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About Advanced Driving

In 2000 DSA of Great Britain agreed (with IAM, RoSPA, and DAM) the following definition of advanced driving:

“Advanced driving is the ability to control the position and speed of the vehicle safely, systematically and smoothly, using road and traffic conditions to make reasonable progress unobtrusively, with skill and responsibility. The skill requires a positive but courteous attitude and a high standard of driving competence based on concentration, effective all round observation, anticipation and planning. This must be co-ordinated with good handling skills. The vehicle should always be at the right place on the road at the right time, travelling at the right speed with the correct gear engaged and can always be stopped safely in the distance that can be seen to be clear.”

The Institute of Advanced Motorists was formed in March 1956 with the primary objective of promoting road safety. It now has a total active membership of more than 100,000.

Since then other organisations have been setup such as RoADA – RoSPA Advanded Drivers Association and High Performance Club, all of which conduct a form of “Advanced Driving Test”.

Through the Advanced Driving Test, these organisations aim to raise driving standards by increasing the competence of drivers. It was determined in a Transport and Road Safety Laboratory Report published in December 1972 that Advanced motorists have between 50% to 70% lower accident rate. It should be emphasised that higher driving standards can reduce the likelihood of an accident, and this is the main and most significant benefit of an Advanced Driving Organisation.

To raise driving standards, the each organisation conducts an Advanced Driving Test, which all members have passed. The test is based on the ‘Roadcraft’ system of car control as taught in Home Office Approved Police Driving Schools, and all the Examiners have undergone specialised Police Training and hold Advanced Driving Certificates.

There are various advantages to becoming an Advanced Driver,:

  • Advanced Drivers tend to drive more economically, so less wear and tear on your engine and components (cheaper motoring !)
  • As you wont be stressing the car as much, less fuel consumption.
  • You will be an all round safer, and more competent motorist. Much more aware of what is going on around you.
  • You will be much more skillful behind the wheel. For some people, it will speed you up and be more progressive. Always being able to stop in the distance you can see to be clear. For others it slow you down, but make you more observant to take overtaking opportunities safely and generally make you a more “progressive” driver.

More than 270,000 drivers have now passed the IAM Advanced Driving Test alone and statistics show that their chances of having an accident are cut by two thirds. As IAM members they ‘could’ benefit from lower insurance and motoring costs, plus many other advantages of membership. Advanced Motorists are normal drivers who have the skill to be safer on the roads and enjoy their driving more.

To date, the institute has conducted well over 310,000 tests countrywide. Statistics show that drivers who have passed their test have a 50% to 75% lower chance of being the cause of an accident. Did you know that every 90 seconds of every day and night another person is injured in a traffic accident, nearly 1,000 road accidents per day?

The Advanced Driving Test is taken only when you are ready. It is a thorough test of your driving skills which cover a wide variety of roads. You will be expected to show that you can concentrate and handle your vehicle capably, sympathetically, systematically and exhibit courteous, responsible driving behavior.

Having established the standard for the Advanced Driving Test, which is based on the police system of car control, over 200 groups have been successfully formed and to date they have assisted many people passing their Advanced Test.

A little about Advanced Driving
Advanced Driving (or Defensive Driving) has many advantages, the main one of course being that it makes people better, safer drivers. Offshoot benefits of this include reduced motoring costs due to reducing car insurance premiums though keeping your No Claims Discount (or NCD), cheaper maintenance because as an Advanced Driver, your usage of the brakes, clutch, gears will be much more smooth and in Sync with the car, and the road.

For some people taking an Advanced Driving Course will speed you up, for others it will slow you down. It will teach you how to better assess risk and to determine what is and is not an appropriate speed for any given situation. Many people do not assess risks and hazards to a level sufficient to drive to a high standard. But the majority of people would still claim they are a “good driver”. Purely because of 10 years or more of No Claims Discount. Those same people are the ones who will probably drive at inappropriate speeds in 30’s, well below a speed that is safe, legal and appropriate in 60’s. Purely due to a lack of observation, skill and awareness of what is actually going on around them.

Many people drive at 40mph in 30’s. Most of the time, given traffic density and hazards the speed would be wholly inappropriate. Of course as an example, driving past a school at 30mph at 3.30pm the speed would also not be appropriate. In the same view, many people also drive at 40mph in a 60mph limit. In many instances the 60mph limit could well be very appropriate given visibility, weather and road conditions. But still many people stay at 40mph, holding others up when there is no need to.

Any Advanced Driving Course will show you the RoadCraft way of dealing with hazards as well as gaining more progress. It will give you confidence to enjoy your driving !

Advanced Driving, when used properly will make you drive more Safely, in a Systematic manner much more Smoothly, at the right Speed. You should always be in the right gear, right position on the road at the right time. All this adds up to a much more enjoyable drive. Not boring, or slow, but quite often more swift, progressive and certainly more exhilarating than your average every day driver.

This website is your Advanced Driving portal. Somewhere for discussion, information & articles or driving tips, motoring news and much more.

NOTE: Advanced Driving UK does not condone speeding on Britains roads by anyone, let alone Advanced Drivers. Advanced Drivers have a responsibility to know “better” and lead by example due to the effort and training recieved.