The seat belt myth is another one of the great and dangerous myths in the executive protection. When performing operational work, we can often see fellow protectors in their units, either in the escort vehicle or in the main vehicle, without seat belts, or often strapping them over the seat to avoid the annoying security alert sound emitted by the vehicle. Here, at the outset, we come to the paradox of the security agent who does not obey basic safety rules. This dangerous fallacy is due to the false teaching (inculcated for decades by pseudo-instructors) that says that an escort should not wear a seat belt because it slows down his reaction.
As we have mentioned in other articles and studies, the reaction in the executive protection in real-life situations is only effective in 5 % of cases, which makes the argument against seat belt use irrelevant from the outset, but let's take a closer look at this dangerous myth in the executive security.
By not wearing a seat belt, the escort not only puts his personal integrity at serious risk in the event of an automobile accident, but also puts all the occupants of the vehicle at risk, regardless of whether they are wearing a seat belt or not, since, depending on how the crash occurs, the unbelted person can be projected or bounced in different directions and hit the other passengers. As we know, under normal risk conditions a car accident is much more likely than an armed attack, so the escort, by not wearing a seat belt, increases the risk instead of reducing it.
The fact that the escorts did not wear their seat belts more than once was used by the criminals to eliminate them without firing a single shot. In the book Executive Protection in the 21st Century: The New Doctrine describes a kidnapping that occurred several years ago in Mexico City in which the criminals, realizing that the escorts were not wearing their seat belts, used a pickup truck to hit the rear escort vehicle, which crashed into the main car. The escorts, projected onto the windshield, were knocked unconscious and the kidnapping was consummated in an instant. The situation becomes even more dangerous when the escort, who is not wearing a seat belt, is inside the armored car. This position, in the event of an accident, also implies a great danger for both the protected person and his family, because, as already explained, the escort can be eliminated in an instant by the criminals. Thus, not having a seat belt not only represents a serious harm to the passengers, but also makes the job easier for the criminals.
On the other hand, what does the escort intend to do in the armored vehicle in the event of a risky situation: draw his weapon and shoot inside the armored vehicle and, eventually, kill the occupants with the bullets ricocheting inside? Or open the armored vehicle to shoot and thus expose the executive to gunfire? In either case, the action would only aggravate the situation and, therefore, in no way justifies not having a seat belt on.
Likewise, not having the seat belt fastened constitutes a violation of the Traffic Regulations, so that the vehicle may be stopped at any time by the police for an infraction, which would cause delays and inconvenience to the executive.
Finally, all of those who have received moderately good training in executive protection and are familiar with the technique know perfectly well that wearing a seat belt (or removing it, as the case may be) does not slow down any kind of reaction at all, so not wearing it is completely unfounded and, moreover, significantly increases the risks instead of reducing them. Once again, within the executive protectionIn addition, half-knowledge and faulty training are far worse than ignorance.