New JV to deliver “road risk reduction” training

12.00 | 21 February 2014 | | 8 comments

A new joint venture between a training provider and the Rockingham circuit has been established to “deliver hands-on, experience-based non-circuit training to help road risk reduction”.

The philosophy behind R³Rockingham, which is targetting all drivers including those who have not yet taken their test, is that “you can’t just tell a driver to drive better”. 

R³Rockingham is expected to be of particular interest to fleet drivers whose vehicle is their place of work. R³Rockingham will help prove occupational road risk compliance for companies, reduce the number of lost days owing to accidents and reduce fuel bills.

Steve Lewis of R³Rockingham said: “Driving is the most dangerous activity that most of us do every day.

“By capturing hearts and minds, R³Rockingham puts real-life experience into context using monitored and measured professional instruction at our unique facility near Corby.

“The best way to understand what R3 means is to experience it first-hand.

We would be delighted to invite road safety professionals for a brief site visit to discover for themselves what we have to offer.”

For more information contact Steve Lewis on 07785 773341.



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    There is plenty of research available which points to an increased risk in poor conditions for those who have experienced skid pan training. The training gives one the sense that one can recover from a skid, so one can therefore drive nearer the limit when on slippery surfaces. It is OK on the artificial environment of a skid pan, without other traffic, walls, kerbs, telegraph poles, pedestrians, etc., but in the real world things are markedly different. In most circumstances it is better to be so afraid of the consequences of a skid that one drives nowhere near the limit. Skid pan training is good fun, but for the most part it is not about reducing risk.

    Skid pan training is also mostly unrealistic: witness the photo of an oversteering BMW that accompanies the article. Most modern cars simply understeer, unless rear-wheel drive and severely provoked, but correcting a front wheel skid is easy, intuitive for most drivers, and rather boring. Hence the training is all about oversteer, which few drivers will encounter.

    David, Suffolk
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    “Driving is the most dangerous thing most of us do everyday” is true – for most of us. Obviously if one spends one’s time doing other potentially dangerous activities e.g. working for one of the emergency services; armed forces; climbing mountains etc. it may not be, relatively speaking, but for most of us, it is.

    Perhaps it would be better to say: ‘Driving is the riskiest activity most of us do everyday’.

    Hugh Jones, Cheshire
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    As Duncan and Dave have shown, there is a world of difference between a session of 121 expert rally driver training on a variety of surfaces and accompanying imparting of knowledge and experience and “an hour on a skid pan”.

    Research and actual experience of running skid pan training for young drivers has demonstrated that, without sufficient practice AND accompanying theoretical and driver attitude input to accompany the improved skills, you actually put young drivers at greater risk: they are likely to go out on the road thinking they can control a skid and drive through situations that they are not properly equipped to deal with and that, had they also been given the brain bit along with the skills, they would not have got into in the first place.

    I am sure that this JV will take full notice of this and ensure that they get the young people’s thinking right before they increase their skills – it must be both, please.

    Honor Byford, Chair of RSGB
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    All agreed including the comments, other than ” “Driving is the most dangerous activity that most of us do every day”.

    It most certainly isn’t. Anyone doubting that should Google the relevant national data. Not forgetting that cycling is some 15 times more dangerous, motorcycling 40 times and being in hospital 200 times!

    Idris Francis Fight Back With Facts Petersfield
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    This is really good news and can save lives. After my nephew passed his test I tried to get skid-pan training for him but couldn’t find a venue anywhere. I eventually got him an hour 1on1 at a rally driving school.

    The rally driver earned my nephew’s respect by showing just how fast the car could go on the slippery gravel surface and this meant his advice was listened to – intently. My nephew, going substantially slower, kept spinning the car and discovered he had much to learn. The rally driver said afterwards, in front of my nephew, that young lads don’t have a clue, they haven’t learnt to read the conditions, feel the balance of the car or not brake and corner at the same time. Despite being basically told off, my nephew loved it!

    Skid-pan training (or rally school) can save lives because we don’t want a driver’s first experience of loss of control (the biggest factor in fatal collisions) to be when a pedestrian steps out or a corner tightens. The point is to teach drivers to recognise the situations they can’t control so they can avoid getting into them in the first place.

    Dave Finney, Slough
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    i consider that this training can only do good and turn out better drivers which will make the roads a safer place.

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    This will be a great thing so long as they teach people that they can’t recover from a skid rather than teaching them to think that they can. You cannot ‘learn’ motor skills like this in just one day as it takes many hours of purposeful practice in order that the correct actions are called when the circumstances demand them. All you can learn in one day are the rules that give you a framework to help you judge the success or failure of your subsequent practice sessions. Training does not make you an expert at anything, but it should show you how much of a learner you really are and how much you have yet to do before you really do become an expert.

    Duncan MacKillop, Stratford on Avon
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    Finally! Just what the UK has been screaming out for. Other countries in Europe have skid pan training as part of a driving test, it amazes me how easy it is to pass a test in the UK without much more than learning how to start, stop and drive around corners. Great idea, for the benefit of all drivers, I really hope this succeeds.

    Jack Bathust
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