By definition, the PIT maneuver is a pursuit tactic by which a pursuing car can force a fleeing car to abruptly turn sideways, causing the driver to lose control and stop.
“Trooper Donnie O’Neal Saddler decided that Calhoun had to be stopped to protect the lives of innocent people on the highway. Saddler pulled his car alongside Calhoun’s and performed, at 111 mph, what is called a Precision Immobilization Technique, or PIT maneuver, making contact with the back of Calhoun’s car and causing it to spin clockwise and careen off the side of the highway across the rumble strips and into a small embankment, eventually striking a tree. Calhoun was completely ejected from the car and sustained major injuries, but somehow survived.”
Dashcam videos and more information on how the situation unfolded can be found by reading the full article.
This case is a great example as to just how important it is to carefully evaluate the situation when using the PIT. The higher the speed, the more unpredictable and dangerous the PIT maneuver becomes. Consideration must especially be given as to where both cars will end up. In many cases, another police car will tail the PIT unit to proceed with the arrest, while the PIT unit recovers its own control and completely stops the car.
Every year in the U.S. alone, hundreds are killed or injured during the course of pursuits. The PIT maneuver can be a very effective technique if used correctly, but there are certain situations (and speeds) in which it will become highly unpredictable.
For hands-on PIT maneuver training, please enroll in one of our upcoming Security Driving Courses:
Upcoming SDC Classes
- Mar 15 — Mar 17, 2016
- Apr 12 — Apr 14, 2016
- May 24 — May 26, 2016
- Jun 14 — Jun 16, 2016