It depends …
Being stuck in your car limits your options. You can only get out, or start up and try drive away. And considering you’re supposed to switch your car off when you top up the tank, driving away could be too slow.
It worked for the gentleman above (and noddy badges for him to be sure), but the odds are against driving away working. (Most people I know stick their noses in their phone as soon as they’ve stopped at a station to fill up.)
If the gunman in that video had walked up to the driver’s side, the outcome could have turned out very different. Like for this guy.
The grey area
But what about this guy? He was out of his car and he still got jumped:
Are there times when it’s safer to be in your car? Absolutely. Having a large metal and glass cage around you can make you much safer. Sometimes.
The guy in this last video was less safe outside his car. Why?
Firstly, he wasn’t paying attention. If you’re not going to pay attention, then wait inside the car, checking Faceborg, like a good little sheep waiting your turn at the slaughterhouse. This gentleman was checking his car the whole time. His chances of spotting trouble were minuscule.
Secondly, was he armed? No clue, but if you’re armed, and you want to have a chance of fighting back, then being outside the car gives you many more options than being inside the car.
Yes, you can shoot back and try drive away from inside your car (and yes, you should be practicing how to get at all the angles), but that’s about all you can do.
The scenario that worries me the most isn’t the knife-mugging or bag snatching that can occur (those are the ones where being in the car is probably better). What worries me is when the BG has a gun, and intends to use it.
More risk is better?
Being outside the car puts me at more risk of being mugged (cars make great barriers to muggers), but less at risk of getting shot.
Being inside the car makes me safer from a mugger, but makes me more likely to get shot.
There’re not many perfect answers in this world, and you picks your risk profiles and makes your compromises.
I choose to increase my odds of facing a mugger, in order to increase my ability to move away from the car if someone opens up on me (to draw fire away from the car that often has my family in it, and for my ability to get off the X).