not. They’re just using their phone.
      With that said, I’ve had someone pull over after following me to my friend’s, and took their phone out, aimed it at us as we were getting out of my car, so they could take pictures of me as I was dropping my son off there.
      That was the second time it happened, by the same person, both times. The first time it happened I wasn’t aware of it like I am now. So when it happened the second time, I not only got the license plate number, when I left my friend’s, I drove around the block and took pictures of the woman in her car doing it. I made my presence known, made sure she saw me looking right at her and then taking pictures of her the way she was me & my son. I wanted to make sure she had no doubt whatsoever that I saw her, what she was doing, and that I am not afraid of her.
      After that incident, it hasn’t happened again. But we’ll see.

  20. a car followed me today and we were in a neighborhood so I pulled over to a mailbox and stopped because I thought they may have just been looking to get around me but they weren’t and they stopped next to me and rolled his window down so I sped off and he followed me for like 10 minutes I was so panicky and eventually I lost him but it was so f’ing scary. I know he has my plate numbers and knows what my car looks like so I am afraid he will see me one day and follow me again or if we’re both at a store and he sees me what will he do. I don’t know I may be paranoid but I’m just gonna carry my mace w me and try to be extra cautious.

  21. When driving, look back occasionally to be sure nobody is following you. If you are being followed, do not drive home. Why would you want some pervert/creep knowing where you live? The same goes for walking, pay attention to be sure nobody is following you and if someone does appear to be following, do not walk home. Also, pay attention when you’re leaving a store that nobody is following you to your vehicle. Basically, no matter what you’re doing, pay attention. Many crimes happen when people don’t pay attention and the perverts/creeps take advantage of the element of surprise. If you’re not paying attention and some pervert/creep is able to discover where you live, that just gives them a chance to take their sweet arse time planning whatever bad thing it was they were intending to do.

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