Progress at any Cost?

Discussion on Advanced and Defensive Driving. IAM, RoSPA/RoADA, High Performance Course. All associated training. Car training.

Postby PeterE » Mon Apr 23, 2012 6:44 pm


Mr Cholmondeley-Warner wrote:So what's "uk r.d." ?

The uk.rec.driving Usenet group. To which Silk still regularly contributes :P
"No matter how elaborate the rules might be, there is not a glimmer of hope that they can cover the infinite variation in real driving situations." (Stephen Haley, from "Mind Driving")
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Postby Mr Cholmondeley-Warner » Mon Apr 23, 2012 8:12 pm


Ah, I see. I'll give that a miss then - Usenet's a bit too much like hard work for my liking :)
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Postby ppjs » Thu May 31, 2012 5:23 pm


Some months back I spent an illuminating 20 minutes with an HPC gatekeeper in which we looked at a disciplined approach to roundabouts with a particular emphasis on when we (that is, I) made the decision about gear selection which, of course is dependent on the decision to go or to wait.

I was asked to say "Now" when I judged that I was ready to make the decision.

NOW - too late!

NOW - too soon!

NOW - too soon!

NOW - too late!

NOW - too soon!

Usually, I was no more than a car's length out - but the effect on smooth and seamless progress was significant. Where the view to the right is less than open, the approach has to be far more deliberate. And it is in the approach to the hazard (whatever it is) that the plan is made and the system is either accurately deployed or is compressed and rushed.

Of course, I still occasionally get it wrong. :oops:

Still learning :lol:
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Postby Horse » Thu May 31, 2012 5:33 pm


ppjs wrote:Some months back I spent an illuminating 20 minutes with an HPC gatekeeper . . .

Of course, I still occasionally get it wrong. :oops:

Still learning :lol:


To be honest, it sounds as if he didn't actually help your learning at all, apart from - possibly - you learning where he would have changed gear. :shock: :?

Wouldn't it have been better to park up, discuss what you gain by changing gear and what 'drives' (sic) your decisions and the location of the change, then walking along the pavement or verge on the approach to a roundabout so that you understood 'where' the decision should be made - then go for a drive to put it into practice? :?:

OK, you my have done this, but if you still can't do it, is the 'failing' due to lack of understanding or lack of discipline to follow the principles?

Or . . . could it be that you don't actually agree - and your brain is digging its heels in and refusing to play? :lol:

If I've got the wrong impression, please tell more!
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Postby ppjs » Thu May 31, 2012 6:45 pm


Horse wrote:To be honest, it sounds as if he didn't actually help your learning at all, apart from - possibly - you learning where he would have changed gear.


Believe me, HPC gatekeepers know their trade; the 10 minutes I described followed a very careful and probing Q & A session. I perfectly understood what I was seeking to achieve and I found the whole experience illuminating. I learnt a great deal - not least that HPC entry is just a staging-post on the journey.

The fact that I occasionally make mistakes doesn't worry me; mistakes are learning opportunities. The day I cease to make mistakes will be the day I cease to draw breath :wink:

Mistakes can occur for all the reasons you suggest - and a good many more.
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Postby Horse » Thu May 31, 2012 8:49 pm


ppjs wrote:
Horse wrote:To be honest, it sounds as if he didn't actually help your learning at all, apart from - possibly - you learning where he would have changed gear.


Believe me, HPC gatekeepers know their trade; the 10 minutes I described . . .


. . . You described as '20 minutes'! :lol:

Go on then, explain how to select the 'perfect'/correct gear change position - I'm honestly intrigued to know.
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Postby ppjs » Sat Jun 02, 2012 7:50 am


ppjs wrote:Go on then, explain how to select the 'perfect'/correct gear change position - I'm honestly intrigued to know.


10 minutes brief and debrief; 10 minutes exercise :?

There is no one 'perfect' place. Every hazard has its own set of parameters. In the end, what I re-discovered is that the Roadcraft system is not a set of rules but of guidelines. As far as making the decision is concerned, not before you've got sufficient information is probably best... :)

In the case of the roundabout exercise, the roundabouts varied greatly in layout, visibility, road width and so on. Taking a gear for the approach before knowing (rather than guessing, assuming, hoping) that there is a gap means that inevitably errors will occur from time to time. Information is 85% of making a driving plan. What I learnt on the roundabouts was that I was not consistently accurate in my selection because I was not consistently accurate in the information phase.

That's all. It's not rocket science, but even those of us with quite advanced driving qualifications need regular health-checks. 8)
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Postby TripleS » Sat Jun 02, 2012 8:57 am


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