As parents we have all shared the joy when our kids have first passed their learner’s licence and then graduated to their formal driver’s license. For many parents, this is a time of some relief, as now the responsibility of the school run, the odd hours of sports practice or running kids between home and their institutions of higher learning have been reduced to some extent.
With it also come the sleepless nights when waiting up for them to get home safely after an evening out in the car.
At Toyota Advanced Driving we often ask whether the obligatory K53 learning testing procedure equip them to safely negotiate our road and the hazards it brings. The answer is an emphatic no.
South African authorities seem to think that as long as “the system” has taught a person to pull away on an uphill without rolling back, know the road signs, and to look left and right at an intersection before proceeding through their job is done. One gets the impression that once they have deemed a young person fit to drive, it is someone else’s responsibility to teach them how to stay alive and stay safe. Given our unacceptable high road fatality figure – amongst the highest in the world – the onus rests with us as their guardians to ensure we take the necessary steps to prepare them for every eventuality.
BEFEITS OF ADVANCED DRIVING
Certain countries in Europe have a complete commitment to training their first-time drivers. Prior to their licenses being validated, a new driver has to attend an advanced driving course.
The pioneers in this field is Belgian’s Test & Training International (TTI), a company established around 20 years and spearheaded by Franz Wurz and his famous son Alexander, the race car driver who participated in F1 racing and many other formulas.
TTI incorporates the latest research results to create state of the art road safety training programmes that factor in both the latest scientific know-how and the pedagogical methodology for all target groups.
Whatever the vehicle, however advanced its technological features, the human factor remains the most important when it comes to road safety. Over 90% of accidents are due to human error. At TAD, too, we place special emphasis on the individual attention lavished upon trainees to ensure they are taught procedures and techniques that will allow them a safe arrival at their destination, in spite of ever-increasing traffic and hazards on the roads.
Driving a car demands much more than just the correct use of the pedals, switches and buttons. It requires a sound basic education which needs to be continuously built upon, and it requires that human weakness when driving (traits like aggression, impatience and the like) are addressed appropriately. Only then can what is learnt in road safety training be put into practice, and only then are good and safe drivers the result. Having identified the shortcomings of the basic K52 training regime, and having recognized the importance of the need for an introductory course specifically aimed at the first-time driver, Toyota Advanced Driving, in conjunction the Toyota dealers, offers a two-hour course open to teens and parents alike. The content spread covers a significant range of topics like seating position, mirrors, and seatbelts; texting and driving; following distances and emergency stopping distance recognition; identifying potential traffic hazards; changing a spare wheel; and tips to avoid a potential hijack situation.
After all, it is our responsibility to ensure our loved ones are safe. To book a course or request more info, call or email TAD on the detail below.