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.
All of the safety topics touched upon in this post are things which we discuss in detail with existing and prospective clients, initially in respect of fourteen key areas and later in much greater detail.
Pedestrian safety — along with the well-being of all other “vulnerable road users” [VRU] — always features strongly in our various courses, not only because at present a grossly-excessive 6,000 pedestrians are being killed each year on the roads of the USA, often due in part to inadequate safety facilities, but also because as with any at-fault crash, a corporate driver hitting and killing or badly injuring a pedestrian can result in a lawsuit and major financial losses for the corporation, especially if drivers have not been adequately trained for safety.
One of the most important features in any driver safety training regime is, of course, the depth of training of its instructors. This is something we take very seriously indeed at Advanced Drivers of North America, although we know of competitors who train their instructors for only five days, or even just two days, and that’s from scratch — people who up until that point know nothing about truly safe driving other than what they learned while taking their own driving test, often decades previously.
At ADoNA, even our most experienced instructors are never allowed to guess what the answer to any question might be. Everything we do is research-based whenever that is possible, and failing that it is a combination of global best practices blended appropriately with U.S. safety culture. Neither of those features work well in isolation.
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At Advanced Drivers of North America, we specialize in courses for employees from other countries who are now working in the USA.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
The following is the introduction to this important document from the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, a document which highlights that various state governments around the USA are unacceptably lax in creating laws which could save many thousands of American lives each year :
We Don’t Have to Wait for Fully Autonomous Cars to Stop Needless Deaths and Injuries
Effective and Available Countermeasures Must Be Adopted Now
The 2018 Roadmap of State Highway Safety Laws marks the 15th annual publication by Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety (Advocates). This report serves as a navigational tool giving guidance on successful measures to reduce preventable motor vehicle deaths, injuries and crash costs. Each day on average, approximately 100 people are killed and 6,500 more are injured on our roadways across the country. Yet, solutions continue to languish or be ignored in state capitals, Congress and at the U.S. Department of Transportation.
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).
Every time you drive past one or more parked vehicles there are nine common safety indicators that should be monitored so that you never end up being involved in a distressing collision that could easily have been avoided. The worst of these involve children being run over.