Security when driving
One would think that a simple act like daily driving will be an easy task. Yet that's not true, so many lives are lost on the roads, mostly due to negligence or bad behavior. I surely don't need to hit you with any statistics now, but if you want, just google road accidents in your area. You might be surprised, or you could be living in one of those far-away places where cars are somewhat prohibited and not have this problem at all.
Basic driving methods
If you follow any sports, you would know each team has an offensive and defensive play. Meaning, they can defend their goal lines and also attack other teams' goal lines. During the game though, they have to utilize both methods if they want to win. Driving does not place as much effort on offense as a sports team would, but defensive driving is the basis you work from. I don't know about you, but I would rather be driving peacefully than trying to push for every gap I can find or have to force my way through each stop sign because everyone else on the road is driving offensively. So defensive driving can be seen as recognizing and reacting to any situations you might face when driving. And, with offensive driving, you would be trying to force others to react to your actions, which would more likely lead to accidents.
I would say you need to use both methods, as required. Sometimes gunning it to pass an idiot who seems to be intoxicated or a danger to others on the road is a better bet than having to try and react to his every move. I've seen some pretty weird things people get up to under the influence and driving, such as taking a nap in the middle of a busy intersection for example, or being overly aggressive for no apparent reason and trying to pull attention to themselves, without considering other drivers safety. It's your job to figure out when its necessary to be more aggressive and keep a vehicle from passing or staying in front of you.
A few tips to follow when driving
- Always have a plan - Know where it is you are going and exactly what route you will take, and let someone else know you are driving and have arrived.
- Always check your vehicle - Need I say maintenance is important? you want your vehicle in the best condition it can be.
- Have the right emergency tools and equipment available in your vehicle.
- ALWAYS have a medical kit in the vehicle.
- On long trips, pack snacks and water, you never know when you will be left on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere, with hours before assistance arrives.
- Carry your cellphone on your belt/inside your pocket - when you get into an accident, you need to be able to access it with ease!
- Set speed dials on your phone, The last thing you need to try and remember after an accident is a 10 digit or longer number!
- Be vigilant! Check your surroundings and utilize the OODA Loop!
- Leave efficient space between your vehicle and everything else, including other vehicles, buildings, and paving.
- Place an old phone and empty wallet somewhere on the dash, just in case an armed robber demands your phone and wallet at a traffic stop. (The real one should be on your person).
- Keep your vehicle clean and have nothing loose lying around! It will make things worse in an accident.
- Wear your damned seat-belt! One exception, if you're pulling up to a shop/gas station or pulling from your drive-way, you don't want the belt in the way if you need to get out quickly to face a threat. Especially true in multi-level parking.
- If you EDC, Have it on your person! You do not want to be pulled from your vehicle and when you have the opportunity to draw, not have it on you!
- Probably pointless to repeat to most people, but keep to the road rules! These rules were created to prevent as many accidents as possible anyway!
- Know who to call when you have a breakdown
- Know where the nearest police station and hospitals are along your route.
- Utilize technology - Google maps, for instance, provides great real-time traffic feedback and possible problems on the road.
- When getting out to open a gate in the dark, switch off your headlights, this enables your eyes to scan behind the vehicle and down the road.
- Do not pull into your driveway before the gate opens, the last thing you want is to be parked in. Wait for the gate to open, then only start pulling in.
That's it for now
I can go on and on. But it's better to be tackling one subject at a time and in relevance. Driving is the most dangerous activity for any security detail as it presents many more threats and inconsistencies than other activities. It should be taken much more serious than just the normal act of driving, whether you are part of a security detail or not. It is also a very draining activity, even though you are seated for the whole trip. So plan accordingly and make sure you stretch those legs and keep the energy levels high.
Anything you would like to question or add to the list? Drop a comment below or email me @ firstname.lastname@example.org
Also: Download this pre-use inspection list for your next trip.
Look out for future posts on driving.