Security Driving Is a Statement of Skill, Not a Marketing Term

First and foremost – WHAT IS NOT SECURITY DRIVING – a security driver IS NOT a person who attended an EP Training program and has a driver’s license. That does not define a Security Driver at best they are an EP Person with a driver’s license, and that is the best case 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 Skill

Research defines driving skill as the driver’s “ability” to use the vehicle’s “capability”. The researchers express driving skill as the percentage of the vehicles 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.

The Numbers

If a driver can use 50% of the vehicles capability, researchers define him/her as a 50% driver, if they can use 80% of the vehicles capability, they are an 80% 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, before things turn to Sh*t. Also, after 40 plus years of conducting protective driving programs, I would say, when looking at the “average driver”, the 40 % to 55 % number is accurate and may be optimistic. If you are responsible for the safety and security of the principal, 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?

What percentage of using the vehicle to avoid an emergency is labeled Good – Passable and Minimum? Again, we rely on research done by the automotive engineering community. They express skill levels as:

The inexperienced driver can use 50 percent of the vehicle’s emergency maneuvering capability.

The average driver can use 60 percent of the vehicle emergency maneuvering capability. (IMHO – they could go a long while with no problems, but in a security environment, when bad things happen, you can’t be average)

A good driver (Security Driver) can use a minimum of 80% of the vehicle emergency maneuvering capability and still maintain vehicle control. The 80% number is a documented standard used by the scientific community to quantify a high level of driving skill. (IMHO – 80% is the minimum requirement for any and all security driving scenarios)


All the above numbers are easily measured.

A Security Drivers skill level can easily be measured with an inexpensive on-board computer and an instructor that can interpret 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, iTouch, Blackberry, etc. you can download an application that does the same thing.

This is a snapshot of the ISDA Certified Security Driver standards

Certified Drivers must be measured, via an on board computer, to use a minimum of 80% of the vehicle’s capability within a specific time-frame. The standard of 80% has been documented in engineering white papers published by the Society of Automotive Engineers, ISO, and NHTSA. The standards for perception and reaction times are based on studies conducted by Dr. Marc Green.

In closing

As a user of Secure Transportation services who 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.

This post is from the International Security Driver Association

The International Security Driver Association (ISDA) serves the Protective Services community. ISDA’s mission is to support an international forum of protective service providers who share knowledge for the purpose of enhancing the profession.

The most common question we at ISDA get asked is, “Is ISDA for Security Drivers and Secure Transportation Providers only?” The answer is a big NO. ISDA is a valuable resource for all practitioners working in the protection profession. Members of ISDA represent all facets and levels of the protective services profession as an example.

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