The following video shows an attack on a vehicle by a group in November this year near Bury. The group arrive on mopeds and block of some exits while the vehicles windows are attacked with an axe.
From the video there are a number of lessons we can learn.
Try to keep good awareness of your surroundings while on the move and especially when you come to a halt. There is every chance this group followed the vehicle prior to stopping at the lights which could have given the driver an early indication something wasn't right.
You are more vulnerable when you come to a halt. Ensure you give yourself enough room to manoeuvre around the vehicles around you. You may remember the saying tarmac and tyres from your driving test. Take a few moments to look at possible escape routes around you, gaps in the traffic and gaps in the street furniture. This may seem strange at first but with a little practice the observations will become second nature. In this instance the driver could have taken the left slip road or moved in to the right lane almost immediately.
A conclusion we drew from this video is that the driver and their actions or lack of them, may well have been influenced by a number of psychological barriers as opposed to physical ones. The first factor is undoubtedly shock. From the article the driver first knew of the attack when the window was struck by the assailant’s axe, immediately placing them on the back foot.
Next when it comes to removing themselves from the incident, the driver appears to dismiss using the escape to the left. Perhaps it wasn't on their route or perhaps the moped and rider blocking the route appeared to be an obstacle. The reality of this situation is that there could be a genuine assumption of threat to life. Using the 2-tonne vehicle under control the driver could have moved either around the moped or moved the moped and driver out of the way using reasonable force under the circumstances. In fact, you will see the vehicle in front of the Bentley does exactly this and slides away.
Cars to the front of the vehicle have given it room to extract, but again it appears the driver is bound by the psychological barrier of queuing at the red light, as it shifts forward, only late on does the driver take the offside lane after the traffic light has turned green. This manoeuvre could have been taken much earlier, treating the red light as a give way and turning with the traffic to escape the attackers and limit any potential of an accident. Again, this action would be justifiable under the circumstances.
Overall this incident lasted around 30 seconds. With good awareness and an escape plan it may have lasted only a few.