By Jacob Dossett and Ella Pearson
Jacob Dossett and Ella Pearson are a young couple from Lincolnshire who have recently become advanced drivers thanks to a road safety initiative between the county’s Police and Crime Commissioner and IAM RoadSmart Lincolnshire. In this blog, they reflect on their advanced driving coaching experience and the benefits it’s brought.
We both passed our standard driving tests in 2019 and thought the IAM RoadSmart course would be the perfect way to gain confidence and become safer drivers on the road. Jacob saw the Police and Crime Commissioner advertise the courses on Facebook and we decided to apply together. We had the same Observer for the course which was ideal as we could do back-to-back coaching sessions.
I passed my advanced test in February, just in time for my insurance renewal.
I started a job as a supermarket delivery driver earlier in the year and the company were really impressed with my advanced driver status. I’m the youngest driver at work and they were surprised when I told them I’d passed my advanced test. The course has definitely improved my driving, especially as the vans at work are tall so using limit points, which are taught on the course, to read bends properly has really helped.
I also found the course had a great impact when I bought my Peugeot 208 GTI. Adding my advanced driver status in meant that when I renewed the insurance, it came down by around £150 which was brilliant. It is cheaper for me to have a more powerful car without a black box now I have the IAM RoadSmart Advanced Driver status, which I think is incredible!
My first ever drive with my mum resulted in her leaving the car within three miles due to a clash of driving opinion. She now agrees that I am a better driver than her! We also think it’s such an important thing to do, especially in Lincolnshire, where the roads have a reputation for being quite dangerous.
I passed my Advanced Driver test in September after having to wait through COVID-19 lock down to take it.
I've seen a massive increase in my confidence while driving. Doing the course has made me feel safer on the roads, and it’s a such good thing to do at a young age, when you have the time, to lower your insurance and get it under your belt before you start heading to university, work and so on. However, even if you do work or are in education, and wish to improve your confidence and skills on the road, you can arrange to have evening or weekend sessions with your observer and fit the course around you – that’s why I think it’s a bit of a no-brainer really.
We’re both heading off for university now but will definitely stay involved with IAM RoadSmart. We may even become Observers in the future and would to like to share our new skills with others at university. We both think our parents should do it too! It’s a good healthy family competition, especially since parents seem to enjoy ‘back-seat driving’ their young driver kids.
We would both recommend the course to anyone and have enjoyed it as well as learning so much from it. We would especially recommend it to young drivers, as our experience is that it positively impacts your insurance, makes you more respected by older drivers, and improves your safety and confidence.