Safe driving behaviour is skillful

Skills are an essential component of ability. Skills are crucial to safe driving behaviour. Skills generally can only be acquired through training and repeated practice. Considering the complexity and multi-tasking demands of safe driving, most drivers have received little training hence the high crash rate.

For example very few new drivers have been taught or tested on the open road and at speed. Developing hazard awareness skills at 100 km/h is very challenging compared to 50 or 60 km/h.

Skills relate to more than just controlling vehicles. Drivers need to develop skills especially those of hazard perception through scanning techniques and looking up ahead as well as the skills necessary to avoid hazards.

Proactive driving requires drivers to increase their knowledge, skills and competencies crucial for developing a driver safety culture. These include:

  • Reducing key risk behaviours
    Increasing hazard perception, detection and risk assessment skills
    Developing risk management skills - avoiding emergency situations
    Coping with the multi-tasking demands of vehicle control on-road and in traffic conditions
    Dealing with emergency situations
    Creating a safety environment inside and outside the vehicle
    Achieving the environmental benefits of safe driving

These are the key learning outcomes of effective driver education and training. They reflect the findings from worldwide road safety research, collision data, behaviour based health and safety systems as well as from data arising from Murcotts programs.

Murcotts have developed various exercises and training tools to assist the learning process to ensure that both in-class or in-vehicle situations, experiential learning is the underlying approach.