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  1. severine

    severine Member

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    Car driving help! Is it possible to 'sneak' whilst driving?

    Discussion in 'Research' started by severine, Sep 11, 2019.

    So basically the plot is that my MC is driving away from a location, and needs to be quiet because it's the dead of night and she doesn't want to alert anyone to her actions. She is driving a minivan. Is it possible to keep vans quiet, and if so how? I don't drive so I have no clue.
     
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  2. 31152104

    31152104 Member

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    Depends on road, moonlight. Headlights on: Stealth gone. Low revs first gear, if someone is listening, they'll hear it unless there is ambient noise (depends on enemy distance from vehicle, density of area(trees, buildings, or open desert? Which way is the wind blowing? Is it raining?)

    What danger is she in?

    If she is in danger, may be safer to put on lights and just get the hell out of there. If she is in no danger and no one is looking for her. first gear no lights may work, but then she must know how to drive in darkness, or use dims at least.

    otherwise she can just drive a prius with night vision goggles
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2019
  3. Cogito

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    If the location is a quiet country road with no traffic, it's much harder than if it's in a town with some traffic around the clock. In a quiet country setting, someone might hear the tires crunching on gravel even if the car is rolling in neutral with the engine off. Some vehicles make it difficult even to turn off the headlights, and most cars make it difficult to turn off the brake lights without pulling a fuse. Also, turning off the engine may lock the steering wheel.

    But country nights have their own noises too. so unless someone is really paying attention, they might not notice car noises unless the vehicle has a noisy engine or bad muffler.
     
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  4. matwoolf

    matwoolf Contributor Contributor

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    Put the van in neutral, take off the handbrake. Then rock violently in the driver seat. Slowly you will roll down the hill. If the steering wheel goes 'click' don't worry about it if you're heading in the right direction.

    Or 'lift' some of this:

    Sheila wiggled the gear stick, she pressed the button and depressed the hand-brake. Nothing. She shook violently in her seat, nothing nothing, her plans had all come to nought. Slowly her hippy-van rolled along the verge of the street. Yes, she muffled, I am driving my bus. She held the steering wheel, bruum bruum she muttered at two miles per hour. She sensed/felt a click on the steering wheel and she crashed into a tree.
     
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  5. 31152104

    31152104 Member

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    Elevation becomes key here the, and linearity of road. Hard for one person to push even a small car against slight incline. If it is an open straight tar road and the MC knows there are no bends, obstructions, free the van down and ignite when distance is acceptable. So: I assume she has to walk to van. Where is van parked? If above conditions are met, and she planned her parking well, stealth is possible.

    Only problem: How did she get there? With the van? From the the other side, or up the incline(which would pre-break stealth)

    If it some one else's van, chances are they would have it in driveway, garage, which means that to get van on ideal straight road
    (no headlights, so if moonless night she may miss a bend and that's that) with incline it will have to pushed there.

    Can MC push a van?
     
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  6. matwoolf

    matwoolf Contributor Contributor

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    We're thinking too linear again. It's a book, so the matter of 'noise' is all tied to jeopardy and escape. She makes lots of noise, otherwise she'll have to write it like a recipe.

    [General we, not you we]
     
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  7. Cogito

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Exactly! Your main character perhaps thinks to switch off the lights, and turns the key to ON without engaging the starter (to unlock the steering column). So she begins a slow roll, downhill, and is able to steer. But she doesn't consider the brake lights, and the brakes squeak. Her heart pounds. Did someone see the brake lights? Did someone hear? Should she start the engine and haul ass, or try to get more distance from the location? And if she does try to start the engine, will it work immediately? Will she be able to evade a pursuit? Or will the people she is trying not to alert realize they need to escape before she can bring back help.

    Lots of possibilities, and don't make everything go too smoothly. Complications make better fiction.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2019
  8. JLT

    JLT Contributor Contributor

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    You could always situate the scene near a railroad track, and have the MC wait for the train to go by, counting on its rumble to mask the sounds of the car.
     
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  9. Cdn Writer

    Cdn Writer Active Member

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    I deliver newspapers in my city from 1 am to 6 am. The best way to avoid attracting notice is to act like you have a reason to be there. I follow the traffic rules (we have photo radar cameras on our streets) like obeying the speed limit plus or minus 5 kms, stay in my lane, signal lane changes, and my minivan has lights that turn on automatically. I think I would notice a vehicle without its lights on more than I would one that had its lights on because it would look normal to be and not stand out in any way.

    In terms of engine noise, I am deaf, I use a hearing aid. Once in a while I will leave the minivan running and jog up to a mailbox, put the paper in and jog back to my minivan. I have never gotten a complaint in four years. I have seen notes for other carriers at the depot where there were complaints about them parking in people's drive-ways and waking them up - possibly from their headlights shining into the houses or more likely the engine noise although this seems odd to me.

    Houses have their own....sound personality, right? The sound of the fan, the air conditioner, the fridge, the hum of the various electronic devices? Plus the sounds the sleepers make - snoring, tossing and turning, the shift of their bodies on the mattress....etc? How can a vehicle parking in the drive-way or driving by awaken a sleeper? Bah....
     
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  10. 31152104

    31152104 Member

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    Hahhahaha yes @Cdn Writer suburbia of Century 21 is filled with sound. So all depends on OP parameters.

    I made a few replies to this thread, but fuck it, my job is on a farm and I drive tractors. Planting a potato and harvesting corn does not require a stealth check, Diesel engines roar. So: @severine more details of MC's situation please.
     
  11. Rence

    Rence Member

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    Make her drive an electric car. Those things are dangerously quiet.
     
  12. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale Benevolent Ochlocrat Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Or to add complications, make her have to escape in Vin Diesel's Charger from the first The Fast and the Furious movie.


    But seriously, I think @Cdn Writer has it right:

    Try and get the car a little ways from the house that the baddies are in before you start it, but the quickest way to get spotted doing anything you aren't supposed to is to look like you aren't supposed to be doing it. A few years ago, there were a rash of "prank calls" to late-night fast food restaurants where the callers convinced the employees to give up money, disrobe, and perform all sorts of inappropriate acts just by sounding authoritative over the phone. Unless people are on alert, you'd be amazed at what you can get away with by acting like what you're doing is expected.
     
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  13. The Dapper Hooligan

    The Dapper Hooligan (V) ( ;,,;) (v) Contributor

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    Throw a cab light on the roof, then you can skulk wherever you want and people will just think you're just looking for a fare.
     
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  14. Mary Elise

    Mary Elise Member

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    You could make her one of those strange women who drive only standards. An old standard without the hydraulic clutch. My old Mustang could be popped into neutral from first gear without touching the ignition and if she was pointed downhill, we were good!

    If you're on an incline you can always go backwards if possible.
     
  15. Mary Elise

    Mary Elise Member

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    Before leaving S. Korea my daughter decided to get an illegal tattoo in Seoul. She'd been in contact with an excellent tat artist and had arranged to meet him at an empty building somewhere in the outskirts of Seoul.

    Three hours on a train ride later she was walking down an unfamiliar street looking for the building when a Korean police car stopped right beside her. She says she froze then and there, thinking, "oh shit, I'm going to be deported!"

    The cop got out of the car to pick up a soda can and place it in a trash bin.

    I replied, "Don't you know any better than to stop like that? When the cops are behind you walk slowly and calmly away. Sway your hips a little. Anything but stop!"

    Then I thought, why the hell am I telling my kid how to evade the cops?
     
  16. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale Benevolent Ochlocrat Staff Supporter Contributor

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    One of my jobs is at a large industrial concern, and getting to my office entails about a fifteen minute walk across the grounds of the plant. The speed limit on the plant is 10kph, about twice walking speed. Pretty much exactly the speed that a cop car rolls up on a pedestrian while they're deciding whether or not to give him a hard time.

    It took years of working there before I could adjust to the fact that every passing line worker in his econobox Toyota wasn't security trying to decide whether the gaijin was supposed to be on the facility or not.
     
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  17. Mary Elise

    Mary Elise Member

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    :rofl::rofl: I heard about this phenomenon from my daughter. She'll be delighted to hear it isn't just her.

    ETA: She didn't have much trouble with that at home in far southern South Korea but the closer she went to Seoul the more it occurred.

    The people in the market they frequented took a real shine to them. According to one of the proprietors, they'd never seen a US military family with preschool kids live off base and interact almost solely with locals. I guess it was a big deal because my grandkids were spoiled rotten.

    My grandson has big curls while the rest of the family's hair is straight and my daughter was constantly asked if she perms his hair. :D
     
  18. Thorn Cylenchar

    Thorn Cylenchar Active Member

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    Depends on location. Is there a grassy area she can drive on? Grass would muffle the noise of the tires compared to pavement and definitely compared to travel.
     
  19. Foxxx

    Foxxx The Debonair Contributor

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    Have you actually heard a UPS truck? It's almost as loud as these kids who live in gated communities that pretend to be a cunsh'ree boy, driving their dualie-diesel with an American flag sticking out of the bed, dangling truck-nuts and do dip and roll coal out of their modded tailpipes as they ride your ass with their brights on even though you're already doing 7-8 over the speed limit.

    Uh, I mean, it's impressive how loud some vehicles are, just idling. And if your bedroom is up against the driveway you'll definitely hear that, or the opening and closing of the door.

    You want something stealthy. Get a Tesla. I've heard stories of pedestrians getting hit because they didn't hear a car coming and decided not to look.
     

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