Use the Pursuit Intervention Technique (PIT Maneuver) in a Car

The Precision Immobilization Technique (PIT maneuver) is a procedure which has been used by law enforcement departments around the world (this is also known by some as the Precision Immobilization Technique). Vehicles at high speed are, by laws of physics and aerodynamics, inherently less stable than at lower speeds. The rear of the vehicle is also fundamentally less stable than the front of the vehicle (especially a RWD vehicle, under acceleration). This is even true of aerodynamically designed vehicles such as NASCAR; the PIT maneuver is also used in this sport, though most NASCAR drivers only complain when they are the victims of such a technique.

Before the PIT maneuver is performed, it is assumed that Car A is approaching Car B from behind. The faster the speed (freeway speeds), the greater the advantage Car A has.


  1. Car A attempts to put the front quarter of the car next to the rear quarter of Car B.[1]
    • It is usually performed while the two cars are almost touching each other. A starting distance which is too great can cause danger to Car A.
  2. At speeds greater than {{safesubst:#invoke:convert|convert}}, Car B requires not much more than a good strong kiss from Car A. At speeds closer to {{safesubst:#invoke:convert|convert}}, Car A may need to sacrifice a bit of the front-end of the car to give a strong slam to the rear of Car B.[2]
  3. After Car A gives the initial tap, Car B's back-end will slide out if enough force was applied.[3]
    • Car A will need to straighten out, so as to not follow through too much and lose control. Car A then needs to slow down immediately to avoid broadsiding Car B.
    • For two comparable cars, Car A should always be able to slow down faster than Car B, due to efficiencies of braking in a straight line.
  4. Be prepared for Car B to try to drive off as soon as it has slowed enough to regain control.
    • An experienced driver in a FWD vehicle could recover and drive off in the original direction at surprisingly fast speeds.
    • An experienced driver in a RWD vehicle will, once the vehicle is slowed most of the way, likely try to accelerate in the opposite direction of the initial pursuit.
    • AWD vehicles may be able to go either direction.
  5. Additional aspects of the maneuver can be added to help Car A. For example, before the tap into Car B's rear quarter, easing off the throttle (or even using the brake a bit) at the same time as the turn-in, will increase front tire down-force and increase traction for a very short period of time, which can add lateral velocity into Car B.


  • At freeway speeds, a hit from the side may not be necessary; often a strong hit in the rear bumper at a bit of an angle may cause the vehicle to lose control.
  • With correct technique, a small car has the ability to take down even large trucks, but it becomes much more difficult.
  • Note- This is also used in racing sports such as NASCAR, and is one of the most effective moves to take out an opponent.


  • This is a very difficult and dangerous maneuver, and should only be performed if you have been trained in the technique.
  • Any practicing you do should not be done on public streets! Your own private property is the best.
  • Always drive safely. Be observant of pedestrians and other vehicles.
  • Tactical or Technical Driving can be very dangerous, and it should only be done in emergency situations, when no other choice is available.
  • The P.I.T. maneuver is illegal in most states. Do not attempt.
  • Successfully performing this technique will depend a good deal on the driving abilities of Car B. If Car B is aware of Car A, avoiding the lateral force by simple swerves is possible (professional PIT Maneuver training may also include evading the PIT Maneuver).
  • Never break the law! Obey speed limits, research state and local laws, and be sure to obey all the laws.
  • While practice is crucial, it should be noted that many of the maneuvers can cause damage to vehicles. Alignment, engine mounts, bearings and many other parts can suffer wear or malfunctions. Some people use a cheap "practice car" to practice with.

Related Articles