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Around 30 AfMA delegates gathered for a training workshop at Sandown International Raceway yesterday afternoon, as part of a safety initiative led by Murcotts Driving Excellence.

Key to the meeting was an address from Geoff Thomas of Murcotts, who talked about the need for drivers to continually acknowledge that driving is a task that requires constant learning and the updating of skills. There is a universal tendency for drivers to assume they are “better than average”, and many hold confidence that a car crash won’t happen to them.

Delegates gathered for the main address at Sandown International Raceway.

Unfortunately, the reality is very different and it is critical for drivers to never grow complacent when it comes to their driving habits. And that advice is for younger drivers, older drivers and those in between – road trauma does not discriminate.

Following the talk and network session, the second half of the workshop addressed these concerns in a very practical way. Participants were sent out into the testing area for some road tests using their own vehicles, led by expert coaches from Murcotts themselves.

Brake Test

Participants were instructed to suddenly brake from 65km/h when they heard the whistle. The distance it takes a car to brake is more than you think and will be even further in the real world when you don’t expect to have any form of warning. Taking just 5km/h of your speed can lead to a 15% decrease in crashes.

Blind Spots

Most drivers are quick to think of the blind spots being the unseen areas on the sides of the car, but the reality is much more significant. Low level blind spots exist in front and behind the car and it is all too easy for drivers to hit a gutter, a shopping trolley or a toddler if they aren’t paying close attention to the 360-degrees around the car.

Drivers are encouraged to purchase vehicles that feature reverse-sensor cameras or to install third-party devices into their vehicles if driving older models.

Would you believe that the driver can only just see the cone from that distance away?

Is your fleet regularly testing the road skills of our drivers?

Perhaps it is time for a refresher course.

Murcotts runs regular defensive driving training courses for fleets, individuals and groups. You can get more information about the courses here.