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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15th Annual Roadmap of State Highway Safety Laws – 2018

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.

Photograph of rush-hour highway traffic, Washington D.C.
Rush-hour traffic, Washington D.C. (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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Nine Danger Signs Concerning Parked Vehicles — Do You Know Them ALL?

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.

Photograph of a person putting something in the trunk / boot of a car, at the roadside.
To be safe drivers, people certainly need to know all of the nine dangers signs to look for when passing parked vehicles — just one of the many comprehensive safety skills taught by Advanced Drivers of North America, Inc. — Copyright image.

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Ultra-Smooth and Ultra-Safe Driver Training for Chauffeurs

Advanced Drivers of North America [ADoNA] has trained chauffeurs for maximum safety and maximum smoothness in their driving, from Las Vegas to Canada.

Photograph of a Mercedes 550S sedan, in use for chauffeur training by Advanced Drivers of North America for chauffeur driver-safety training
A Mercedes 550S in use for Advanced Drivers of North America’s chauffeur safety and smooth driver training. (Copyright image.)

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Advanced Driving Courses in Washington State

Over the past 12 years, Advanced Drivers of North America has carried out driver safety training throughout the Pacific North West, including six cities (each for different corporate clients) in Washington, from the Tri-Cities in the south-east of the state to Bellingham in the north-west, and of course Seattle.

An aerial view of Seattle
A wonderful view of the city of Seattle, as I flew in on August 12, 2017, and like all cities, the sort of place we can use interesting challenges and instill a much better understanding of safe driving, especially on Advanced Drivers of North America’s “Silver” and “Gold” courses.   Copyright image.

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Risk Awareness and Perception Training are So Important but are Still Just Part of the Bigger Picture

Hazard awareness has always been of massive importance in safe driving and has been a critical component of true advanced driving since the inception of the System of Car Control by the police in Britain, an astonishing 82 years ago, in 1935.  This is the sole driving system taught by Advanced Drivers of North America [ADA/ADoNA],  since the  corporation’s own inception (without the word ‘North’), back in 2006.

Some excellent research has been published by NHTSA earlier this year (2017), in relation to an updated Risk Awareness and Perception Training [RAPT] program for young drivers.  This represents exactly the same discipline as practiced in the “hazard awareness” mentioned above. Indeed, for fleet or corporate drivers, we at ADoNA are the sole suppliers in the USA of this globally-unmatched system, which we have spent years carefully refining for it to be a perfect fit for North American driving safety culture — not just the “driving on the other side of the road” bit 🙂

View an outline of our Defensive and Advanced Driving Courses at ADoNA.

Photo of a woman on a traffic island with cars all around, and with a baby trailer attached to her bicycle.
Just one of many scenarios where drivers must be extremely perceptive of multiple, simultaneous hazards. Boulder, Colorado.  (Copyright image: Eddie Wren, 2007.)

This NHTSA research represents a major breakthrough of great importance to improved safety for America’s young drivers, and we strongly hope to see a system put in place for all young drivers to get the benefit of relevant training.  Here is an excerpt from the paper:

Abstract
Previous research suggests newly licensed teen drivers often fail to anticipate where unexpected hazards might materialize. One training program designed to address these apparent deficiencies in knowledge and skills that has shown promise in previous tests is the Risk Awareness and Perception Training (RAPT) program. This project updated RAPT using high definition video and computer simulations to create a more interactive and realistic program. Researchers evaluated the modified program’s impact on the behaviors of novice and experienced drivers through the use of a computer-based test and during on-road drives in live traffic on a pre-defined route. Both the novice and experienced driver RAPT-trained groups showed substantial improvement in performance from pre- to post-test with the RAPT trainees hitting almost all of the targets during the computer post-test. The performance differences extended to the eye-tracker data arising from the on-road drives. The RAPT-trained groups hit significantly higher numbers of total primary targets and percentages of targets compared to the control groups. The study also employed a “Think Aloud,” or commentary driving, data collection effort. This data collection approach did not reveal any performance differences among the training groups. This study also included a persistence measure using the computer assessment one month after training. Results showed the RAPT-trained groups’ target hit rates decreased from the initial post-test to the persistence measure but remained above their baseline hit rates and above the control groups’ persistence measure hit rates.

On this ADoNA website you are currently viewing, you will also find a wealth of free, additional research-based and best-practice based information with which to support your team of business drivers and help maximize their safety.

Protect Yourself from Red Light Runners & Distracted Drivers

This video is a classic example of someone who doesn’t even notice that a traffic light has been on red for a significant time.

Such behavior is commonly indicative of distracted driving.  Bear in mind that hard braking or swerving under these sort of circumstances might stop your car being hit by the red light runner but equally might result in you having a collision with a third vehicle.  So the rather obvious question is how do you and/or your employees protect yourselves from being in a collision in any circumstances similar to this if — in this instance — you are one of the drivers who is making a left turn?

Such issues are just one small but important part of our multi-faceted defensive and advanced driving courses at Advanced Drivers of North America, Inc.  Contact us for more details.

The video is courtesy of the City of Lakewood, WA, where this incident was filmed.