Advanced Driving Courses

Earlier in the week I looked at some reasons for taking an advanced driving course. Today I want to think about what subjects should be included as part of a course.

Firstly, the syllabus should include sections on Information, position, speed, gear and acceleration. These elements come together to form what is known as the system of car control. I will be covering each of these in a little more detail over the coming weeks.

However, before even looking at the system of car control the driver has to be able to understand how their personality will influence the way in which they drive. For example, what mood we are in may show itself in our driving if we become short tempered with other drivers or are calm and considerate. Our personal beliefs and attitudes will also influence how we drive. For example, a self belief in being a very good driver may mask our short comings behind the wheel, resulting in our driving errors being 'projected' onto other drivers. Perhaps we realise that driving 3 metres from the vehicle in front can be intimidating? Maybe that's the reason for doing it? Perhaps we no longer even realise what we are doing because our behaviour becomes normalised for us.

So the first part in any advanced driving course involves an honest and open self-assessment of what's in our head. The thoughts, feelings, beliefs, attitudes and so on which make us who we are. All of this influences how we drive and can change second by second to have either a positive impact on the way we drive, such as the being courteous, or negative behaviours such as tailgating even when no more progress can be made. A bit of light flashing or horn blowing, helping to vent our frustrations. Even though most of us  would never consider behaving in such a way, any where else other than on the road.

Our state of mind has to be right before we get behind the wheel. All of the skills based stuff can be learned. It is not hard...I can do it. So can you.

How do you manage your feelings when you are driving? Do you recognise what irritates you or causes a bad reaction? Do you know what to do, to step back, think, take a deep breath and move on?

Alistair Stuart Driver Trainer