Churchill magazine

Why is an advanced driving test a good idea?

Updated on: 24 September 2020

advanced driving test

Most accidents are caused by driver error – so taking the advanced driving test is a great way to minimise your chance of an accident.

Traffic accidents account for almost half of the accidental deaths in the UK. According to the Royal Society of the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), these are the largest single cause of death and injury to young adults.

While the standard driving test may seem rigorous, it is really only a basic test. It doesn’t cover driving on motorways, or night driving, for example.

Reducing error

Mistakes by drivers cause 95% of accidents on the road, RoSPA statistics show. So improving your driving skills is one of the best ways to reduce the chances of you or anyone else being hurt in an accident.

You can learn about defensive driving and ‘the art of avoiding preventable accidents’ by taking an advanced driving course and test. Advanced drivers are 25% less likely to be involved in an accident, RoSPA says.

The Advanced Driving Test is run by the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM), and other organisations also run their own tests.

The principles of advanced driving

The IAM course uses driving principles first pioneered and applied by the Metropolitan Police. The System of Car Control, or ‘the System’, is a way of driving that allows you to approach all situations and negotiate all hazards on the road in a methodical and flexible way. 

An advanced driving course will teach you that safety must always override all other aspects of driving. Even when you are in a hurry, position and speed must always be sacrificed for safety. Basically, if you put your car in danger, you will fail the advanced test.

If you learn the System efficiently:

  • your handling skills will be properly co-ordinated

  • your observation will improve

  • your driving will be smooth and safe

  • you’ll drive with little bounce or roll on the road, making it comfortable for passengers

  • wear and tear on your vehicle will be reduced, as your driving will be smoother

  • Preparing for the advanced test

  • assessment of your driving abilities

  • insight into your bad driving habits

  • training from experienced advanced drivers

  • support to help you prepare for the test

  • convenient arrangements for training sessions

  • Some groups also offer social activities as well

Driving like this has the added benefit of using fuel in the most economical way, so it will also save you money and reduce your carbon footprint.

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