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Low-Skill, High-Reward: Why Vehicle Attacks Continue to be Effective

Vehicle ramming incidents—both intentional and accidental—can have catastrophic effects on drivers, pedestrians, and infrastructure caught in their path.

“Crowded locations including sidewalks adjacent to critical infrastructure, as well as sports venues, open-air markets, and other public gathering locations may be attractive to a hostile actor using a vehicle as a weapon,” according to the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency’s (CISA’s) Vehicle Incident Prevention and Mitigation Security Guide, published in April 2024.

CISA’s guide analyzed vehicle ramming and vehicle-borne improvised explosive device attacks between 2002 and 2022, assessing 347 incidents from Australia, Canada, Europe, Japan, New Zealand, Taiwan, and the United States.

“Notably, while significantly fewer vehicle rammings (55) occurred in Europe than in the United States (111) during the studied period, European incidents resulted in a higher average casualty count (173+ fatalities and 900+ injuries,” CISA assessed.

Here’s what else you need to know about vehicle ramming attacks: