How to Ram Through a Vehicular Roadblock

Your car just got smashed and you’re in the middle of nowhere, stranded on a road. You don’t have any food and your phone is dead. What do you do? This article will walk through what to look for when trying to travel again after a roadblock accident or breakdown that leaves you stuck in the wilderness without resources.

If you are in a carjacking and the baby is crying, there are certain things that you should do. Read more in detail here: what to do in a carjacking with baby.

Poster by Art of Manliness about how to ram through a vehicular roadblock.

You’re driving along a winding road when you see two automobiles parked across the road, obstructing your way. It seems to be a checkpoint or a barrier. So, what are your options?

You should halt if it’s an official police or military roadblock. Despite what you might see in movies, blowing through a police blockade is not a good idea: you could kill an officer, get shot yourself, and even if you get through, the authorities will be after you like white on rice, inevitably catching you in the high-speed chase that follows (if you don’t crash yourself).

But what if the blockage isn’t sanctioned by the government? You’re driving through a war-torn foreign country and are going to be stopped by rebels, or it’s a carjacker’s trap, or you’re living in a Mad Max-esque dystopian future where some baby-eating cannibals view your car as a can full of yummy sardines? Then crashing past the blocked automobiles and continuing on your path would be worthwhile.

Ramming a vehicle roadblock is very risky and should only be used as a last resort – when there are no other options for escape or navigation, and when breaching and halting have about equal odds of death. Here’s how to do this defensive driving motion the most efficiently in such a case.  

Choosing the Best Ramming Vehicle

Not all cars are created equal when it comes to smashing past a roadblock. You should consider the frame type as well as the air bags.

The framework of the vehicle. There are two kinds of frames used in vehicle construction: body-on-frame and unibody.

Body-on-frame construction begins with a separate frame to which the body is affixed. The structure and body of a unibody automobile are fused together. A body-on-frame chassis is constructed of heavy metals, while a unibody chassis is constructed of lighter alloys.

Car's anatomy displayed.

The frame and body of a unibody automobile (top) are one construction; in a body-on-frame vehicle (bottom), the body is mounted on top of a separate frame.

A unibody car is statistically safer than a body-on-frame vehicle because in the case of an accident, the stresses are uniformly distributed throughout the vehicle, which is actually engineered to crumple in a manner that redirects the forces away from the passenger compartment, even in a small impact.

However, the same factor that makes them less efficient in a ramming circumstance makes them less effective in a regular collision. The key to a successful ramming is to slam a hard portion of your automobile against a hard part of the opposing car; this is preferable to a hard component of one striking a soft part of the other, such as a crumple zone. Rather of being absorbed, you want the energy from the impact to move/bounce the obstructed automobile out of the road.

Because the chassis is built of high-strength steel frame rails that span the length of the vehicle, a body-on-frame vehicle gives this ideal stiffness. Contact forces will be localized in the frame rather of being spread throughout the body, resulting in improved bumping.


Except for trucks and a few heavy-duty SUVs, almost all vehicles now use unibody frames. While a unibody automobile can ram, a body-on-frame truck has tactical benefits in this situation (and in off-road capabilities as well).

Bags of air. Air bags should also be considered in a ramming circumstance. We’ll go through methods to reduce the chances of the air bag deploying below, but it may still happen if you collide with another car. Getting hit in the face with an air bag while attempting a potentially risky move is clearly a bad idea; not only would it be unpleasant and distracting, but the release of an air bag might also cause your fuel pump to shut off automatically.

You could pick a car that’s too old to have an airbag, or you could disable the airbag (which you’d have to do yourself since you’d have to get permission from the National Highway Traffic Safety Association to have a technician install an on/off switch for you).   

Preparing for the Ram

Poster by Art of Manliness about ramming through a roadblock.

Remember that crashing through a vehicle roadblock is a last-ditch effort. Consider if there is another route around a checkpoint or barrier as you approach it. Is there a way around it? Why not put the vehicle in reverse and back up?

If there’s no other option and you’re about to die if you stop, it’s time to smash the car(s) in your way.

Line up your car such that the frame rail hits the wheel axle of the blocking vehicle. Keep in mind that you’ll be aiming for a hard section of your vehicle to strike a hard part of the other automobile. The ideal points of contact are your vehicle’s frame rail and the other’s wheel axle.

Because the frame rail runs nearly parallel to your headlights, use your outside leg (or the leg of your passenger if you’re striking from the other side of the car) as a reference. Even in a unibody automobile, this is the strongest area to employ because, although there are no frame rails that run the whole length of the vehicle, there is a sub-frame in the front and back.

If at all feasible, aim for the obstructed vehicle’s rear wheel. The car’s trunk is lighter and simpler to maneuver than the front end, which is heavy with the engine.

If there are two automobiles, aim for one of their wheel axles. A blockage is usually formed by two automobiles parked end-to-end. In this situation, try to drive between them, striking one of their wheel axles.

Maintain a speed of 15-20 mph. Slowly approaching the checkpoint gives the impression that you plan to halt, and it’s also the best ramming speed. To move an automobile, you need less speed and force than you may assume. By using this “minimum effective dosage,” you may reduce the likelihood of the air bag deploying while also minimizing the damage to your own automobile (keeping its integrity will be critical in completing your escape).


If your automobile has air bags, reduce your speed to 15 mph. Air bags are activated by fast deceleration and the kind of impact/body damage that happens when a car traveling at least 16-28 mph collides with another vehicle. Slowing down, as well as continuing to accelerate, will ideally prevent the air bag from deploying (see below).

Allow a car’s length between you and the blocking vehicle if you must come to a full stop before the barrier. You’ll have enough room to get up to speed before hitting the blocking vehicle if you drive a car’s length to a car and a half’s length.

Make sure you’re in a low gear so you have lots of torque.

Take a look forward. Instead than staring at the point of collision, look forward to see whether there is any drivable ground beyond the barricade and plan your next move. Keep an eye on the issue!

Continue to accelerate past the blocked vehicle. As you approach the obstructed vehicle, human nature will tell you to take your foot off the accelerator or pump the brakes. Don’t do either. Continue to accelerate as you approach the automobile and burst through.

Congratulations, you successfully smashed your way past a traffic jam. The baby-eaters will have to wait another day to eat.



The “can you run over a carjacker” is a question that has been asked before. The answer is yes, but the risk of injury or death is high.

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