The 2½ Seconds of Security Lapses That Sealed Shinzo Abe’s Fate

Shinzo Abe’s assassination is another incident that demonstrates why all exercises need to be timed and measured when conducting Executive Protection or Security Driver Training. Recently this post made the rounds on social media.

Two and Half-Second Rule

In the event of an attack on the principal, success vs. failure depends significantly on time and distance. How close is the attacker? How much time do you have? – which brings us to the two and half-second rule.

Since most attacks against the principal occur when the victim is in their vehicle, many of our members and we have often addressed the two and half-second rule regarding security driving and training. As a security driver, in the event of vehicle violence, it is all about time and distance, and in a vehicle, time and distance are all about the Decision Sight Distance (DSD).

Decision Sight Distance

This a quick refresher for those unfamiliar with DSD. The Decision Sight Distance definition is the length of road surface drivers can see and have an acceptable reaction time. In the U.S., the organization that is responsible for designing our highways, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), has guidelines concerning “line of sight,” and from those guidelines developed the all-important Decision Sight Distance (DSD)

AASHTO defines DSD as the distance needed to recognize a problem and complete a maneuver safely and efficiently. And according to the scientists who have done an enormous amount of research on driver reaction time, the “average” driver needs 2.5 seconds to complete the “recognize a problem” part of the DSD. Read more on DSD.

We recommend the book Just 2 Seconds.

One of the most exhaustive studies to date was conducted by Gavin DeBecker, Tom Taylor, and Jeff Marquart and published in the book Just 2 Seconds. The study indicates that 43 percent of all security incidents in which an individual was the target of an act meant to embarrass, harass, or cause harm, occurred while the target was seated or riding in a vehicle.