Advanced driving course?

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AnnasMerc83

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Mercedes 200 1983
Can anyone recommend an advanced/tactical/defensive driving course?

I’ve found the IAM road smart charity that can provide the lessons and the test that’s recognised by the DVSA. But aside from that there’s a load of other companies, with some seemingly aimed at security guards/businesses.

But is there anything better out there? Perhaps putting my money in some ‘race’ driving lessons instead (london rally school)?

My interest is more defensive driving, than any impact on insurance etc…

Happy to spend time and money on the correct course. London based or nearby best.
 
Hi , on the forum I think there is a current / retired police responce police driver, He may be prepared to advise you.
The police use to use a programme called road craft ( I think )

For a few years I drove cars testing tyres and I was given an advanced driving course that was based on defensive driving.

It was all based on obersevation !

The gentleman that taught me was an ex traffic policeman who , assessmented my basic driving and we progressed or not as the case maybe.

To start with I had to give a running comentry out loud for 15 minutes of when driving what I saw , dog , man about to open car door , woman pushing pram , car about to pull out , he would then ask me what the speed limit , what the safe speed to drive in that limit , what's behind me and the questions went on and on.

I was knackered the first time I did it , missed so many targets , but I did improve over time but it was for a couple of hours.

Could I suggest that you try what I went through to start with , ask a mate to sit in the car with you , I don't think race track driving would provide and benefit for road use.

I have given up talking to my self decades ago but I put an exclusion zone around my car everyday when out and about.

Ovberation is the name of the game.

No doubt all the information I out of date but it has served me well over the years.
 
Hi , on the forum I think there is a current / retired police responce police driver, He may be prepared to advise you.
The police use to use a programme called road craft ( I think )

For a few years I drove cars testing tyres and I was given an advanced driving course that was based on defensive driving.

It was all based on obersevation !

The gentleman that taught me was an ex traffic policeman who , assessmented my basic driving and we progressed or not as the case maybe.

To start with I had to give a running comentry out loud for 15 minutes of when driving what I saw , dog , man about to open car door , woman pushing pram , car about to pull out , he would then ask me what the speed limit , what the safe speed to drive in that limit , what's behind me and the questions went on and on.

I was knackered the first time I did it , missed so many targets , but I did improve over time but it was for a couple of hours.

Could I suggest that you try what I went through to start with , ask a mate to sit in the car with you , I don't think race track driving would provide and benefit for road use.

I have given up talking to my self decades ago but I put an exclusion zone around my car everyday when out and about.

Ovberation is the name of the game.

No doubt all the information I out of date but it has served me well over the years.
This is pretty much exactly what I would expect - observation!

I believe a lot of the advanced courses are about anticipation and avoidance, rather than pure driving skill.
 
You could order the police driving handbook, as that covers the sort of stuff needed for the IAM.
 
I passed advanced driving tests from the IAM and League of Safe Drivers back in the Seventies. Purely out of curiosity back in the day when I was doing a lot of driving to unfamiliar places all over the UK. 20k a year while many colleagues were doing 40 or 50k

As mentioned, it was all based on “Roadcraft,” the police driving standard. (Before the days when police driving was Blues and Twos at 60mph through urban 20mph zones to a routine call out.)

IAM should be able to introduce you to ex-police instructors to coach you in all this. I would expect that there would also be videos around now as well.

It’s not as simple as you might think. You will need a coach. They have protocols about speed, distance and anticipation that most drivers will find difficult. Ordinary drivers often brake too late or on bends, drive way too close at speed, or hog the middle lane of dual carriageways because they’re anxious about changing lane.

Well worth doing. It’ll give you confidence. In 750k miles of driving I’ve never had a collision at anything more than 5mph, and I put it down to this calm attitude not luck.

Which is not to say that I’ve ever been slow, days of 125 on motorways or 70 on Park Lane are behind us - thanks to speed cameras.
 
The book, “Roadcraft” is still around. A few pounds on the “Bay of fleas”.
There are a lot of companies promoting driving courses for defensive or chauffeuring.. I would try to find an ex police or military driving instructor.
 
'Roadcraft' is deffo worth a read. It was written ages ago and I'm not sure if it has been updated at all, but the principles are still valid (perhaps even more so in today's traffic conditions)
 
'Roadcraft' is deffo worth a read. It was written ages ago and I'm not sure if it has been updated at all, but the principles are still valid (perhaps even more so in today's traffic conditions)

A fiver from Ebay, no charge from your public library, or here from Amazon.

(Ignore the bits about going nee naw nee naw when you're late for lunch.)





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Did the nee naw nee naw bit 30 year ago, 2 week in a car and then a week in a big red thing. As said its all about observation and making good progress. Whatever it costs it will pay ten fold in the future ie tyres, brakes, clutches etc. Good luck with it all. IMO it should be compulsory training on the roads of today. 😇
 
On my first ever driving lesson (in 1968!!) the driving instructor said to me "look at every vehicle you can see and think "what's the most stupid thing that driver could do next, and be ready for it, as one day one will!!"" Worked well for me over the years! I also rread Roadcraft cover to cover. Observation and anticipation are the basics of what's needed.
 
WARNING you will end up driving and anticipating in advance for ever idiot on the road. Can be good fun as well telling your passenger "i bet he/she does this or that next", followed with "pr÷ck".😇
 
Did my Police "Standard B & Response" course (three weeks) in March 2008. As has been said, Roadcraft (RC) is the "bible" for this and having passed, I was eligible for IAM membership without having to pass their assessment (membership fees still applicable!).

There is so much simple, obvious stuff in RC that I am amazed it is not taught by right (maybe it is these days?) to learner drivers, observation, anticipation, safe overtaking, etc.

If you can get hold of a copy of RC, do so. Reading, inwardly digesting and putting into practice will make you a better, safer driver. :thumb:
 
IAM is the way to go, or if you don't already have one, buy motorbike and take your bike test, it tends to focus your mind and its amazing how your driving will improve, but as has already been said its all about observation and anticipation.
 
There is so much simple, obvious stuff in RC that I am amazed it is not taught by right (maybe it is these days?) to learner drivers, observation, anticipation, safe overtaking, etc.
Sadly, I don't think much of the content of RC is actually taught routinely to new drivers. Perhaps it it was we could all enjoy using our roads more.

Anyway, to the point on the OP's question: I'd advise seeking out your local IAM group (details available here) and/or consider the courses offered by RoSPA (details here). As others have already suggested, getting a copy of Roadcraft, reading it and making an effort to understand the techniques it contains and - importantly - the rationale behind those techniques will be a good primer for whatever course(s) you decide upon.

There are undoubtedly some very good instructors and courses out there that are outwith the IAM and RoSPA but one of the big advantages of the latter's courses and qualifications is that they are recognised by many insurers and can lead to premium discounts.
 
I did a course with work at ATC in North Weald several years ago that was good. Seems to have been taken over by a bigger company now, but it looks like the guy running the driver training, Kenny Roberts is still there.

 
In 750k miles of driving I’ve never had a collision at anything more than 5mph, and I put it down to this calm attitude not luck.
I'm sorry but there is a lot of luck involved (not saying skill does not help). I did IAM on car and bike back in the day. The two big accidents I had (1 car and 1 bike) both involved people suddenly pulling out of side roads having made an error of judgement about the speed of the approaching vehicles. No amount of skill could have avoided them. One was at sub 20 mpg and the other was at about 30. And of course there are always animals.....like the deer that nearly killed my wife's SLK!
 
I'm sorry but there is a lot of luck involved (not saying skill does not help). I did IAM on car and bike back in the day. The two big accidents I had (1 car and 1 bike) both involved people suddenly pulling out of side roads having made an error of judgement about the speed of the approaching vehicles. No amount of skill could have avoided them. One was at sub 20 mpg and the other was at about 30. And of course there are always animals.....like the deer that nearly killed my wife's SLK!
We'll have to disagree on this one.

You say "lot of luck" and "accidents." I say "a bit of luck" and "collisions."




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Many causes are completely unavoidable......and no amount of training and skill will make the slightest bit of difference. Of course there are many accidents (collisions!) that could be avoided where training helps......
 
Another vote here for IAM RoadSmart. They provide different levels of assessment and training, with the pinnacle being their Masters' course: Masters | IAM RoadSmart

I also agree with getting, reading and regularly re-reading Roadcraft.

Others here have mentioned the importance of 'observation and anticipation', to which I would add 'anticipation'.

When I was in my late 20s I was fortunate enough to receive full training on emergency ambulance driving. At the time I was working in a technology research environment based a long way from the nearest hospital. With some of the activities carried out on site being potentially very dangerous (involving high voltages and highly hazardous chemicals) it was decided that we would have our own ambulance to halve the time taken to get to hospital if ever needed. During the week long course we did the driving commentary and observation testing mentioned earlier - definitely harder than expected but well worth doing and repeating. I also learnt about lots of other important techniques such as road positioning and picking up clues to the severity of bends by looking well ahead at tree lines. There's far too much to list here.

OP, you've made the right start by wanting to do something to improve your driving. Now do it - and enjoy it.
 
Nice, lots of good recommendations from everyone. Thank you!

Looks like I’m buying the book and looking to book the IAM course.

I think I’m pretty observant already, especially as I cycle in London so am very road aware (have been hit before, by a hit and run! Police didn’t care to investigate despite this being on Holloway Road cctv central).
But would be great to have actual practice with someone pointing out the bits I’m missing.
 

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