Work-Related Defensive and Advanced Driving Courses in Cities in the USA and Canada

Most of our requests for the provision of safety training for drivers, whether at defensive- or advanced-driving levels, relate to city locations throughout the USA and Canada.  This short article is intended to provide some guidance for our corporate clients on how to get the best return from your investment in connection with city-based courses.

Photograph of relatively light traffic on a major road in Seattle, WA.
Relatively light traffic — in this case in Seattle — is naturally easier to deal with for drivers, but average speeds can be higher in these conditions so potential dangers can be a bit different, too. Uniquely,  at ADoNA,  we teach a fully time- and research-proven *system* of driving which allows the widest-possible range of dangers to be safely negotiated,  not just five or six of them.  (Copyright image, 2014.)

The first photograph, above, touches on a key issue.  From central locations in cities, it is inevitable that very heavy traffic will be encountered during our behind-the-wheel sessions, both morning and afternoon, and this is disadvantageous for all concerned, including our instructors, as very little can be taught in traffic jams.

Photograph of traffic and very thick snow on the road at traffic signals.
At Advanced Drivers of North America, Inc., we train corporate personnel in all American states and provinces, and we work in all North American seasons so that, when possible, your people can gain the maximum in safety knowledge and techniques regarding bad weather conditions [see footnote]. This shot, perhaps unsurprisingly, was taken in Buffalo, NY. (Copyright image, 2011.)
Instead, we suggest that where cities are the only logical location for training, the full course — or at least the behind-the-wheel days — are based at an office or more usually a hotel near the edge of the city, and giving good access to the best available training roads and areas; something which will be researched for you, free, by our relevant instructor/s.

Photograph of a traffic snarl-up in Washington DC.
Sadly, once one driver decides to bend the rules or be discourteous to other road users, others will respond and often do things which can make matters worse.  This is often the cause of the worst traffic jams or even of crashes.  This little incident was triggered by one car stopping at right angles across other people’s lanes, in Washington DC.  We teach trainees how to minimize any hold-ups or complications which can arise in such circumstances. (Copyright image, 2018.)
“What we teach is entirely based on empirical research and/or global best practices.”

None-the-less, some town/city driving is necessary and inevitable on our courses so in the photographs on this page we touch on just a tiny number of the many issues that can be encountered.  What we uniquely create on our courses is the most in-depth experience possible for our trainees, covering as many subjects and scenarios as possible during the allotted training time.  It is extremely typical for our trainees, after training, to mention multiple topics about which they feel they have learned a lot — sometimes almost the exact opposite of what they had previously been brought up to believe.  So it is important to mention here that what we teach is all based on empirical research and/or global best practices (depending on the specific topic).

A badly-signed roundabout in Los Angeles.
A roundabout in Los Angeles but unsurprisingly the roundabout is improperly signed (regarding early information on destinations) and confusingly, it has two different types of ‘Yield’ line — the triangles being the recently-introduced American style and the parallel broken line being the European and Asian style. (Copyright image, 2014.)

One issue many trainees are very uncomfortable about, prior to their course, is roundabouts.  Indeed, many drivers are actually afraid of them.  Sadly, this is due to the fact that the Federal Government (meaning the USDOT, FHWA and NHTSA) are seemingly determined that the only thing needed for drivers to safely and successfully navigate roundabouts is arrows painted on the pavement surface, but global best practice, developed for almost 50 years prior to the USA starting to even build what are correctly called “modern roundabouts,” uses a much safer (and reassuring) method for drivers, so this is what we teach.  And it works much better, every time.

Photograph from above of many cars parked in a parking lot / car park.
Just 29 of the 95 vehicles visible in this photograph (in Albany, New York) have been parked correctly for maximum safety and yet perhaps even some of the 29 drivers concerned only did it for convenience and do not know the full range of safety reasons.   Do you and all of your employees know the full reasons?  As with all of our training, we will teach them not only the how but crucially the full ‘why’.  (Copyright image, 2014.)

Does your corporation have a lot of avoidable damage resulting from the backing/reversing of vehicles?  Many businesses do.  This is something that, once again, we can provide best-practice training for, thereby dramatically reducing the risk of damage or, more seriously, pedestrian injuries during this task.

Aerial photograph of an American interstate highway intersection, showing that some such intersections are significantly more dangerous than others.
Understandably, intersections on urban-area higways tend to be busier but the design of many of them is also often less safe than others. The intersection in this image is ‘only’ 50 percent more dangerous, but some are effectively 100 percent more dangerous. All will be explained to you and your people. (Copyright image, 2014.)

There may actually be no roundabouts, or even interstate highways, near some of your chosen training locations, but if there are we will use them at some point during the behind-the-wheel sessions.

View of heavy traffic on an interstate highway in Chicago.
The drivers we usually train have typically been driving for 10, 20, 30 or more years and often believe they have nothing to learn about the task but the pleasant surprise they often voice when we teach them the correct yet easy way to do following distances that are always safe, no matter what the *weather* or the traffic, is frankly delightful. And another source of at-fault crashes for your drivers will be dramatically reduced. (Hint: If other driver trainers tell you just one criterion or time-gap for this important topic. you really do need to look elsewhere.) Chicago. Copyright image, 2012.

Most people are very confident that they are generally quite good drivers, and in particular this often applies most of all to highways.  However, there are contradictory points at play, here.  Did you know that divided highways, despite their higher speed limits, are actually the safest roads in the world (as long as they have an adequate median guardrail system)?  Yet even so, there are multiple potential dangers on divided highways to which the vast majority of drivers are extremely complacent or even blissfully unaware.

Photograph of a car making a very late exit from busy traffic lanes onto the last few yards of a highway off-ramp.
Either a foolish or distracted driver in the black car, leaving it far too late to turn onto the off-ramp of this highway in Denver, CO.  This type of dangerous driving is also very common around Boston, MA, and in both places the number of skid marks in many such locations are testament to the number of resultant collisions and near-misses. (Copyright image, 2018.)

To summarise, the best range and quality of training we can provide happens when we can use a base at a suitable location on the edge of a city or large town, so that we can mix training areas to suit our clients’ wishes and the trainees’ biggest needs (which can and do vary from one person to another).

Let us help you, at no extra charge, to find the optimum base for your people’s training needs.  Please Contact Us to discuss various options.

Finally, if you would like to understand the full expertise behind our unique abilities in the critical field of work-related driver training, please  see our CEO/Chief Instructor’s unmatched resume.

 

__________

Footnotes:
  1.  In relation to bad weather conditions during training sessions, it is our policy to terminate such training only if the actions of other drivers are likely to start posing a threat to the training vehicle and our trainees.  Put into perspective, since 2006 and many thousands of trainees later, this has happened on only one occasion, one afternoon during a blizzard in North Dakota, with our client’s manager in question informed and in approval.  Bad weather is actually good for our purpose but a very sensible line regarding safety is assured.
  2. Hopefully, it goes without saying that none of the photographs on this page or the entire website were taken from the driver’s seat of any vehicle.

__________

As always, please be aware that this website is registered with the United States Copyright Office and that punitive legal action for damages may be taken against anyone who breaches our copyright. This, however, does not stop you from posting links to any of our pages, and you are welcome to do so.

Author: EddieWren

Eddie Wren is the CEO and Chief Instructor at Advanced Drivers of North America. His driver safety background is given at: http://www.advanceddrivers.com/ceochief-instructors-resumecvbio/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.