Home Preparedness Vehicle-Ramming Attacks Will Necessitate Policy Changes

Vehicle-Ramming Attacks Will Necessitate Policy Changes


By Allison G. S. Knox
Contributor, EDM Digest

In Germany on New Year’s Eve, a man intentionally drove his vehicle into a crowd and injured several people, some of them severely. This terrorist incident was one of the new terrorist tactics used in mass casualty events over the past few years.

Vehicular Accidents Not New, But Deliberate Use of Vehicles to Maim or Kill Pedestrians Is Recent Terrorist Tactic

Vehicle accidents involving pedestrians are not new; they have happened for decades. But now, vehicle-ramming attacks are a common terrorist tactic that has been used in various cities, such as:

  • London, England
  • Muenster, Germany
  • Berlin, Germany
  • Nice, France
  • Toronto, Canada
  • Stockholm, Sweden
  • Manhattan, New York

Terrorist Attacks Involving Vehicles and Pedestrians Will Continue to Evolve

As terrorists find new ways to injure or kill to express their political ideas, such attacks will continue to evolve. Consequently, first responders will need to find other ways of preventing these attacks.

In recent years, terrorist incidents have been on the rise throughout Europe and the United States. Unfortunately, terrorists do not have to have particularly advanced skills to create havoc within a community. In fact, some of the most frightening incidents have occurred from terrorists who use a minimal number of tools.

The use of vehicles as battering rams has become a popular tactic among terrorists because this type of attack is relatively inexpensive and injures or kills a large number of people quickly. Also, individuals walking on the street are instant targets with few defenses.

The Prevention of Terrorist Attacks Involving Vehicles Must Become a Priority

Preventing these attacks must become a matter of great importance for city planners. For several years, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has worked to reduce the possibility of terrorists using vehicles to hurt pedestrians.

Similarly, law enforcement must work to prevent and eliminate these horrific incidents in the future.

Allison G. S. Knox Passionate about the issues affecting ambulances and disaster management, Allison focuses on Emergency Management and Emergency Medical Services policy. Allison has taught at the undergraduate level since 2010. Prior to teaching, she worked in a level-one trauma center emergency department and for a member of Congress in Washington, D.C. She holds four master’s degrees in Emergency Management, National Security Studies, International Relations, and History; a Graduate Certificate in Homeland Security; and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. Allison is an Emergency Medical Technician, Lifeguard, and Lifeguard Instructor, and is trained in Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescue. She serves on the Board of Trustees for Pi Gamma Mu International Honor Society as Chancellor of the Southeast Region, Vice Chair of the Tactical Emergency Medical Support Committee with the International Public Safety Association, and serves as the Advocacy Coordinator of Virginia with the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians. She is also a member of several committees including the Editorial Committee with APCO, the Rescue Task Force Committee with the International Public Safety Association, and the Advocacy Committee with the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians. She also serves as Chair of the Leadership Development Program for the 2020 Pi Gamma Mu Triennial Convention. Allison has published several book reviews and continues to write about issues affecting ambulances, emergency management, and homeland security.