Tags:
  1. severine

    severine Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2018
    Messages:
    85
    Likes Received:
    84
    Location:
    UK

    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.
     
    Cdn Writer likes this.
  2. 31152104

    31152104 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2019
    Messages:
    68
    Likes Received:
    71
    Location:
    In the system of Sol
    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
    starset, Cdn Writer and severine like this.
  3. Cogito

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    36,156
    Likes Received:
    2,752
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    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.
     
    Cdn Writer and severine like this.
  4. matwoolf

    matwoolf Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2012
    Messages:
    6,249
    Likes Received:
    8,716
    Location:
    Yorkshire
    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.
     
    Cdn Writer and jannert like this.
  5. 31152104

    31152104 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2019
    Messages:
    68
    Likes Received:
    71
    Location:
    In the system of Sol
    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?
     
    Cdn Writer likes this.
  6. matwoolf

    matwoolf Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2012
    Messages:
    6,249
    Likes Received:
    8,716
    Location:
    Yorkshire
    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]
     
    Cdn Writer and Cogito like this.
  7. Cogito

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    36,156
    Likes Received:
    2,752
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    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
    matwoolf and Cdn Writer like this.
  8. JLT

    JLT Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2016
    Messages:
    971
    Likes Received:
    1,098
    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.
     
    Cdn Writer likes this.
  9. Cdn Writer

    Cdn Writer Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2019
    Messages:
    80
    Likes Received:
    42
    Location:
    Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, North America
    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....
     
    31152104 and matwoolf like this.
  10. 31152104

    31152104 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2019
    Messages:
    68
    Likes Received:
    71
    Location:
    In the system of Sol
    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.
     

Share This Page