Personal Safety Training (Driving – Being Followed)
So why do we think it is important to train our staff in how to react safely when driving, and when I mean driving I am focusing on the subject of being followed.
If anyone has been followed (and that includes myself) they can tell you it is a very emotional and stressing experience. Let’s take me for instance and I don’t want to go into what actually happened some years back, but for instance I am 6.2ft and had worked within the enforcement sector for a number of years (nope not going their either) and besides working part time on Night Club doors I had been in some rumbles and tumbles. However when you have someone you suspect of being intentionally behind you it does raise questions in your head like Why and What are they going to do and most of all are they carrying a weapon and this did make me nervous as well.
I have looked at this subject for some years and have worked with some fantastic organisations that tackle this issue on a daily basis, and the good news is that a high percentage of people who follow you only have the intention of scaring you and not to physically harm you. This does not deter from the levels of stress that such a situation will affect you by at the time, but below are a few more simple tips to remember to hopefully reduce the risk and stress that you may feel.
Driving: You must try and keep to a moderate speed, as your emotions will want you to speed up to loose the vehicle that is following you. Increasing speed could result in an accident because if you are focused on the follower then your attention reduces from the front of the road and increases by up to 70% to the rear of the car. This is when accidents happen. (Tip: Move the centre mirror on straight roads to ease nerves)
Lock Doors: Check if you have locked the car doors and all windows are fully shut. This will increase your security confidence and ease any tension levels.
Confirm: If possible on large roundabouts continue round or drive round a building block x2, as this will enable you to not only confirm if you are being followed, but also acknowledging to the driver that you have identified them. Remember to always stick to routes you know and never take chances even if it extends your journey.
Calling for Help: You may be tempted to call someone for help, but my advice would be to be careful who you would select, because if you ring someone that can be easily excited then they could rush to help you and in the process crash or cause an accident. Put yourself in the position of someone calling you now and saying they are being followed, how would you react? Emotionally or Rationally
Drive to: We recommend driving safely towards a Police or Fire station, or your own place of work. Driving home would not be recommended as the person following would then have knowledge of your personal life. We would also recommend that you do not drive directly to a friend or relatives home as I am sure you would not be popular having to explain to them that you popped round because you were being followed! We do not advise a shopping centre or somewhere that you may think is populated, but even the forecourt of most garages have CCTV to record as evidence if needed. Lastly when safe take all relevant details and report it to your place of work.
The above are tips and ideas to minimise the risk, but they will never replace effective training that if you have identified a risk it is your responsibility to act upon.
For more help please contact us at Quell.
Tomorrow we will look at attending a meeting off-site or a home visit and tips on what to think about.
Blog by Will Holland