Ideal Mixed (Bad!) Weather Conditions for a Gold Advanced Driving Course

Of all the different levels of driver training we provide at Advanced Drivers of America [AD0NA], “Gold” courses are often the most gratifying because we can guide and watch people achieving the highest levels of safety — far above the standards that other drivers are even aware of.

The very first driving day (following a full day in a classroom setting) was by far the most challenging for the weather, but while this isn’t always available, the snow was an ideal addition for the purposes of a gold-standard, maximum safety, advanced driving course. Copyright image.

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Advanced Driving Course in Texas – Photo Gallery

A three-day ‘Bronze Advanced Driving Course’ for a Fortune-100 corporation in Texas, last week, turned up an excellent variety of roads and circumstances to help us discuss many of the 300-plus safety topics we cover at Advanced Drivers of North America [ADoNA], in our enhanced-safety curriculum for corporate and professional drivers.

Great confusion was caused by two construction zone trucks displaying “move to the right” arrows, above, when they pulled over across all three lanes to the right-side shoulder and stopped, but made all of those lane changes with the arrows still flashing, so several vehicles followed them!  As always, this photo was taken from a totally safe distance, with a long lens. (Copyright image, 2018.)

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Safe Driving Courses for People from Other Countries Working in the USA

At Advanced Drivers of North America, we specialize in courses for employees from other countries who are now working in the USA.

Photograph of a moving block / platoon of heavy traffic moving at 35-40mph.
People from other countries often envision this as typical of driving in the USA but that’s not usually the case. (Copyright image, 2018.)

Indeed, some of our instructors, over the years, are immigrants from Europe themselves and we have particular expertise in working with people from drive-on-the-left countries.

Something that has to be remembered about North America, in this context, is that it is vast, with over 4.1 million miles of road – including more than 1.2 million miles that are unpaved ‘gravel roads’ – so those people who drive widely can expect to encounter extremely varied conditions.

One of the things that confuses visitors from overseas when driving in the USA is centre, left-turn-only lanes, and these are also often misused by Americans so they are the scene of a lot of usually minor, damage-only collisions.  They are for use not only by vehicles that are turning left, off a main road but also by vehicles that are turning left from side streets onto a main road.

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Defensive and Advanced Driving Courses in Montreal, Canada

Whether it is due perhaps to long-term rigorous traffic enforcement, to the mandatory driver training for all young drivers, or to a good safety culture in general, drivers in Montreal certainly appear to have a better-than-average attitude towards Vulnerable Road Users [VRU], and in turn, this makes the city a pleasant place for training (or learning) defensive and advanced driving.

Cars in Montreal typically stop well before the stop line at crosswalks, creating greater safety for pedestrians.
As is common in Montreal, the cars in this photograph have stopped well before the crosswalk ‘stop’ line (rather than on it or even after it) which makes things much safer for pedestrians.  (Copyright image, 2018.)

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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.  Please use our CONTACT US link if you would like to request a summary of the basic themes we teach, covering over 300 safety topics.  (Copyright image, 2014.)

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Defensive Driving Courses in Denver and Boulder, Colorado, and the Benefits

Two important things about safe, defensive or advanced driving courses from Advanced Drivers of North America are that (a) we will work anywhere in the USA and Canada, as well the islands on either side of the continent, and (b) you will always get highly-trained instructors, not — to be frank — somebody who has received only a few days of severely inadequate training, themselves.  (And yes, that really does happen.)

Photograph of the gear selector in an automatic car which also facilitates a manual shift approach.
At training locations where we can use hills (the steeper the better) ADoNA will teach your employees how to utilize the gears on either a stick shift or, as in this photo, an automatic vehicle that permits manual ‘lock-down’ into any of the lower gears. At the very least, this approach reduces hard wear and tear on your vehicles and at best it makes going down steep hills in slippery winter conditions much safer. But it has to be done correctly because doing it poorly can actually increase crash risk. (Copyright image, 2018)

All of our behind-the-wheel training, except for any brief but necessary corrections to unsafe steering technique, is done on active roads — the only place where comprehensive training can take place, and where a very wide range of random risk scenarios can be encountered to facilitate an upgrade to relevant techniques for trainees’ future use.

Denver and Boulder are cities in which we have worked many times for several major clients and they are firmly among our favorite cities at which to run courses.  This is for the simple reason that the area offers just about every conceivable type of road challenge, on which we can teach a very wide range of safety considerations and techniques.  This type of variety is most important in developing drivers with a much broader and more effective defense against bad things happening.

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A Defensive Driving Course we Held on Rural Roads in Virginia

Sadly, most Americans have no idea that rural roads are, by a very big margin, the most dangerous roads in the country!

Photo of a semi-tractor-trailer and an agricultural tractor passing each other at a crossroads on a rural road.
‘Rush-hour’ on a rural road!  Well, alright… not quite, but would you expect to meet a semi-tractor-trailer and an agricultural tractor passing each other at a middle-of-nowhere crossroads, on a curve?  (Copyright image, 2018.)

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Additional Photos, Bronze Advanced Driving Course, MA, USA

This page is a continuation of the images from Good Observations for Safe Driving (with Photographs)

There’s clearly a constant need to be ready for the actions of a reckless or thoughtless driver making an incursion onto the wrong side of the road.   Copyright image.

The situation from the photograph above this one, can swiftly develop into a potentially dangerous scenario.   Copyright image.

When sightlines are restricted, extra care is needed in looking for Vulnerable Road Users [VRU] such as cyclists or pedestrians who can easily be obscured by vehicles, structures or even other, nearby pedestrians who are standing in a line-of-sight.   Copyright image.

This bicyclist is sensible enough to be wearing suitable, bright clothing and a helmet but could still easily be obscured from view at a critical moment, behind a vehicle.   Copyright image.

Jay-walkers don’t make life any easier, either!   Copyright image.

And speaking of large vehicles (two photographs up), when buying a new vehicle please do have a think about how “friendly” it would be to any Vulnerable Road Users [VRU] who might be hit by it. Vehicles that are built like battering rams are very “unfriendly” towards VRUs. It is, however, now possible to find vehicles that take this aspect of other people’s vulnerability into account in their design. Copyright image.

Something that still worries many American drivers — because, to put it simply, the official advice they’ve been given so far is terrible, to say the least — roundabouts remain an issue. However, on ADoNA courses your people will be taught global best-practise techniques that have been developed over almost 60 years, to give greater safety and confidence.   Copyright image.

And, as always, we teach the most reliable observations and systematic approach for all situations, whether routine or less usual, such as the imminent intersection depicted by this sign (and, of course, driving straight through it without taking any safety precautions might be the common failure of many drivers but is emphatically not the safest option).   Copyright image.

If you have any questions or wish to book safe driver training for your team, please contact us via our Courses page.

Good Observations for Safe Driving (with Photographs)

The photographs in this article were taken around a Bronze Advanced Driving course, with Advanced Drivers of North America [ADoNA], in south east Massachusetts.   They each show typical driving scenes but give only a very small insight into the discussions about the standards of the observations that are essential to effective driver training and to all safe driving.

Photograph taken from a vehicle driving through a small Massacusetts town, showing various potentially hazardous scenarios.
A typical driving scenario in beautiful, small-town America, showing many potential hazards that most drivers sadly get away with ignoring, but each of which, when ignored, can at the very least result in damaged vehicles or something much worse.   Copyright image.

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Defensive Driving Course for Chauffeurs in Las Vegas

Advanced Drivers of North America [ADoNA] safe driving courses for chauffeurs are designed not only to maximize the safety of these specialist drivers, for the obvious benefit of  their employers or clients, but also to significantly enhance smoothness and finesse (to an extent that always surprises and delights the chauffeurs concerned).

Photograph of traffic on Interstate 515 near Las Vegas.
There is much that can inevitably be taught about the safest, smoothest driving on busy highways. (Copyright image.)

At ADoNA, we work with corporate drivers and chauffeurs throughout the USA, Canada and related islands.
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