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Mindful Training Programme Makes Drivers ‘Roadwise’

‘Driving in Mind’ behavioural coaching programme helps drivers to address and improve their driving practices to reduce exposure to risk.

Roadwise Driver Training has addressed the development of a more behaviour-led approach to driver training through its ‘Driving in Mind’ course. Specifically designed to raise a driver’s awareness of their behaviour behind the wheel, it allows them to recognise how this can affect their ability to drive safely, and teaches them to address and correct this to minimise the potential of being involved in unsafe situations, such as a collision.

Starting with a pre-course online fleet driver risk indicator (FDRI) assessment, an individual risk profile is generated and used as the basis of one-to-one training with a ‘Driving in Mind’ instructor. On completion of the programme, a development training report is compiled for the benefit of the driver.

One such driver is Laura McLemon, who commented on her experience of the course: “A colleague and I were discussing risk assessments with our health and safety manager, including the amount of driving we have to do for our jobs. We’re required to travel a great deal and our safety, especially with lots of night driving, was a consideration.

“It was felt that advanced driver training would be useful, and our manager looked into various courses. Dave at Roadwise was chosen because he could provide everything we were looking for: local, times to fit everyone and individual requirements could be met. The fact that Dave is also a happy, jolly guy was a deciding factor, too.

“An added plus for me was that I’ve always wanted to do this anyway and had asked my previous employer about the possibility of taking this kind of course. So, I was really pleased that I could do this through my current employment.

“After filling in the questionnaire giving my own opinion of my driving, I met Dave and this was used as the basis for the lesson. We went through the answers and Dave asked some additional, more probing questions. I thought I’d answered quite reasonably, but the extra questions highlighted areas I could improve in. It was an eye-opening exercise!

“Then we went for a drive, just to see how I drive – no instruction. Dave considered my answers while he observed me, asked a few more questions and then we stopped to do a comparison. Dave drew some conclusions and thought that my driving was true to my responses, then came up with things I could do to improve, before we set off again to put them into practice.

“The tuition was based on observation and question-and-answer, which I found really interesting. At the end of the session, we recapped what I had done so I could see that my driving had already improved. I didn’t think a 2.5-3.5 hour lesson would make such a difference.

“Since the course, I have noticed that I am more able to anticipate other drivers’ moves, hold back a bit and am more observant of potential hazards such as pavements, turn-offs and summits. I also have key sayings from Dave which have stuck in my head, which really help too.”

 Roadwise Driver Training was founded in 1994 by Dave Watson (pictured), a former police class one driver and driving instructor. In December 2012, Roadwise became the first social enterprise driver training provider when it was fully acquired by Aberdeen Foyer after a period of successful partnership working. Profit generated by Roadwise goes towards supporting Aberdeen Foyer’s work alleviating youth homelessness and unemployment in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, so that the company’s social impact reaches beyond its work of creating a safer environment for all road users.

Note: Original article by Judy Marshall was published in Business Now, 2017

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