Self-defense tips to help protect passengers in life-threatening situations

Updated: Apr. 1, 2019 at 10:49 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Two recent incidents involving ride-sharing have left passengers concerned.

One of those incidents happened in Tuscaloosa in early March. Another, also in a college town, happened in South Carolina over the weekend, where a University of South Carolina student was killed.

Police say 21-year-old Samantha Josephson got in a car she thought was her Uber, but investigators say she got in the wrong car and the driver killed her.

The death a University of South Carolina student has a lot of you thinking twice about your...
The death a University of South Carolina student has a lot of you thinking twice about your safety when using a ride-sharing service. WBRC spoke with safety experts on how to protect yourself if you ever find yourself in the back seat of car you thought was your Uber.(WBRC)

Heather Potter, owner of Birmingham Academy of Martial Arts, equips women with the tools they need to protect themselves if they were ever in a situation like this.

“The first thing I would do was send the SOS emergency signal through my iPhone. The second thing I would do it try to exit the vehicle by trying to open the door,” described Potter.

The death a University of South Carolina student has a lot of you thinking twice about your...
The death a University of South Carolina student has a lot of you thinking twice about your safety when using a ride-sharing service. WBRC spoke with safety experts on how to protect yourself if you ever find yourself in the back seat of car you thought was your Uber.(WBRC)

In the recent case in South Carolina the victim couldn't get out. Police say the driver had child safety locks on. Potter said it's at that point you have to get physical.

“I might try to attack the driver, grab the steering wheel, use my purse strap or the seat-belt strap to help me attack the driver and try to get them to wreck,” she explained .

"You're saying why would I want to wreck? The chances of dying in a wreck it's pretty small unless you're going 80 mph on the interstate,

She demonstrated some of the techniques that help using a self-defense tool called a munio. It's small enough to fit on your key chain.

The death a University of South Carolina student has a lot of you thinking twice about your...
The death a University of South Carolina student has a lot of you thinking twice about your safety when using a ride-sharing service. WBRC spoke with safety experts on how to protect yourself if you ever find yourself in the back seat of car you thought was your Uber.(WBRC)

“The tip here is able to break glass. So, if you hold it like this and strike the glass it should be able to break the car glass and another thing I can do is use it to strike the attacker as well as using it to hold while I sling the keys at the attacker also as a defense,” she explained.

Potter said they 're teaching women how to use that tool during their four week self-defense seminar training classes this summer .

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