Security drivers are, more often than not, seen as a luxury or ostentatious expense to an organisation. Many people have the opinion that a security driver is only used by wealthy individuals who wish to flaunt their wealth. This is a false perception, even though a security driver is an extra expense, a security driver is a vital asset to any organisation.
What is a security driver?
It is a common misconception that a security driver and a chauffeur are the same thing. There are vast differences between the two.
By definition, a chauffeur is a person employed to drive a passenger motor vehicle, especially a luxury vehicle such as a large sedan or limousine. They’re simply an individual who will transport you wherever you need to be.
While a security driver is someone who will also transport you where you need to be, there is so much more to their role than just that. Briefly, a security driver:
- Thoroughly inspects the vehicle to ensure safe operation
- Conducts any necessary vehicle maintenance
- Uses defensive and evasive driving to keep you safe
- Conducts foot patrol and surveillance
- Conducts a thorough assessment of the route and area beforehand
There are additional skills that executive protection officers and security drivers need to have, these are known as soft skills.
Soft skills are less tangible and harder to quantify. These are often overlooked as simply the characteristics of an individual and therefore excluded from many executive protection courses.
These characteristics include:
- Problem solving abilities
- Time management
- Work ethic
- Listening and engaging in small talk
Security Driver Responsibilities
A security driver is thoroughly trained and has a broad set of skills that combines evasive and defensive driving training, vehicle safety inspection and maintenance, foot patrol and surveillance. Before embarking with the principal on any scheduled trip (either a close trip or abroad), the driver will thoroughly inspect the vehicle, assuring it’s safe and clean. The number of vehicles and drivers will vary depending on the level of risk or environment. A low-risk client may just have one vehicle, whereas a high-level individual may require additional cars to form a fleet that will flank the principal’s vehicle.
Security driver candidates must:
- hold a valid driving license
- be well-trained
- have impeccable communication and written skills
- be well presented and well spoken
- maintain an air of professionalism at all times
Security drivers also have to have continuous training to ensure they keep abreast with new technology and new security methods.
The duties of a security driver are much more involved than that of a chauffeur. Security driver duties include:
- Vehicle patrol of exterior areas of given locations
- Foot patrol of interior/exterior areas of given locations
- Surveillance and reporting any suspicious activities and persons
- Proactive response to any emergency situation
- Enforcement of procedures and rules for the safe transportation of the principal
- Car fleet management and upkeep
Perk or prerequisite to a business?
As noted earlier, security drivers can offer much more than high-performance vehicle manipulation, particularly in unfamiliar locations far from home.
For example, properly-trained security drivers typically engage in pre-mission planning that ensures they avoid risk in the first place. In addition, the drivers have access to ongoing oversight and threat monitoring tools that allow them to maintain situational awareness, even while driving. Those with medical training are able to provide care to travellers experiencing emergency symptoms while on the road.
Beyond that, the way security drivers can support their executives’ time and productivity on the road should be considered as part of the organisation’s broader asset protection program. For top executives, time is money – and that’s even true while they’re in the car. Because a security driver is better able to avoid disruptive situations, there are likely to be fewer distractions or interruptions in transit that could derail productivity or result in costly itinerary changes.
The adequate protection of your employees is your legal obligation as part of their duty of care. A security driver will ensure the safety of your employees. There is also a return on investment (ROI) to a security driver. We say this because, replacing the time lost, replacing the loss of a valuable employee and internal know-how is huge. By protecting your employees, you are protecting your entire organisation from immeasurable loss.
A security driver is not a fancy addition to your company. It is a valuable asset that will have a long-term return on investment that you will regret not having. Contact us for more information on our secure travel management or the other services we offer.