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Safeguard OSH Solutions - Thomson Reuters

Safeguard OSH Solutions - Thomson Reuters


Middle-aged focus

A spike in the number of road deaths of middle-aged drivers a few years back prompted the AA to develop a defensive driving course for experienced drivers.

Karen Dickson, AA driver training national manager, says it was thought that middle-aged drivers could be working longer hours, and harbouring more stress than other age groups. “Research suggested this unexpected spike was related to an age group that is under pressure to provide for their families.”

The condensed four-hour course covers high risk factors such as fatigue, stress, and road rage, and can take place on-site. It teaches attendees the importance of driving economically, both for the environment and for vehicle running costs. Dickson says many employees use company cars or feet vehicles, so the experienced drivers course has proven popular among organisations that have a corporate responsibility to educate and create a safer environment for their employees.

Technological advancements have also allowed the AA to provide driver training tools and information about licensing requirements online through the association’s website. The free online road code test was introduced in 2008, with an average of 300 people per day testing their road code knowledge.

At the beginning of last year, as a result of repeated calls for an off-road car handling skills course, the AA launched the skill control programme. The 90 minute off-road coaching session is a practical, hands-on course for drivers of all levels and the coach is Emma Gilmour, New Zealand’s top female rally driver. It focuses on crash avoidance techniques, how to use ABS breaking, and how to make an emergency stop.

Thomson Reuters

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