Winter is upon us! It is also the party season; venturing out to meet friends, have a bite to eat, enjoy a drink or three. Great times!
The only person I know of who drinks and drives to excess this time of year is Santa. Gallons of whisky, brandy, sherry and port! We even encourage him! Tsk! Tsk! He does have the road all to himself though; nothing in front; nothing behind and nothing pulling out on him. But that is no excuse to drink and drive – no this is not an article on drinking and driving. Santa has plenty of time to think about things, such as “which reindeer just farted?” It must happen I guess, and being behind nine reindeer it’s bound to. Of course, Santa is magic so he can get away with driving whilst under the influence. We can’t!
If Santa has all that time to think, it makes me wonder if us non-magic mortals could also have more time to think when we drive; more time to observe and stay out of trouble; more time to plan and change our route.
I don’t know about you, but when I drive in winter I slow down a bit especially at night. Not sure if it’s an age thing or self-preservation.
Driving in winter is fine, mostly. But, there is always that car behind wanting to go faster. You know the type. Then there are those that go too slow and brake at every bend or oncoming car – very annoying.What do these people have in common? Fast and slow? It’s one of two things; sense of misplaced ability and lack of confidence. Both rely on their cars which, true, have developed considerably over the years, but, that squidgy soft thing between our ears hasn’t really kept up!
Down the pub with your mates and they laugh at your sexual prowess, you would joke about it and join in the banter! If they said you were a rubbish driver, you would get angry and punch them right there and then! Silly huh!
How can we avoid being punched? How can you improve your confidence?
Wiltshire RoADAR, ROSPA Advanced Drivers And Riders, http://www.wiltshireroadar.co.uk/ can help. No, not in the sexual department; probably. Nor do we teach Karate or anything like that. What we do is teach a style of driving and riding similar to the Police. If it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for anyone.
There’s no real magic about Advanced Driving and Riding; it's back to basics. Stuff we forget once we pass our driving tests.
We apply a simple system, IPSGA. It’s about making good progress; driving quickly, not driving fast. There is a difference. Making time for yourself. Simple things like leaving a gap between you and the vehicle in front.
IPSGA – Information, Position, Speed, Gear, Acceleration. We use this system to inform how quickly we can go given the driving conditions. Rural, urban, motorway – the system works.
Being RoSPA, we look at safety too. After all, we want to get home safe and sound, and so do you.
For a joining fee of £30, you get free, almost, driver training! For motorbikes we do suggest £10 per session for tutor’s costs. The £30 includes membership of the Wiltshire RoADAR group, plus the Roadcraft Manual which the Police use. There is a test you pay for after training, though not compulsory, which you will be graded with Gold being the highest award.
The group is full of likeminded people with a real passion for driving and riding. One thing we do know is that we all make mistakes and there is no such thing as a perfect drive.
And is Santa a good driver? I can’t answer that, but he is magic after all! As to the farting reindeer, suggest you ask Santa.
For more driving and riding information, take a look at the Wiltshire RoADAR (RoSPA Advanced Drivers And Riders) website www.wiltshireroadar.co.uk. We also arrange holidays and days out – eg the Alps in 2016 and Germany in 2017.