Steve Lewis managing director of R3 Rockingham, explains why the best time to invest in the ‘nut holding the wheel’ is not just before they hit a tree or ditch.
Did anyone ever teach us how to use ABS properly? How to recognise the start of a skid, or what to do when it happens? How and when to brake, and where to look?
Drivers may have been told by their mates, or even their dad – but you can’t just tell a driver to drive better.
Too many people are killed because drivers lose control of their vehicle. This is often because they have no idea how close to the limit of grip they are.
To say ‘drive to the conditions’ is all well and good but most drivers have no concept of how the ‘conditions’ will influence grip and therefore control, yet alone how their actions will create loss of control.
For many years I’ve been teaching people on-track how to feel and understand what a car is doing underneath them, and how their inputs directly affect what the vehicle does.
I’ve also instructed in skid cars for others, but became frustrated by the fact it was seen as a ‘fun/corporate’ activity. For me, the message is much more serious than that.
Using the low grip surfaces and skid plate at our unique Corby facility, we encourage drivers from 14-70yrs to get-it-wrong (in safety) and learn from their mistakes – with professional instructors explaining the best techniques and, more importantly, what not to do when faced with wet, snowy or icy roads.
Once they have spun or skidded into a potentially life-threatening crash situation, without knowing why, or what they did, or should have done – drivers then listen and respond fully to instruction both in car and in classroom. We see a real ‘hearts and minds’ shift in attitude and awareness.
They truly ‘get-it’, because actions speak louder than words.
Effective training involves analysis of progress. That’s why we measure this by testing understanding and application at all stages – with a result at the end of the course.
Our skid courses should not be seen in isolation. They are most effective when combined with on-road ADI instruction; this helps put everything into context.
How often can you truly learn skills that could save your life, and the lives of others?
R3 Rockingham provides hands-on training programmes for all drivers, particularly young drivers taking the wheel for the first time. Courses are delivered by enthusiastic, highly-qualified driving professionals in and around the controlled environment of the Rockingham facility near Corby in Northamptonshire. R3 stands for ‘Road Risk Reduction’.