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Episode 155 - Decision Sight Distance

Executive Protection and Secure Transportation Podcast

Release Date: 11/03/2020

Episode 169 - The 2020 ISDA Training Survey Results show art Episode 169 - The 2020 ISDA Training Survey Results

Executive Protection and Secure Transportation Podcast

Last year ISDA conducted an Executive Protection Security Driver Training Survey. The 2020 ISDA Training Survey Results Our goals were to determine the dollar value of the Executive Protection and Security Driving training market. To acquire metrics concerning what motivates potential students to attend one program over another- such as - How did they fund their training? - How many training programs have they attended during their career? - What was their motivation to participate in the training programs? We also wanted to determine what training subjects were covered and the average length...

Episode 168 - The Science of Backing Up show art Episode 168 - The Science of Backing Up

Executive Protection and Secure Transportation Podcast

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Episode 167 - The Security Drivers Triangle show art Episode 167 - The Security Drivers Triangle

Executive Protection and Secure Transportation Podcast

The Essence of Security Driving is Found in the Security Drivers Triangle. The driver's ability to avoid vehicle violence does not depend solely on their ability to control the vehicle. A driver is at the mercy of the environment and of the vehicle, they are driving. Driving, any form of driving, is a balance, and that balance is called the "driving system." The driving system is made up of three components: THE DRIVER, THE MACHINE, and THE ENVIRONMENT. In our world, it is called the Security Drivers Triangle. If a triangle's failure causes an accident or a successful ambush, the driver, the...

Episode 166 - The Difference Between Handling and Cornering show art Episode 166 - The Difference Between Handling and Cornering

Executive Protection and Secure Transportation Podcast

There are two words that are often used in the automotive industry and protective driver training vernacular the words are handling and cornering. To get a better understanding of how the driver interacts with the vehicle requires understanding the difference between Handling and Cornering. While conducting a driver training program understanding this interaction is a must – when running a secure transportation operation, knowledge of this interaction adds to the principal’s safety and security.

Episode 165 - Safety, Security, and the Science of G's show art Episode 165 - Safety, Security, and the Science of G's

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Episode 164 - Vehicle Dynamics and Passing show art Episode 164 - Vehicle Dynamics and Passing

Executive Protection and Secure Transportation Podcast

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Episode 163 - A Dramatic Increase in Carjackings show art Episode 163 - A Dramatic Increase in Carjackings

Executive Protection and Secure Transportation Podcast

Hello, and welcome to episode 163 of the EPST podcast. I'm your host, Larry Snow. The topic for this week’s episode is the huge increase in carjackings. Statistically, driving the principal from point A to point B has been the highest risk the principal faces during their daily routine. A not so new risk needs to be added to that trip, and that is the dramatic increase, in fact, a staggering increase in carjackings in parts of the United States during the pandemic. If you are not familiar with the term, a carjacking is a violent, potentially fatal version of auto theft. Do a Google search...

Episode 162 - Reflecting on the Effects of COVID-19 on the Profession show art Episode 162 - Reflecting on the Effects of COVID-19 on the Profession

Executive Protection and Secure Transportation Podcast

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Episode 161 - Assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh show art Episode 161 - Assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh

Executive Protection and Secure Transportation Podcast

The topic for this week’s episode is an outline of the assassination of Iranian Senior Nuclear Scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh. Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, dubbed the father of the Iranian nuclear program, held the rank of brigadier general in Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). According to intelligence reports, he was responsible for Iran's development of nuclear warheads on ballistic missiles. On Friday, November 27th, 2020, at 2:15 PM, Fakhrizadeh was ambushed while traveling in an armored Nissan Teana on a rural road in Absard. In the past, we've conducted many forensic analyses on...

Episode 160 - Understeer vs. Oversteer show art Episode 160 - Understeer vs. Oversteer

Executive Protection and Secure Transportation Podcast

Understeer and Oversteer are terms used to explain vehicle characteristics, and they are important signals transmitted to you by the vehicle, it is how the vehicle communicates to you. It is the vehicle’s way of telling you what you should do next. In a nutshell, understeer and oversteer are the interrelationships of the front and rear ends of the car. If you drove around a corner or made an emergency maneuver that created 3200 lbs pushing on the CG of your vehicle – in the perfect world your tires would be pushing back 1600 lbs. front and rear. This would be called neutral steering, and...

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The topic of this week's episode is Decision Sight Distance or DSD for short.

Decision Sight Distance plays an essential role for those that provide secure transportation. But understanding DSD is vital for anyone who drives an automobile.

As 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 US, the organization that is responsible for designing our highways, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), have 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.

We have discussed decision-sight distance in past podcasts and articles, but now we would like to present a DSD visual representation. For our podcast listeners, we’ll do our best to describe the visualization.

We'll use the Omar García Harfuch (OGH) scenario. Keep in mind that we are using the OGH scenario for illustration and demonstration purposes only. The attack occurred in the early morning. All the pictures used for this podcast are from Google Street View in daylight. The significant difference is that the OGH’s driver was looking at headlights crossing the intersection—more than likely assuming that the truck would take a left onto Ave Reforma.

To establish a timeline, we looked at the video of the attack; we found that it took approximately 4 seconds for the truck to pull out across and block the intersection. So, from the first time the driver could have seen the truck's headlights to the time the truck stopped, blocking the intersection was four seconds.

Keep in mind that all vehicle attacks or accidents are a time distance relationship - as the blocking vehicle pulled into the intersection, the question is how much time did OGH’s driver have to react? – the answer depends on the speed of the vehicle. If the driver was moving at:

20 MPH/32.2KPH the driver was 8.7 seconds from the Intersection

40 MPH/64.4 KPH the driver was 4.4 seconds from the Intersection

50 MPH/80 KPH the driver was 3.5 seconds from the Intersection

60 MPH/96.6 KPH the driver was 2.9 seconds from the intersection


To get a sense of how much distance the driver had to work with, we use landmarks on Paseo de la Reforma for reference points. The picture depicts the driver's eye view 100 Meters or 328 Feet away from the intersection. If you look at the top right-hand corner of the picture, you can make out a car stopped at the intersection.

We estimated from our forensic analysis that the vehicle was traveling 65 kilometers per hour (or 40 MPH).

From the 100 Meter mark at 65 KPH per hour 40 MPH, the Suburban vehicle was approximately 5 1/2 seconds from the intersection. They were closing in at the rate of 18 Meters Per Second (MPS) or 58.8 Feet Per Second (FPS).

100 meters mark

As they continued down the Paseo de la Reforma moving at 65 KPH per hour 40 MPH, 2.8 seconds later, the vehicle is at the 50 Meter – 164 Foot mark.

The picture shows the driver's eye view at 50 meters – 164 feet from the intersection. You can see the car clearly now; hence the principal vehicle's driver could have also seen what was about to happen.


From the 50 Meter – 164 feet mark one second later, this picture is the driver's view.

32 meters mark

They are 32 Meters 105 feet from the intersection. Assuming that they may have decreased their speed. At this location on the road, if traveling at


20 MPH – 32.2 KPH they are 3.5 Seconds away from the intersection

30 MPH – 48.3 KPH they are 2.4 Seconds away from the intersection

40 MPH – 64.4 KPH they are 1.8 Seconds away from the intersection.


Secure Transportation

Sight distance plays a vital role in supplying safe and secure transportation. It is a significant factor in determining if the event you drive into is winnable. During your route survey, know how far you can see and DO NOT DRIVE FASTER THAN YOU CAN SEE – Which means drive at a speed that will give you the time to react at the given sight distance.


As you are conducting a route survey, the question you need to ask yourself is – At the speed I am moving with the given sight distance, how much time do I have, and in that time frame, what can I do with this vehicle? No matter the scenario, accident, or vehicle violence, if you don't have enough sight distance at the speed you are moving, it is a no-win scenario. Your training must take this into account.


That’s it for this week, I hope you will join us next week for another episode of the EPST podcast. Show notes as well as the short visualization   for this episode are available at SecurityDriver.Com website. Make sure to subscribe to the podcast in your favorite podcast app and if you’ve been listening for a while, let us know what you think by leaving us a review.

If you’ve enjoyed this EPST podcast episode, we invite you to check out the International Security Driver Association.  The ISDA is a valuable resource for all practitioners working in the protection profession. We offer benchmark educational, networking, and marketing programs. Access to the encyclopedia of executive protection and secure transportation – The ISDA knowledge center. The knowledge shared encompasses a wide range of EP and ST focused topics with resources, information, and metrics.

  For more information on all of the member benefits head over to https://isdacenter.org.