Security when driving


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 @

Also: Download this pre-use inspection list for your next trip.

Look out for future posts on driving.

Home defense

Approaching the door

Approaching the door

In the previous 2 posts, we were discussing issues related to approaching your home from a vehicle or on foot/any other way. The next big step to take is learning how to approach the door after getting safely into your yard/driveway. This space can create a crucial pinch point and should not be neglected!

Once you are safely inside your driveway, there is still a risk of attack. A lot of attacks happen in this space. The biggest reason for this is that there is not much movement and other variables for the criminals to consider. They can easily hide inside your driveway or behind your house or whatever might be available, just waiting for your approach to the door. More preferably just after you unlocked the door. Then they strike comfortably, without having to worry much about being seen by someone else.

As you move to your front door, avoid using any electronic devices. Use natural lighting to scan for any shadows. Avoid going straight around sharp corners. Keep your eyes and ears open. Walk swiftly and directly to the door. Use a flashlight to scan dark spots.

These are the most common things to look out for:

  1. Silhouettes in the dark.
  2. Any signs of movement that is not a pet or family member.
  3. Any objects out of place, like potting plants, dustbins, or anything that is supposed to be inside your outhouse, garage, or home.
  4. Light at the front door is not working.
  5. Broken windows.
  6. Animals behaving abnormally.
  7. Your alarm system does not respond.
  8. Your neighbor’s alarm system is triggered.

Once one of these is noticed, I suggest the following reaction:

1 - 3. When you notice any moving shadows, it’s obvious that you are not alone. You need to escape immediately and activate your emergency plan. Contact emergency numbers and move as quickly away from your home as is possible. Only re-enter once your home is made safe by policing services or your security service. Any sign that indicates possible movement, whether from behind the house, behind you, in front of you, or on the roof, can just as well be an intruder. Do not write it off as an animal or the wind. Activate your emergency contacts and get out of your yard and away from your home as quickly as possible.

4. There can be various reasons for this such as a blown globe or neglecting to switch the light on when leaving. Use a flashlight to approach cautiously and be on high-alert. Clear around the corners before unlocking the door.

5. See steps 1 – 3.

6. Establish why they are acting abnormally and proceed with caution. Notify your emergency contacts of any suspicious behavior or if you suspect any problems.

7. You need to notify your emergency contacts. Phone your reaction company if you have any. Proceed cautiously if you suspect no problems. If you suspect any problems, call for assistance.

8. Get into your home as quickly as possible and watch for any movement outside. There is always a possibility of an intruder crossing over from your neighbor’s yard into yours. When this happens, activate your emergency contacts and get out of sight. Do not try to engage anyone, they might want to make you their next target, especially when they are being chased.


  • When you are inside your yard, do not lower your awareness you need to raise your level of awareness to high alert.
  • Do not move around sharp corners, and keep equal space on both sides. When an attack comes from the left, move right. When an attack comes from the right, move left. Do not get backed into a wall, gate, or fence.
  • If possible, try to check around each corner of your home that is adjacent to the walls where your front door is located. This way you can be sure there is no one waiting for you to unlock the door before rushing upon you. And if someone is waiting further away, you create more time to react.
  • Keep a flashlight ready when you know that you will return during the night. Use it to scan all surroundings. This also de-motivates possible intruders, as it implies a higher level of awareness and greater risk to them.
  • When unlocking your doors, do not keep you’re back exposed. Try to stand next to your door instead of directly in front of it.
  • When locking your doors again, do it as quickly and calmly as possible. Constantly check for possible intruders rushing towards the door.
  • Install slam-lock doors or any door that locks without having to use the key, to reduce exposure time.
  • Have lighting installed at your front door. You want to be able to see properly when unlocking the door.

Keep bags on your back or shoulder. And smaller items in your pockets. You want your hands to be free to defend yourself. The only item to have in your hand is a panic button or cellphone ready to phone emergency contacts.

How strong is your approach to the door?

Home defense

Reaction unit

Reaction unit

For every situation that can occur, it will always be the best option to have an external reaction force to assist. This does not have to be an armed response company, as your local policing service might even be more efficient, and that will strongly depend on your specific country and location. This can even be a community policing project in your area with which you can have constant contact. At no point in any situation will I suggest that anyone as the man/protector of the home go out into danger to try and approach the threat. One great reason for this is that your family will be more vulnerable than ever when you are taken out of the equation.

The main purpose of a reaction unit is to scare off or possibly even arrest the invader/s. Any reaction unit you choose should be able to face the types of emergencies that you will most likely encounter. Whatever reaction unit you choose should generally comply with the following aspects:

When it’s your local police service:

  • You need them to react as fast as possible, but please keep in mind that at any given moment they might be busy with more calls than they can handle or anything that requires more attention than normal and this will greatly influence their response times.
  • Research and ask around about your local police service, what is their average response times, are they equipped for the job? Do they act professionally?

When you are looking at hiring a professional service:

  • The company should be registered with the relevant authorities of your country.
  • The company should comply with all the relevant laws on the service they are providing and the laws implemented by your country in regards to using firearms or lethal weapons used by the company.
  • The response personnel should be trained appropriately.
  • The company should have a reputable name, you don’t want a fly-by-night company to come to the rescue in your moment of need.
  • The company should regularly send their response personnel for updated training.
  • Preferably you want a company that wants to instruct you on their expertise and not one who wants to know what you prefer to have unless both agree on the same input. Once a company wants to know what you prefer, you need a more professional company. (You never hire an expert just to tell them what to do, because then you didn’t need them in the first place).
  • The company should have enough infrastructure to be able to respond to all their clients.
  • Price, of course, plays a great role, don’t settle for the cheapest and don’t expect the most expensive ones to be the best in the industry.

If you are considering utilizing your neighborhood watch or community policing service:

  • You need a community that is big enough to have someone on standby or constantly out on patrol, who can react immediately.
  • They should not try and be the Rambo’s of town, they have no more power or authority than any natural person do.
  • They don’t necessarily care about you, they care more about getting a piece of the action.
  • They will have to wait for professional assistance when there is a real threat.

How strong is your reaction unit?

Home defense

Approaching your home

Part 1

So if we think about this for a minute, it makes sense to start from where we get close to home and not inside the home itself. Approaching your home after being away for a while is probably the most crucial part of the defense, as a lot of hijackings and attacks happen in this space.

Have you seen the influx of videos where people are being attacked just as they pull up in front of their homes lately? Sadly it’s an increasing strategy used by criminals, you have no cover, no one to assist, and most probably never even expect it to happen. Yet it does happen. Often it is a well planned and timed attack where criminals will follow you for a few days to test your awareness, see what times you leave and who is in which vehicle.

Here's how you can work on this:

As you approach your home, whether you are walking, cycling, or driving, you need to constantly scan your surroundings to identify anything out of place. Switch of the music and air-conditioning system, reduce your speed, open a window slightly, and concentrate on your surroundings.

These are the most common things to look out for:

Approaching per vehicle:

  1. Any vehicle parked somewhere with number plates not familiar to your area.
  2. Any vehicle behind you when there is not much traffic, or if you suspect you are being followed.
  3. Any people gathering or walking down the street in an abnormal posture, speed, or interest in your presence.
  4. Any markings or indicators that are not supposed to be there. (Empty bottles, card boxes, rocks or small piles, etc.)
  5. Your animals act suspicious or do not greet you at the gate. (Animals always know when something is up)
  6. Your automated gate does not work, or you can visibly see something that restricts the gate from opening. (Cable tie, rope or wire, etc.)
  7. Your security guard is not present.
  8. Your complex gate is open.
  9. No electricity, when buildings or homes next to you or your complex has electricity.
  10. Drunken residents en route to your apartment.
  11. One of your vehicles or trailers is missing.

Once any of these are noticed I suggest the following reaction:

  1. Make sure the occupants in the vehicle know that you have seen them and that you are completely aware that they are not supposed to be there. Try to note the color, make, model, the number of occupants, and license plate number (Voice recorder works great). Next, you want to notify someone of this unfamiliar behavior before you try to approach your front gate (see action plan). Do not approach your driveway, drive around the block till you feel comfortable enough to approach the driveway.
  2. Drive around the block, making a complete circle. If the vehicle is still behind you, immediately phone police services. Another possibility is that more than 1 vehicle might be following you, if you do make a trip around the block and a new vehicle is behind you, repeat the process around a different block. Keep driving for as long as the confirmed vehicle is following you, drive to a police station or nearest place of help. Notify the police that you will be driving straight to them, and also what route you will be using.
  3. If possible, try to secretly record them. Do not make it obvious that they are being recorded, as this may give them a reason to approach you. Have your vehicle ready to go as quickly as possible if need be.
  4. When you are certain there is no threat you can remove all the obvious markings, but only after you have parked your vehicle securely. Make sure to dispose of all rubbish and lose objects in front of your yard.
  5. This can be for more than one reason. Firstly do not drive into your driveway. Secure your vehicle and enter on foot. Only once you can confirm there is no threat can you pull your vehicle into the driveway. If there is any threat, do not approach. Phone emergency services and activate your action plan. When your dog is barking abnormally at the gate, drive past and confirm that there is no threat outside the gate.
  6. When this happens you can be certain of an attempt of hijacking or attack.  Immediately leave your driveway and activate your action plan. Phone police service and have them confirm that it’s safe to approach.
  7. Proceed with caution and have your phone ready to call for help when needed. Notify your emergency group/contacts of the situation before proceeding.
  8. Unless you see obvious signs of intrusion, proceed with caution. Notify your emergency contacts of the situation before proceeding. When there are obvious signs of intrusion, phone police services, and your emergency contacts. Wait for police services to clear the premises.
  9. Notify your emergency contacts. Always have a flashlight handy and use it to scan systematically through the premises before approaching your home. Listen to any noise and movement. Start by making sure your main supply box is locked and not tampered with. Once you are satisfied there is no threat outside, move into your home. Locate the route of the problem.
  10. This is not necessarily a threat but can easily escalate into one. Try to avoid them as much as possible. Notify your emergency contacts. Do not appear aggressive and move away as quickly as possible.
  11. Notify your emergency contacts! Approach with caution. If there is still an intruder present. Activate your action plan.


  • When stopping in front of your gate, you want to leave enough space if possible to easily reverse and drive away, or turn around. If possible, practice reversing from your gate with speed.
  • During night time, switch of your headlights in front of the gate, this enables you to look beyond and over your vehicle and helps your eyes adapt to the shadows easier.
  • If you have to open your gate manually, do not switch off your vehicle, leave the keys inside, and close the door if possible. Often criminals just want the vehicle and will then leave you alone. But do not create temptation by leaving the door open.
  • If you have occupants in the car like small children, women, or elderly, you have to switch off the vehicle and take the keys with you when opening the gate manually (if no one else can). This will be your negotiation tool to get everyone safely out of the vehicle. Do not be cocky or brave. Control your emotions. Ask for your family members to exit the car before handing over the keys. Make sure to show them you have the keys.
  • If you do not open the gate, but someone else does, have everyone exit the vehicle together and watch every corner. This ensures your family is separated from the vehicle and have a greater chance of escape. They have to exit as quickly as possible.
  • Never sit and wait inside your vehicle. Keep the vehicle idle and stand outside and wait, if possible. Constantly scan your surroundings.
  • Make sure your rear-view mirror and side mirrors are properly aligned to be able to view as much space as possible.

How strong is your approach with a vehicle?