Security Driver Training and Braking

We strongly suggest that anyone who attends a Security Driving training program is measured in accordance with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 135. This is the standard that is used to measure vehicle braking performance. As a security driver, you must be able to perform at a much higher level than “minimum” (it is what you get paid to do). 

What is FMVSS?

 NHTSA issues Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) to implement laws from Congress. This FMVSS are regulations written in terms of minimum safety performance requirements for motor vehicles or items of motor vehicle equipment. These requirements are specified in such a manner that the public is protected against unreasonable risk of crashes occurring as a result of the design, construction, or performance of motor vehicles and is also protected against unreasonable risk of death or injury in the event crashes do occur.

Quick Hit on Braking

Although most drivers realize that the higher the car’s speed, the more distance required to stop, what is surprising to many drivers is how much additional distance it takes to stop a vehicle with just a small increase in speed. The fact is that if you double your speed, you increase your stopping distance by a factor of four.

If you increase your speed from 40 to 44 mph, speed has increased by 10%, but stopping distance has increased by 20%.

If you increase your speed from 40 to 50 mph, speed has increased by 25%, but stopping distance has increased by 50%.

The numbers listed above are not affected by the method of braking used. It makes no difference if a driver brakes with their left foot – threshold brakes – or uses a parachute to stop. If the speed is doubled, the stopping distance increases by a factor of four. The bottom line you cannot arbitrarily increase your speed, it’s literally deadly.

Although this is a topic for another article – As a side note – Do Not Threshold Brake with an Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) vehicle. With a vehicle equipped with ABS, press as hard as your foot can press and let the computer do its job. 

Also, a significant component of braking to avoid an emergency is about where you look while the emergency is unfolding. Car manufacturers have been studying this phenomenon for a while. Simply stated – your hands go where your eyes look. As soon as the emergency presents itself, look for a place to put the vehicle. Look where you want the vehicle to go, and your hands will follow your eyes. Many times, the driver’s eyes fixate on the object they are trying to avoid, and the result is they drive into it.

Summary

When looking at executive protection training, consider that the chances of a student using the skills taught at a weapons program pale in comparison to the possibilities of using the skills taught in a protective driver training program. 

Be careful about increasing speeds – for every 10% increase in speed, it is a 20% increase in stopping distance.

As a student, ask your instructor – “What was my Rate of Deceleration,” and how does it compare to the Vehicles Rate of Deceleration and FMVSS 105.

When confronted with an emergency, press the brake pedal as hard as possible.

The sooner and harder the brake is pressed, the more steering the driver will have available for driving out of the emergency.

Look where you want to put the vehicle.

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