The worst time to regret not taking an “advanced driving course” is when your car is starting to slide about on the highway and you have no idea what to do to correct it. Most drivers in Singapore forgo advanced defensive driving courses, as such sessions are pretty expensive. However, such courses will implant driving techniques for survival driving to keep your passengers, your car and you safe during emergency situations and adverse weather conditions.
Organized for a prominent local transport leasing company, we were able to get down to experience what an advanced driver training course is like. First, the drivers are taught more about hazards and vehicle dynamics in theory, but the fun part of such a course are the practice sessions. With the group split into three, drivers were shuffled between three stations: Slalom and Handbrake Turn, Skid Control as well as E-Brake and Avoid.
With the venue held on closed parking lot, participants started with Slalom and Handbrake Turn. They get to feel how a car starts to behave when forced into a tight obstacle course, with cones similar to that of a autocross race track. At the end of the slalom however, is a handbrake turn to spin the car 180 degrees. This is not as simple as it sounds like, and requires plenty of dexterity and coordination to pull it off.
The Skid Control was another station that further tested the driver’s ability to use the throttle to control the car. With the demo car’s rear wheels placed on free rollers, the rear end of the car is practically breaking lose all the time, and this requires drivers to learn how to steer and accelerate in order to control the rear end slide. After getting acclimatized to the tail happy car, the drivers are then taught how to drive around a cone without the car spinning out of control, requiring the right steering inputs as well as accelerator control to prevent the car from completely spinning out.
The last station was simple, but the most used in real-world scenario. Drivers accelerated hard into a damp surface and slam on the brakes. This station was to simulate a real life situation if a road hazard suddenly requires the use of heavy braking. Next, drivers were told to slam on the brakes and steer around the hazard. This was a crucial lesson as many drivers never got a chance to experience how ABS works in low grip situations and panic.
On this day however, these drivers could safely practise their defensive driving skills to perfection. At the end of the day, participants were presented a certificate of their course completion, and all went home with deeper understanding of their car’s abilities and new skills in car control! Visit www.driverite.sg for more information.