For a high net worth individual, having a regular chauffeur is not enough. You need more than just someone who will wait for you at your convenience. According to statistics, up to 85% of attacks on individuals happen in or around a vehicle.
Aside from direct attacks, you are also at risk of getting abducted or involved in a vehicular accident. This means that you need a security-trained driver behind the wheel of your car as part of your executive protection.
Having a security-trained driver presents benefits that go beyond his ability to drive your luxury vehicle well and make the most out of its capabilities. Technical driving expertise is just the surface of this driver’s true value. This is why having such a driver is part of having a well-rounded executive protection program.
One thing that needs to be cleared here is that a security driver is not a chauffeur. A chauffeur is like a butler-service and friendly addition to the household, but he is not a security person. A client who doesn’t really need executive protection may be better off hiring a traditional chauffeur.
While the chauffeur’s main job is to drive his boss whenever and wherever he needs to be and stay in the car at all times, a security driver’s duty, on the other hand, goes way beyond that as he is specifically trained to keep his passengers safe.
Dangers on the Road
Vehicular accidents alone are the leading cause of death among healthy citizens in the United States, with up to 1.3 million casualties a year. But this is just the tip of the iceberg.
Almost 60% of kidnapping cases take place while in transit, although experts say that the actual figure is a lot higher. Furthermore, a shocking 90% of kidnapping cases go unreported, most likely because the company doesn’t want to damage their executive’s reputation.
Add to this fact that kidnapping at this level can rack up random demands up to $2 million, it makes even more sense to secure the services of a security-trained driver. The threats do not end there. There’s also terrorism—according to a survey, 454% of business travelers cited terrorism as their greatest safety concern.
Why Security Drivers Are Worth the Investment?
A security driver goes beyond high-performance vehicle manipulation and this is more apparent when faced with unfamiliar locations. He does pre-mission planning to help avoid risks that he may encounter while driving his VIP client.
Drivers that are trained by a luxury executive protection company will have access to oversight and threat monitoring tools that help in maintaining situational awareness at all times, even while driving.
The best of these drivers also have a background in medical training, which definitely comes in handy when faced with an emergency situation while on the road.
It’s not just about keeping an executive safe, it’s also about helping him become more productive while on the road. Time is money, especially for executives. They do a lot of phone calls and conduct business while in their vehicles. Having a security driver means peace of mind while on the move, which leads to fewer interruptions or distractions in transit.
A security driver can even go beyond this and do more for his VIP client especially when traveling is involved. He can coordinate with pilots and airport staff in advance, not only will this provide convenience, but it can also eliminate the stress that comes with unforeseen problems such as delays and cancellations.
A VIP is always at the risk of being a target for criminals who can identify him with his expensive and tasteful clothing and accessories. A security driver can act as a shield to his client by altering his routines, such as pick up and drop off points, and will identify the safest routes available and change them if necessary.
Above all, the driver knows what to do and how to act when a threat becomes prevalent.
How to Choose the Right Security-trained Driver
There are no fixed rules on what a security-trained driver should be. This highly depends on the preferences of the executive protection company that trains or employs them.
It could be a cab driver who went through a defensive driving program or he could be a military man with 20 years of relevant experience. There is a set of questions that can be used to assess the credibility of a driver’s security qualifications such as:
- Does he have specialized skills or experience related to this type of work?
- What security-oriented driving courses did he finish?
- Does he have experience in managing operational risk?
- Is he prepared to handle medical emergencies?
The listed questions above are just the basic ones. Those can be more specific which are made to address the specific needs of a VIP client, here are some:
- Is this driver going to be subject to initial and recurring background checks?
- What information is required from the driver in advance of picking up the client?
- Is the driver familiar with the local area?
- What are the pre-mission preparations needed?
- What tools are available to the driver for situational awareness?
- What visibility is available on the driver’s location with the client while on the road?
- Is the driver capable of providing the level of service and discretion that the client needs?
The Right Executive Protection Driver is What You Need
This framework will become extremely useful when weeding out candidates for an internal driver of an outsourced one during traveling.
A security driver may fulfill only some and not all of the items on the list, but he may end up being the right man for the job depending on the needs of the client and the locations that the work involves.
Hiring a security driver means getting in touch with an executive protection company that can vet each agent assigned for their clients.
This gives you priceless peace of mind knowing that you will be getting your investment’s worth when it comes to getting the right security around you and your family.