Out of Practice Drivers
Learning to Drive (Again)
By Michael Bennett & Andrew Cook. Photos: Robert Pepper
With the dreaded Coronavirus hanging around like a bad penny at the moment, I’m sure we’re all familiar with the government’s three-pronged mantra of “Stay Home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives”. The (almost) deserted nature of our road network bears witness to the population’s general adherence to the first prong.
My own driving has been very limited recently, of course, having only ventured out infrequently in the car for essential supplies. However, I’ve already found the lack of traffic to be a bit unsettling, a human factor in itself. I have also spotted a few ‘interesting’ bits of driver behaviour, like one driver stopping very late at a red light for a right-hand filter. It looked like the driver hadn’t spotted the light until the last moment, perhaps because the customary oncoming traffic wasn’t there to remind them to wait their turn.
I wonder what the future effects of this reduced driving practice on the Great British Motoring Public will be, and the enforced lay-off may result in some people having to re-familiarise themselves with driving afterwards. This gives pause for thought, as drivers will be doing it on-the-job, but it might also have some benefits. Perhaps the new habits of distancing and courtesy will translate into our driving!
Upskill Your Driving (At Home) - Further Reading to Refresh Your Driving Skills
No doubt you are feeling frustrated at the current lack of opportunity to drive, so to keep your eye-in and not find yourself too out-of-practice, we’ve hand-picked some useful resources from accredited providers, for you to use to reinforce, maintain, and upskill your driving. What’s best is you can practise these skills (e.g. increasing your hazard awareness, being in the correct position, speed, and gear at all times) whenever you drive, no matter how short the distance. You could also use this time to prepare to join us on our Advanced Driving Course or join us on a free taster when the UK Lockdown Restrictions are lifted.
IAM RoadSmart Online Modules
The first place to look would be IAM RoadSmart's online e-learning modules, which are currently free, for a limited time. Each interactive module provides a refresher of key aspects of driving, which while we are currently limited in our driving, will help keep your eye on the ball, refresh your knowledge, or provide you with new driving knowledge to take with you on your next essential journey.
The 20 minute modules consist of simple exercises, animations, and example scenarios in a variety of driving ares including: managing speed, driving on country roads, driving in towns, and parking and manoeuvering.
IAM RoadSmart YouTube Channel
You can also head over to the IAM RoadSmart YouTube Channel, we recommend watching this brief video on the stages of the police system of car control, commonly known as IPSGA.
IAM RoadSmart Tips and Blogs
With over 60 years unrivalled experience and knowledge of driving and riding, the IAM RoadSmart Tips and Blogs will help you stay in-the-know, and provide invaluable hints & tips for driving in the current climate, lockdown restrictions, or not. You can read more here: https://www.iamroadsmart.com/media-and-policy/news-and-insights
RegLocal – Retired Police Driving Instructor
There is a great series of videos on YouTube by RegLocal (not his real name) who was a police driving instructor before he retired. Videos 1 to 8 and 16 are particularly helpful in advancing your driving skills. We recommend you check them out here: http://www.reglocal.com/my-videos/
Chris Gilbert - Experienced Advanced Driver Trainer
Chris Gilbert is one of the most experienced advanced driving trainers. He created a few videos which are great for underpinning your driving knowledge, you can watch them here: https://www.youtube.com/user/UltDrivingCraft
This is not an exhaustive list but will help you to keep thinking on the right lines and be ready for the time when the UK Lockdown is lifted to confidently get behind the wheel of your car again.
In the meantime, don’t forget to look out for those out-of-practice drivers on your infrequent shopping trips, and remember – you might be one yourself!