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Driving Improvement Courses

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 4 Dec 2012 | comments*Discuss
Driving Improvement Courses Driver

Whilst most of us will feel a sense of elation when we pass our driving test and finally get to ditch the ‘L’ plates the old adage that “it’s only when we pass our driving test that we actually begin to really learn how to drive” rings very true indeed.

It’s often the case that during the first year of having passed our driving test, many of the correct techniques which our instructors will have drummed into us will have been replaced by laziness and bad habits and it’s often these kinds of practices which are the main cause of accidents.

Broadly speaking, driving improvement courses can be put into 3 categories.

Driving Improvement for Those who have Committed a Traffic Offence

The Driving Improvement Scheme (DIS) is a course that is offered to some drivers as an alternative to them having to face prosecution for certain traffic law violations. It enables drivers to improve their driving skills but, even more important, it helps them to improve their general attitude to both their own driving and to be more considerate towards other road users. The courses, which are run to a nationally agreed standard, are funded by the drivers themselves and usually last about a day and a half. Many drivers see them as a useful way of improving their skills and eradicating bad habits and successful completion will enable drivers to avoid accruing additional penalty points on their licence.

The courses, which combine classroom based theory alongside practical tuition, look at how to improve your attitude to driving, how to anticipate traffic dangers as well as brushing up your Highway Code knowledge and they are run by driving instructors who have been approved by the Department of Transport.

In addition to the courses enabling you to avoid costly court proceedings and the damaging effects of additional points on your licence, the real benefit is that the re-education and retraining have a positive impact on the drivers themselves making them far less likely to have an accident or to transgress road safety laws in the future.

Driving Improvement for Younger and Older Drivers

Many drivers at opposite ends of the age spectrum often wish to spruce up their driving skills. Young drivers, especially, often feel they’ve come out of their driving lessons having passed their test but feel less confident about taking to the roads on their own. These courses help them improve their driving skills, gain additional experience and confidence and reinforce good habits as well as educating them about the dangers of drink and drugs and about excessive speeding.

For older people who are still medically fit enough to drive, similar courses can increase their self confidence as well as bringing their skills up to date as road behaviour today is, no doubt, much different to how things were when they passed their test and there will have been numerous changes in traffic laws also which they may not have been aware of.

In both cases, not only does this foster good driving practice, but passing a course of this type often reduces insurance premiums.

Advanced Driving Courses

Advanced driving improvement courses are also available for those who wish to take their driving skills to an even higher level. They cover areas like hazard perception, driving in wintry conditions (ice, skidding etc.), road positioning, driving on motorways and teach you how to take your driving on to an even higher level.

Although there is a test at the end, you’re under no compulsion to take it and many people simply wish to enhance their skills without wanting to take the test at the end.

For people who go on to take advanced driving courses, not only do they become better, more considerate drivers, they benefit from the additional payoffs of tending to keep their ‘no claims bonus’ on their insurance for longer and motoring becomes cheaper as they tend to drive more conservatively resulting in less wear and tear on the vehicle and better fuel consumption.

Whether a driving improvement course is offered to you as a result of a traffic law violation or whether it’s something you choose to do, on today’s overcrowded roads where everything seems to be moving at 100 mph, these courses can be invaluable to you. Not only are they likely to save you money, they could even save your life!

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Driving Improvement for Those who have Committed a Traffic Offence - is it just a course classroom based theory alongside practical tuition or there is an exam to pass in the end?
ralph - 12-Apr-11 @ 10:08 AM
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