Episode 147 - Security Driving Is a Statement of Skill, Not a Marketing Term


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Welcome to the Executive Protection and Secure Transportation Podcast brought to you by the International Security Driver Association.

Thank you for tuning in to episode 147 of the EPST podcast, I’m your host Larry Snow.

The topic of today’s episode is Security Driving Is a Statement of Skill, Not a Marketing Term.

Security Driving and Executive Protection describe a profession, a job description that defines a skill set needed to save lives. It is our opinion that social media have twisted them into marketing terms with no regard for the skill sets that define the profession. In the present training environment, unsuspecting individuals are trained in skills that have no market value. Social media is filled with complaints – ranging from certification, standards, to pay scales and unethical behavior.

For some in the industry, especially those just entering the business, there is a misconception of the definition of security driving – in particular, the job description of a security driver. Security driving is more than driving a vehicle. It requires the skill and knowledge to move a principal from point A to point B in a safe and secure manner and a variety of environments. In fact, security driving is more accurately called secure transportation, which encompasses in-depth knowledge and a measured level of skill to conduct route surveys, recognize and develop safe havens, create alternate-route plans, and develop emergency evacuation plans. Advanced first-aid skills are also essential.

When looking at driving skills, there has been a great deal of research done, money spent, and data collected to better understand how drivers make decisions in emergencies. The end result of all this research is the advancements that have been made in measuring driving skill and, therefore, survivability in an emergency scenario. Simply put, you wouldn't allow a security professional to carry a gun without first measuring their ability to use it: so why would you let someone drive your principal if you don't measure their ability to do so?

Defining Security Driving SkillThe automotive engineering community defines driving skills as the driver's "ability" to use the vehicle's "capability." The researchers express driving skill as the percentage of the vehicle's capability a driver can use before they are no longer controlling the vehicle; loss of control can be defined as; although the driver is holding onto the steering wheel, they along with your principal are a passenger.

From the Automotive Engineering Research - The NumbersIf a driver can use 40% of the vehicle's capability, researchers define him/her as a 40% driver; if they can use 60% of the vehicle's capability, they are a 60% driver. But, here is the bad news, studies have shown that the average driver can use only 40 % to 55 % of the vehicle's capability.

After 45 plus years of conducting protective driving programs, I would say that when looking at the "average driver," the 40 % to 55 % number is accurate and maybe optimistic. If you are responsible for the principal's safety and security, what is your assurance that the person driving the boss IS NOT an inexperienced or average driver?

The Question – What does the research say is a Good (Security) Driver?

A good driver (Security Driver) can use a minimum of 80% of the vehicle's emergency maneuvering capability and still maintain vehicle control. The original Scotti School – VDI and ISDA Certification require a Security Driver to use 80% of the vehicle.

The original Scotti School developed the 80% standard from engineering white papers published by the Society of Automotive Engineers and other testing organizations. Those papers defined average, and what the documents identified as "experienced" skill levels. We (Scotti School) found that neither average nor experienced skill levels were adequate for Security Driving.

If interested an article on the History of the 80% Standardhttps://isdacenter.org/the-science-of-security-driving-and-the-80-standard/.

To summarize - As a user of Secure Transportation services, whom do you want driving your principal, if you are paying for a Security Driver, they must be an 80% driver – you do not want an inexperienced (50%) driver or an average (60%) driver transporting your executives.

All the above numbers are easily measured.

A Security Driver's skill level can easily be measured with an inexpensive onboard computer and an instructor interpreting the data. The device that is commonly used is called a G-Meter. They are used by high-end training programs to measure the vehicle/driver level of performance. These devices range in price from $200 to $1200. But with the advent of the iPhone and Android devices, you can download an application that does the same thing.

Thanks very much for listening to the latest EPST podcast. We’ll be back again next week with another episode of the Executive Protection and Secure Transportation podcast. Before I go one quick request, if you’ve been enjoying the podcast content can do us a favor and give a review of the podcast in Apple or Google? We’d appreciate it very much. Reviewing the podcast helps the podcast grow to reach more people interested in EP or Secure Transportation.

Thanks, and take care.


If you’re not yet a member of the ISDA we invite you to check out the International Security Driver Association. The ISDA is a valuable resource for all practitioners working in the protection profession. We offer benchmark educational, networking, and marketing programs. Access to the encyclopedia of executive protection and secure transportation – The ISDA knowledge center. The knowledge shared encompasses a wide range of EP and ST focused topics with resources, information, and metrics.

For more information on all of the member benefits head over to https://isdacenter.org.

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