Study shows benefits of advanced driving

12.00 | 27 June 2012 | | 5 comments

Drivers coached beyond the L-test to advanced driving standards are more aware of other road users, road conditions and hazards on the road, according to a new survey commissioned by the IAM.

The survey showed that: 90% of advanced drivers are more aware of other road users and potential hazards; 66% believe that advanced driver training helped them to avoid an incident or collision; and 78% have better car-handling skills.

The independent survey of 2,500 IAM members also reveals that advanced driving saves fuel and money, with 60% saying their driving is more fuel efficient as a result of taking a course.

Men are more likely (than women) to say their driving has become more responsible, considerate and tolerant, and that they drive less fast as a result of the course; while women are more likely to say their driving has become more decisive and confident. 89% of respondents agreed that taking the IAM test had a permanent positive effect on their day-to-day driving.

Simon Best, IAM chief executive, said: “We know that educating drivers and changing their attitudes to driving makes them safer. This report also demonstrates an improvement in hazard awareness and therefore a reduction in the likelihood of an accident.

“Young and inexperienced drivers in particular will benefit from further coaching, but more experience on the road doesn’t mean that your attitude to driving is any healthier.  Advanced drivers are significantly safer in a number of key areas, including speed, maintaining safe distances between themselves and other drivers, cornering and use of mirrors.”

Click here to read the full report, or for more information contact the IAM on 020 8996 9777.


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    I have just started to read the actual report which I must admit I failed to do initially. Only got to paragraph 2 and found them talking about ‘and making good progress’.

    What exactly does this mean?

    Perhaps they could have said good and safe progress or good safe progress or just safe progress within the existing speed limits.

    Saying what they did say, to my mind, draws the conclusion otherwise. Previously I have been aware of many who were trained particularly on motorcycles to make progress as in the police motorcycle riding handbook, This actually means progress up to the speed limit and not over, tho they (or rather the instructors) accept, rightly or wrongly, that in order to make progress one must overtake anything in front without the consideration that in order to do so one must exceed the relevant speed limit.

    I know that what I have stated is a generalisation and some will now defend the IAM. They do make the point, often, that after undertaking training one would be able to ride with greater confidence and at an increased speed.

    I ask is that what we want?

    bob craven LANCS
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    Totally agree with Bob Craven: self-reported attitudinal change is no evidence of behavioural change, and even that’s in a self-selecting already-careful population. It could even be adverse – the self-reported improved skill might make these drivers over-confident and over-involved in accidents. No evidence of benefit either way at present?

    Kate Carpenter, London
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    I must agree with Bob Craven’s comment about getting to those with the wrong attitude.

    In order to even attempt to do this we would need to provide an incentive to these drivers by way of greatly reduce insurance costs. People need to be motivated to do something beyond the L test. In my experience as a Diamond Advanced Driving Instructor, many shy away at the very thought of another test.

    For some time I have thought that driving licences should be graded in a similar way an ADI has gradings on their teaching licence,in that way the higher the grade the lower the cost of insurance.

    At present, drivrs in the main only receive further education if they go on speed awareness courses,
    Alan S Hudson Dip DI
    Preston, Lancs.

    Preston, Lancashire
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    I would imagine that of the 2,500 advanced drivers questioned all would agree that further training is of value. Without one exception. Wouldn’t you?

    I am however somewhat sceptical on accident stats we do not have. Maybe a question as to whether a casualty has indeed been instructed on advanced techniques, either advanced or track days for a twv. So we cannot quantify as to the assumption that advanced riders/drivers do not have or are not involved in any accidents.

    Maybe the insurers who give their clients discount can obtain some statistics and give an actual picture for us. No other authority can?

    Don’t get me wrong, I believe that further training is a good thing particularly to change attitude but the persons who indulge themselves in such training generally have the right attitude anyway. We don’t seem to get to those with the wrong attitude.

    Bob Craven
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    Post test driver and rider training & education is a key tool in reducing road casualties. The difficult part is getting the uptake. A required rider / driver assesment every 5 years, paid for by the user, would be a great step forward in ensuring people maintain and develop their skills and help to reduce the decline in driving standards.

    Dave, Leeds
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