Protection during the Travel Route
Executives, dignitaries, celebrities often find themselves in a time crunch. Whether it's travelling from home to work or event to event they want the fastest and safest route possible. Travel might include urban, rural, or winter mountain resorts. Miles may be less than 10 or over 100. What we know for sure is that it is the protector's job to pick the safest most efficient route possible. We use what we call a route survey. This gives us the answers to questions but driving the route gives us the muscle memory and visual identification of the route itself. Technology gives us the Global Positioning System (GPS) but relying on it alone can put us in a bind if it is incorrect and we are unfamiliar with the area.
When we look at driving the route we want to drive the route to point of arrival and from point of departure. Which lane do you want to be in? A place like New York City where if you are in the wrong lane you will need to change lanes abruptly or drive around the block to correct yourself may impose extra time, may cause your principal to spill their cup of coffee, or get you in an accident. If you have driven the road you know which lane to be in and where exactly your point of arrival is. In downtown Los Angeles where everything seems to be a one way street or if you are in London and driving includes a plethora of traffic circles knowing the exact route will make travelling with your principal flawless.
A GPS will usually show a red line to indicate some sort of traffic congestion. Knowing the route during the time of travel however, will give you an idea of he flow of traffic; which will include any construction zones on the travel route. Since accidents can pop up at anytime it's imperative that you focus on your driving and the traffic way ahead of you; such as, vehicles driving erratic or brake lights coming on. If you are attending a special event then you must know exactly where to go so to avoid getting stuck in traffic that leads you to an entire different area of the event.
Know your potential choke points. Construction zones such as road construction and especially building construction can have a huge impact on travel efficiency. Railroads, bridges (especially in an area where there are draw bridges), toll booths, tunnels, school zones, known special events, other dangerous areas (areas with rock slide or avalanche arms) just to name a few.
Know your safety points or route safe havens. I prefer any Law Enforcement agency near the route, fire departments, or 24/7 hospitals in the area. Barring any of these I would next think of hotels but the hotel must be secured in a way that would constitute a safe haven; for example, enclosed with security features such as cameras, and personnel working at all hours.
If you are driving your principal to and from work and to or from their residence try and find at least two routes and drive them and time them both. You might find that some residential access streets might be faster with less traffic stops such as stop lights that you might have on every block. If that residence goes through a high crime area then you might consider a more populated area to travel.
If you are driving long distances you should consider two drivers. If you get fatigued you are not safe for yourself or the principal. If you find yourself in a minor accident then keep the principal inside the vehicle and call for someone to pick them up and continue them to their event. Of course if the accident is more serious you will render the proper first aid to you and the principal.
Protective driving is a main source of protection for the principal. A good, thorough, and well trained driver can maximize productivity as well as safety and efficiency for the principal. Remember to always stay safe and always be vigilant.