All our courses are bespoke to the needs of the driver, whether they be in a car or van. Some drivers will have more attention to various elements than others, based on them as a driver. However, below is a list of the things we typically look at during one of our UK wide advanced/defensive driving courses:
- Forward planning and observation
Forward planning and observation is a key element of safer, more skilful driving. By teaching a driver to plan and observe more effectively, we are helping them see hazards earlier, which gives them time to plan – to position themselves, and to spend less time “reacting” (often) at the last minute. Forward planning and observation filters down to so many other elements of safer driving too, such as smoother use of vehicle controls, less wear and tear, improved fuel economy, reduced driver fatigue, reduced chances of road rage, and of course a lower occurrence of a road traffic collision taking place. By seeing you are planning.
- Speed awareness
In modern cars and vans it is all too easy to drive too fast. Driving too fast doesn’t have to mean exceeding the speed limit either. Sometimes speed can be a significant issue, even if a driver is travelling well below the posted speed limit. Speed awareness is all about driving to the conditions, which means being aware, planning and making effective observation. We teach drivers techniques to help them manage their speed more effectively. Speeding in 20 and 30mph limits is often an issue driver face. With our training we will work with the driver to adopt a strategy, which works best for them and the vehicle they are driving.
- Developing a positive attitude towards safer driving
Some drivers have a negative attitude towards safer driving. This can be include things such as admitting they often speed when they are running late, others can have more pronounced issues, such as not seeing the benefit of driver training, or find driver training a waste of time. We work with a driver as an individual and look at ways to modify their attitudes. For some drivers it’s about building their confidence and responsibility (I hate driving, and I don’t really think that much about safer driving either), for others it’s about looking for reasons for their strong negative attitudes and behaviour (The Police should focus on catching real criminals, not for those who speed from time to time!). It’s all about understanding them as a driver and finding the best way to help them improve their attitude to safer driving.
- How to become a safer driver on all roads
Some drivers have a real hangup on certain roads (this is usually motorways), which is ironic as they are statistically the safest roads. We understand drivers like/dislike certain roads. During our advanced/defensive driving course we try and cover as many road types as possible, to ensure training is comprehensive, and gives the tutor a chance to assess and coach the driver on all roads. Rural roads for example place more emphasis on car control, while motorway training places more focus on awareness and anticipation of other drivers and their intentions, although both of these elements are important on all roads.
- Car or van control (gears, steering, foot controls, signals)
This is a more tactical element of our driver training, but certainly plays a part in safer, more skilful driving. Vehicle control improves as observation and planning is developed, as we mention on the first point on this page. Also we can look at techniques such as how best to hold a steering wheel, seat position, using the palming method to select gears and so on to improve a drivers vehicle control. Car control also looks at things like The Limit Point, which helps a driver assess corners on mainly rural roads, and how to safely carry speed through these corners without the need for unnecessary braking or change in speed.
- Rules of the road
Rules of the road covers a wide range of things from road signs and what they mean, to driving licence entitlements, motorway regulations, and various rules for different vehicles. Becoming familiar with the Highway code provides a great base for improving a drivers knowledge. With UK familiarisation sessions we can place more emphasis on rules of the road, which are often a useful addition to driver training for those that are new to the UK.
- Dealing with road rage
For some drivers, road rage is a significant issue – for others it’s not. Dealing with road rage is all about understanding the root cause, and how to them best defuse such. Many road rage encounters can be defused easily, or even better – stopped from happening in the first place.
- Reversing and manoeuvres
We can provide training for those drivers who need help with reversing and manoeuvres. This is often especially so for drivers who are driving vans and larger vehicles, where reversing often accounts for many collisions due to their size. With reversing we look at various strategies such as G.O.A.L (Get out and Look) to help a driver with safer reversing and manoeuvres.
- Dealing with adverse weather
We can cover the theory of dealing with driving in adverse weather. However, providing training in the UK means it’s not that uncommon to be providing a training session in heavy rain, ice or some other challenging weather. We spend time doing vehicle checks with a client, which can include introducing them to P.O.W.D.E.R checks (Petrol, Oil, Water, Damage, Electrics, Rubber), which in all situations are critical – but especially so when planning to drive in adverse weather.
- Town and urban defensive driving
Most of our advanced/defensive driving courses take place on rural roads, and motorways. However, we also like to provide an element of training in town and urban environments. This part of the training looks at dealing with vulnerable road users, such as cyclists, and also how to allow adequate space between a vehicle and parked cars. We also use this element to focus on low speed control and being aware of things like bus lanes and restricted areas.
- Driving in heavy traffic and allowing adequate space
One of the key things we like to focus on with urban training is leaving adequate space between vehicles in queuing traffic. This provides a number of benefits such as providing rolling space should you get hit from behind, allows you to get out of queue if needed, by avoiding being boxed in (which actually is an element of close protection driving). It also is useful if a vehicle in front brakes down – again, helping you avoid getting boxed in.
- Skid control theory and learning what causes skids
While we don’t provide skid pan training, we do cover the reasons for skids (it’s a sign you are driving too fast for the conditions), and we look at ways how to deal with them, from both a tactical (steering into/use of accelerator etc) and strategic (forward planning) view point.
You can book your course today online at www.advanced-driving.co.uk/book/