Advanced driving course?

Page may contain affiliate links. Please see terms for details.
The IAM is probably the best place to start. Their manual is similar to "RoadCraft" and helps you to think deeper about your driving.

While some parts of their philosophy may not be for you (in my case the emphasis on never overlapping steering and braking input) I found much of value - in particular the emphasis on observation and prediction of potential hazards.

I found the "driving plan" based upon what you can see, what you cannot see and what you reasonably expect to happen to be extremely valuable. For instance - how would you predict a tractor might be around a completely blind bend (hint: recent mud on road surface)

Once you learn to "read the road' (limit points on bends etc) and position your vehicle accordingly, you will find that making progress comes naturally.
 
The other thing that’s got me really on edge recently, maybe this is just a London thing, but everyone is brazenly using their phones behind the wheel!
It’s like an epidemic of phone zombies!
 
Imo....the very best training for any car driver is to pass your bike test and ride for a year or two....you need to be so much more switched on than any car driver as the bike is so much quicker and the consequences for not being observant and aware of your surroundings rather more painful...(says the man with 60 odd screws and 4 titanium plates in his left arm!)...I passed my bike test about 10 months before my car test back in 1985 and my car instructor said he could tell from my driving.
 
The other thing that’s got me really on edge recently, maybe this is just a London thing, but everyone is brazenly using their phones behind the wheel!
It’s like an epidemic of phone zombies!
It’s unbelievable how many drivers are using their phones. Even my 16 plate van has a hands free option.

I cycle into central London on a daily basis.
 
Imo....the very best training for any car driver is to pass your bike test and ride for a year or two....you need to be so much more switched on than any car driver as the bike is so much quicker and the consequences for not being observant and aware of your surroundings rather more painful...(says the man with 60 odd screws and 4 titanium plates in his left arm!)...I passed my bike test about 10 months before my car test back in 1985 and my car instructor said he could tell from my driving.
Having a best mate who’s an A&E doc, simply ‘no thanks!’.
I get what you’re saying. Just not a big fan of degloving my torso or some other 💩
 
It’s unbelievable how many drivers are using their phones. Even my 16 plate van has a hands free option.

I cycle into central London on a daily basis.

I had a hire car recently and I couldn’t find how to turn the bloody heater off as it was buried deep in the stupid onboard computer touch screen thingy!

No wonder people are all over the roads, what happened to a good old knob!

Had any close calls on your bike yet? I’ve had agressive drivers (with easy to remember personalised reg plates so reported swiftly!) and the one hit and run!
 
I bought the Road craft book in the eighties, then bought it again a couple of years ago, an updated version just as a refresher.
 
The other thing that’s got me really on edge recently, maybe this is just a London thing, but everyone is brazenly using their phones behind the wheel!
It’s like an epidemic of phone zombies!
Unfortunately it's not just a London thing. I live in the middle of a 20mph zone and it's a worry seeing all the drivers who are doing 30 or more because they're too good for 20, whilst looking at their phones because it's safe to do so at 20mph!!

Even more worrying was last year I was on a coach travelling on the M1. From my elevated position on the left hand side of the coach I was able to look into the cabs of HGVs. It was frightening to see how many drivers had operating tablets or laptops on their laps or resting on the steering wheel.
 
Imo....the very best training for any car driver is to pass your bike test and ride for a year or two....you need to be so much more switched on than any car driver as the bike is so much quicker and the consequences for not being observant and aware of your surroundings rather more painful...(says the man with 60 odd screws and 4 titanium plates in his left arm!)...I passed my bike test about 10 months before my car test back in 1985 and my car instructor said he could tell from my driving.
As someone who went through the same process, I agree with you. Being able to read and interpret road surfaces was, to my mind, the biggest gain. But would I want any of my kids on a bike? No way!
 
I had a hire car recently and I couldn’t find how to turn the bloody heater off as it was buried deep in the stupid onboard computer touch screen thingy!

No wonder people are all over the roads, what happened to a good old knob!

Had any close calls on your bike yet? I’ve had agressive drivers (with easy to remember personalised reg plates so reported swiftly!) and the one hit and run!
I'll try to resist answering your question about good old knobs. :eek: But I totally empathise with the struggles with finding some basic controls these days. Embarrassingly it's not just with hire cars - I had trouble with my own car a few years ago. I'd had my C350 for about 4 years when I left it at an airport car park while we flew off to much warmer climes one winter. It was one of those places where they give you a lift to the airport and park the car for you (and hopefully not use it for a taxi). On our return from our six weeks driving around NZ and Australia, we were presented with our car keys by a guy who said he'd turned the heater up full to warm the car up for us on the bitterly cold January morning. I didn't give it a thought until we were half way round the M25 in typically crazy traffic and the car turning into an oven - I never adjust the automatic climate controls because it's clever enough to set itself. I daren't take my eyes off the busy fast moving road. My wife eventually managed to return the temperature to something bearable, but it took her quite a while - and that's with big knobs!

:fail:
 
As someone who went through the same process, I agree with you. Being able to read and interpret road surfaces was, to my mind, the biggest gain. But would I want any of my kids on a bike? No way!
My 14 year old is quite keen.....and given the amount of fun I had on mine grinding knee sliders to atoms on street and track over about 40 years I would not try too hard to deny him that fun. Cant say I wont worry when he's out though......
It also means he can get his freedom at 16 rather than 18 or so when he passes his car test. Public transport is not great around here. To be honest that's what got me into bikes in the first place as I had no real interest in them as a kid.....but I lived in a small village in the middle of nowhere in the downs (Stoughton!) with one bus a week (yes really...Thursday!).....getting a moped at 16 (Honda MT5 trail type, reg JFX 853V...Ill never forget that plate) meant I could visit mates and more importantly go to places and parties where there were GIRLS!!!
 
My 14 year old is quite keen.....and given the amount of fun I had on mine grinding knee sliders to atoms on street and track over about 40 years I would not try too hard to deny him that fun. Cant say I wont worry when he's out though......
It also means he can get his freedom at 16 rather than 18 or so when he passes his car test. Public transport is not great around here. To be honest that's what got me into bikes in the first place as I had no real interest in them as a kid.....but I lived in a small village in the middle of nowhere in the downs (Stoughton!) with one bus a week (yes really...Thursday!).....getting a moped at 16 (Honda MT5 trail type, reg JFX 853V...Ill never forget that plate) meant I could visit mates and more importantly go to places and parties where there were GIRLS!!!
Ah, bikes and girls :) My abiding memory was that the Triumph Bonneville T120 I had in 1964 attracted a lot of attention and girls would often ask to sit on it. On one occasion I was chatting with some mates when a skinny young girl aged about 16 asked if she could have a go. Without taking my attention away from whatever we were chatting about I said "Sure". The next thing I knew I heard the familiar sound of the engine of my prized bike firing up and then disappearing down the road. She only went 100 yards before turning round and riding back with a massive smile spread across her face. How her 5 stone soaking wet frame managed to kick start the bike then roll it off the centre stand I never did find out. My mates called it a baby girl's bike for the rest of the time I owned it.
 
My 14 year old is quite keen.....and given the amount of fun I had on mine grinding knee sliders to atoms on street and track over about 40 years I would not try too hard to deny him that fun. Cant say I wont worry when he's out though......
It also means he can get his freedom at 16 rather than 18 or so when he passes his car test. Public transport is not great around here. To be honest that's what got me into bikes in the first place as I had no real interest in them as a kid.....but I lived in a small village in the middle of nowhere in the downs (Stoughton!) with one bus a week (yes really...Thursday!).....getting a moped at 16 (Honda MT5 trail type, reg JFX 853V...Ill never forget that plate) meant I could visit mates and more importantly go to places and parties where there were GIRLS!!!

BTB jnr (aged 15) has an electric mountain bike ... not quite as fast but still very practical for local distances (nearest town is 6 miles away, no public transport). He'll be OK with that till he's 17.
 
Yeah....who needs street and cred anyway :) .......is a push biker in lycra or denim with a polystyrene helmet really any safer than a rider in leathers with a proper helmet on a restricted 30mph moped....I doubt it!!
 
Imo....the very best training for any car driver is to pass your bike test and ride for a year or two....you need to be so much more switched on than any car driver as the bike is so much quicker and the consequences for not being observant and aware of your surroundings rather more painful...(says the man with 60 odd screws and 4 titanium plates in his left arm!)...I passed my bike test about 10 months before my car test back in 1985 and my car instructor said he could tell from my driving.
Absolutely. Some years ago I had a driving assessment at work. Did it blind and was rated equivalent to ROSPA silver. How come? 20 years of motorcycling. The bike mags used to have regular articles on bikemanship. All this transfers well to cars. As in my biking days, I'm still trying to get it right every time. And it's fun. Hope I don't sound preachy but there's not much better than stitching a fine section of road together in the good old CLS55.

And remember the biker's mantra. "You are not paranoid. THEY REALLY ARE OUT TO GET YOU. "
 
Last edited:
It's really noticable how aware so many bikers are of motorists like me who are "bike aware". Every time I leave a gap to the car in front then slow and indicate left to tell the bike behind to come past, I get a left boot out or left hand dropped thankyou! How few times have you had the "hazards on for 2/3 flicks" from a car driver when you do something similar? Many occasions I slow, put left indicator on with brakes also lit, and pratt behind just slows then eventually gives up as it's too late or finally boots it big style and disappears without any show of thanks!
 
+1 for bike experience making you a better driver. On a bike, the rider is the crumple zone; that concentrates the mind remarkably...
 
The vulnerability of riding a bike can help change driving habits, as can towing. towing something big and heavy which helps practice skills associated observation and anticipation. Accelerating, braking and turning are all much slower and riskier, and it can also help with mechanical sympathy, using engine braking and the like.

A session or two with a good advanced or defensive driving instructor can be invaluable, as they help you to read the road and with so much of it being intuitive it clicks into place quickly. For example using streetlights, power/telephone poles, fences, hedges and more to anticipate what might be ahead but out of sight.

I forget the details but they also explain what must have happened to get SLOW painted on the road, chevrons and other warnings, and other road safety measures. Usually different combinations of accidents, injuries and fatalities, result in different measures being taken. That stuff is there because something awful has happened.

I think they phased it out shortly after Mercedes-Benz World opened at Brooklands, however AMG driving training used to include on road driver training with an advanced instructor., as well as car control techniques on track. They used to use MIRA in Nuneaton prior to MBW, which was a better venue for driver training.

My wife and I had the pleasure of driving with - and being a passenger with - a serving Police instructor in a then-new CLS 55 AMG. The speed he carried in the lanes of Warwickshire was awe-inspiring. Even at ludicrous speed both of my wife and I had full confidence in his ability. Without doubt the best driver I’ve ever ridden shotgun with.
 
The vulnerability of riding a bike can help change driving habits, as can towing. towing something big and heavy which helps practice skills associated observation and anticipation. Accelerating, braking and turning are all much slower and riskier, and it can also help with mechanical sympathy, using engine braking and the like.

Some of are, drivers, bikers and semi professional tow-ers!!
 
Some of are, drivers, bikers and semi professional tow-ers!!
Ahh, but were you ever a racing driver,the mark of a driving god?🤣🤣🤣

Does a couple of seasons in F750 some 50 years ago qualify?
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Back
Top Bottom