Get Persued to High-Speed Chase
If you are an insider in any of the occasions such as gunfights, airplane jumping, especially high-speed pursuit, then figure out a technical way of writing what you have experienced remains a tough job. However, with a little vivid imagination and experience, the author of this article provides you with some guide on a high speed chase should in case you want to write about it.
Doesn’t it always happen the same way? You’re heading back from yoga when you notice that the black sedan which turned out of the parking lot at the same time you did is still behind you several miles later. So you take a few unnecessary turns and it’s confirmed: you’re being tailed.
And, just your luck, the Aston-Martin is in the garage, leaving you stuck with an old station wagon where the motor feels like an after thought and its newest tire is half a decade old. To top it all off, you’ve no better idea how to ditch a tail than Walter Mitty would.
So what do you do?
The first rule is not to panic. High-speed pursuit is dangerous, which is why few people do it anymore. That’s not to say you shouldn’t step on the gas a little, but bear in mind that the faster you choose to go, the harder you’ll end up hitting something. Besides, there’s no rush. Chances are your pursuers are just hired muscle trying to figure out where you’re going, not trying to mow you down.
Now that you’re not panicking, take a minute to assess your advantages. Are you familiar with this area? Do you know it well enough to lose your tail on a maze of side streets or to time a light so they miss it? And how does your car compare to theirs? A big car might have a big fast engine, but it won’t corner very well. A compact car will probably have decent handling even if it’s not sporty, but it won’t have much kick under the hood. A sports car will do well at both, but it will also crumple like tinfoil if you lose control or let your tail get close enough to ram you.
Figure out what makes your car better and use it to your advantage. Be creative. Even a full tank of gas can be useful if you can keep the chase up long enough. But even if you can’t figure what you have in your favor, don’t forget the first rule.
There is one advantage that you will always have when you’re being tailed, and that is you’ll be in the front. You’ll have a better view of the road ahead, and of what’s on it. You’ll get to set the pace and you can make sure it’s one you feel comfortable with. Once your pursuer starts to fall behind, you’ll get the chance to duck away when you’re around a curve. If they’re too close, they won’t have time to react to any sudden turn you might make (hint, hint). Plus, any yellow light you run will be a red one for them. Heck, you can even irritate your pursuer by spraying them with your wiper fluid.
Lastly, a little bit about the driving itself. Come into curves at the pace you intend to go through them. If you start too fast, you’ll have to break, which means losing momentum.
Try to take the curve as straight as possible. For a curve to the right, that means starting and ending in the left lane and cutting through the right lane as you hit the middle. A curve to the left is a little trickier. You’ll have to cut through the oncoming lane at the middle of the curve, when your visibility will be at its worst. So be careful with this one, and remember: it’s better to lose a little ground on the curve than get into an accident and lose the whole game.
As for getting the most power out of your engine, the rule of thumb is the higher the RPMs (revolutions per minute), the better. The red line on your tachometer (the RPM gauge) is the safety line put there by the manufacturer for regular use, and you shouldn’t shy away from going over it in an emergency. How much over it, or for how long, depends on the design and the condition of your car.
Revving all the way to the red line is not always to your advantage. In most mass-manufactured cars, the power drops off long before you get there because their small fuel injectors leave the engine starving for gas. And many gear boxes are designed to be shifted at lower RPMs. The key is to determine when is the best time to shift in order to get the most power out of your engine, and this will be different for each car, and each gear. And, if your car doesn’t have a tachometer, don’t worry: odds are that your car has a built-in limiter to keep you from over cranking it.
The most important thing in any car chase is to think ahead, not behind. Focus on the road in front of you and don’t waste time checking up on your tail. In fact, try to forget that they’re even back there. Remember, a car chase is like any other race: it is won by the gradual outdistancing of your opponent, not in one amazing, catch-all move. And just so long as no one starts shooting, you have plenty of time to execute your escape.
Sadly, escaping a tail is a skill few of us will be able to apply in real life. But hopefully this virtual guide it offers some help for the next time one of your fictional charcters has to. Either way, don’t forget to buckle up.
Author Brett James first put pen to paper for the screenplay of his 1996 film, Cold War. He has since written and directed six films of various lengths, winning honors at a dozen festivals, including the Judge’s Award at the Florida Film Festival and best short at both the Northern California Indie and the Seattle Underground.
Brett James is a member of the New York-based art collective, The Madagascar Institute, and has installed his art in New York, San Francisco, Amsterdam, and Croatia. He has most recently worked on The Big Rig Jig and Burning Man’s 2009 temple, Fire of Fires. He was raised in Chapel Hill, North Carolina and now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Deadfall Project is his first novel. For more information, visit: http://thedeadfallproject.com/