Hello all

A good place to post when you join - it is a good idea to post here first so that people know something about you, and you will get a nice welcome.
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exportmanuk
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Location: Manchester

Re: Hello all

Postby exportmanuk » Sat Mar 09, 2019 4:52 pm

The OP mentioned familiar roads. Advanced drivers/riders should not have familiar roads. The conditions change daily if you driver faster on roads you are familiar with then you have a false sense of security which in turn is a dangerous thing. Also,if you are driving smoothly then you should not be throwing passengers around in the car.
I would agree that the observer prepared this candidate badly. I would also suggest that if someones comfort zone is driving at 40-45 mph everywhere as many do because they are comfortable with that, then how will they cope with something unexpected. If you do not stretched and improved your abilities you will never be a better driver/rider.
Andrew Melton
Manchester 500

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Horse
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Re: Hello all

Postby Horse » Sat Mar 09, 2019 5:30 pm

exportmanuk wrote:. I would also suggest that if someones comfort zone is driving at 40-45 mph everywhere as many do because they are comfortable with that, then how will they cope with something unexpected. If you do not stretched and improved your abilities you will never be a better driver/rider.


I think that I'd rather be driven by someone who recognises their limits and keeps within them, than someone deliberately licking the flap of their performance envelope.

If you get near your limits, but make an error of judgement, it's going to be far harder to successfully recover from it. I make those errors, I like a bit of leeway. Also, there's a need to know and have rehearsed escape techniques (and have enough time and space to achieve success) - and have those escape plans as part of all planning. And even with all that, not everyone will avoid (even momentary) freezing. See the link I posted on reaction times to unexpected events.

If you're going to be effected, is the public road the place to do it?
Your 'standard' is how you drive alone, not how you drive during a test.

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exportmanuk
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Location: Manchester

Re: Hello all

Postby exportmanuk » Sat Mar 09, 2019 6:31 pm

Horse wrote:
I think that I'd rather be driven by someone who recognises their limits and keeps within them, than someone deliberately licking the flap of their performance envelope.


Says the man carrying the red flag walking in front of the car. How many people do you see driving in the middle lane of a motorway at 50 to 55 because thats there comfortable position. I am not advocating GLF everywhere but where conditions permit then as an advanced driver/rider you should be in sight of the speed limit. At least on the test .

It is advance driving course not a mediocre one, (no matter how much they try to dumb it down). The observer should make it clear what the expectations are.
Andrew Melton
Manchester 500

StuBeeDoo
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Re: Hello all

Postby StuBeeDoo » Sun Mar 10, 2019 2:47 pm

StuBeeDoo wrote:.........accept that I was hasty in buying/taking the course.......


Having spent a lot of time since that ^^^ post reading your responses here, and reading other posts on the forum, I've seen nothing yet that dispels my initial feelings, but plenty to reinforce them.

You all, without exception it seems, have a passion for driving/riding. That passion is what inspires you to be more "advanced". .....And that's good! :) But that passion is what is lacking in me. For me, driving has become little more than a chore. Driving gets me to work, it's what I do at work, it gets me to the doctors, it gets me to B&Q, takes the wife shopping. It's a means-to-an-end. I find nothing pleasurable about driving in the 21st century. If to you that means I'm not an advanced driver, I won't disagree with you.

I had passion for driving when I was younger. I would use any feeble excuse to get to drive. I was an active member of a local motor club, drove 12-car rallies (anyone remember them?) and autotests. Sometime in the last 20 or so years, that passion died. Try as I might I just can't get enthusiastic about driving anymore. Undoubtedly I left taking the IAM course far too late. Had I done it 25 years ago I would have fully embraced it and likely still have some of that passion.

These days I've no desire to even think about driving (except while I'm actually doing it, I should add). Recently, my wife suggested a run-out along the Dales. Half-heartedly, I agreed. We were out 6+ hours and drove more than 150 miles. How did I feel when we got home?... Relieved!

Now I know what you're going to say......... "Get yourself to some Group meetings, or on some driving days.". I can't be bothered to sit listening to people recalling their near-perfect drive or ride. Driving day?........ I'd rather go for walk in the country. Have I misconceived this as well? Probably. But soon it will be academic, because I'm unlikely to renew my membership.

Yes, I want to be the best driver I can - not just a "steerer". I want to be more observant, to not be a victim of someone else's accident - or, worse still, cause my own accident. I want to get from A to B safely. I'm not bothered about accelerating to the prevailing speed limit as quickly as possible (although I don't dawdle, holding-up other road-users), neither am I bothered about getting there quickly. They tell me my car will go from 0-100km/h in 6.2sec. Am I bothered? I bought it for the comfort and ease-of-access. "Need to get somewhere in a hurry"? Not me! Nothing in my life is that important. I'll leave in plenty of time (usually getting there far too early, but hey-ho......) and if I get held-up on the way - tough! I'll get there when I get there.

So, do I find any positives in my advanced driving experience? Yes, there are a few - the main one being that as a driver I was judged, on the day, to be slightly above average. If I had researched more thoroughly before committing to the course, then maybe I wouldn't have bothered. Has it made me a better driver? Possibly a bit. Am I a smoother driver? Probably not. Most of what we went through (apart from what's been discussed on this thread) I already did as a matter of course. .....And I now know that the speed my thoughts turn to words would never get me a First. Just as well I never had any desire to further myself and become an observer, for example - I knew that would never have flown because as a passenger I get travel-sick to the point of full-on nausea.

Do I feel let-down? Only by myself. As I've said before, I didn't ask enough of the right questions when I was doing my research. No aspect of anything I have posted here is intended as criticism of IAM or any of its people I came into contact with. Any blame lies entirely with me and my misconception of "advanced", "safety" and "progress".
Last edited by StuBeeDoo on Sun Mar 10, 2019 3:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

StuBeeDoo
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Re: Hello all

Postby StuBeeDoo » Sun Mar 10, 2019 3:20 pm

Dual post. :(

martine
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Re: Hello all

Postby martine » Sun Mar 10, 2019 4:15 pm

It's a shame you feel like you do. 'Advanced Driving' is a huge subject and you've dabbled and it doesn't seem to have re-inspired you. Anyone passing should feel proud as the standard is quite high...and some just don't want to leave it there - like the people here. It's not for everyone (sad though that is!) and it sounds like you are a better driver - which is to be celebrated.

Travel-sickness aside - I'd still hope a good demo drive would give you some things to think about - but I guess that's asking too much?
Martin - Bristol IAM: IMI National Observer, Group Secretary, Masters (dist), DSA: ADI, Fleet, RoSPA (Dip)

Triquet
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Re: Hello all

Postby Triquet » Sun Mar 10, 2019 6:06 pm

This morning we had a group drive-out, one hour each round the highways and byways of Oxfordshire. It was pleasant just to be out, enjoy the sunshine, and just do a bit of driving for the fun of it. Sometimes it's nice just to think about (and enjoy) the activity of driving, without worrying about schedule or shopping list ... and burn up a few litres of hydrocarbon for no particular reason.

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Horse
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Re: Hello all

Postby Horse » Mon Mar 11, 2019 12:40 pm

Apologies for the delay in replying, I composed a multi-quote message yesterday, then managed to delete it :oops:

GTR1400MAN wrote:
Horse wrote:
GTR1400MAN wrote: your pace/speed/progress will naturally rise


It shouldn't, any increase in speed should be a conscious decision.

Well as you snipped that bit off the front of my quote ;)
... Once they start observing and planning via the system, they actually think about the speed they can safely do.


Apologies if this has caused confusion. OP - presumably - didn't demonstrate a problem with driving systematically (I'm presuming that would have been a clear 'fail'). So the 'problem' from the examiner's PoV was that final element of the 4xS (what order? Have I mentioned lately that an earlier version of the IAM manual says “Advanced driving . . . Smooth, safe progress”?), simply that the examiner's estimate was 'faster' while OP's decision was 'more restrained'.

OK, to demonstrate 'advanced' to test level requires more than OP wanted to do. As I said earlier, this really shows a disconnect in training and preparation for the test. If OP had a X-check with a second observer, then either he didn't drive to the same standard on test day, or there's a big, multi-Observer, disconnect.

But perhaps there's an even bigger disconnect: that between what the public want and what IAM offer?

I've only visited two IAM Groups and one RoSPA Group in the last few years. I think it's fair to say that members mainly weren't in the first flush of youth. Is it reasonably to think that within a generation, the IAM (and probably RoSPA) will be facing a severe volunteer staff shortage?

OP has taken the time and trouble to register here and explain his circumstances. I wonder what message he will give if asked "Oh, IAM, was it worth it?" . . . I doubt it would be ringing endorsement, ever again.

exportmanuk wrote:
Horse wrote:I think that I'd rather be driven by someone who recognises their limits and keeps within them, than someone deliberately licking the flap of their performance envelope.


Says the man carrying the red flag walking in front of the car.


Is that aimed at me? :?

There's no denying that anyone driving up to their own limits and/or the road's is pushing their luck. No-one is perfect, we all make mistakes. Re-read what I said:

Horse wrote: someone who recognises their limits and keeps within them


Is that against 'advanced' principles? If so, please quote which ones.
Your 'standard' is how you drive alone, not how you drive during a test.

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Horse
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Re: Hello all

Postby Horse » Mon Mar 11, 2019 12:45 pm

StuBeeDoo wrote: Am I a smoother driver? Probably not.


Could you expand on this?

One of the things I'm always pleased by is passengers falling asleep* (because I can have a nap too without them worrying ;) ), so it's concerning if you've been moulded into a less-smooth driving style.


* I suppose it could always been a 'scintillating company' thing . . .
Your 'standard' is how you drive alone, not how you drive during a test.

StuBeeDoo
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Re: Hello all

Postby StuBeeDoo » Mon Mar 11, 2019 5:30 pm

Thank you, Horse, for your reponse. I spent quite a while yesterday morning on a protracted post and it vanished when I thought I'd hit "Submit". Frustrating, isn't it? :confused:

Horse wrote:
StuBeeDoo wrote: Am I a smoother driver? Probably not.

Could you expand on this?

What I meant by that comment is that I don't feel my driving post-IAM is any smoother than it was pre-. Without wishing to blow my own trumpet, that aspect of my driving has never been a problem (that I'm aware of).

Horse wrote:......or there's a big, multi-Observer, disconnect

TBH, In my case - upon reflection - I don't think it was a "multi-Observer disconnect", more that my main observer was, as someone posted earlier in the thread, too laid-back - in comparison to the second Observer and Examiner.

Horse wrote:But perhaps there's an even bigger disconnect: that between what the public want and what IAM offer?

I've just re-visited IAM's website, and the overview of the course includes the following....
"So what can you expect from our advanced driver course? Sign up and you’ll receive a welcome pack and course manual, followed by an introduction to your nearest local IAM RoadSmart group of volunteers. Our skilled experts, all Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) qualified, will take you through a number of observed drives in your own car.
Each session with your expert lasts a couple of hours and you’ll focus on specific skills to develop across a wide range of competencies, where you’ll need to demonstrate your newly acquired advanced driving skills such as, control, observation, timing, optimum road positioning, ability to deal with unpredictable roads and other road users’ behaviour. When you’re ready, you’ll take the advanced driving test."

To be fair, that was pretty-much what my main Observer went through with me. As (I think..) I posted before, I only had one run with a second Observer and that was the pre-test. It was during that run that my lack of "progress" was first mentioned. A few days later I again went out with the main Observer, starting with a de-brief of the pre-test. When I mentioned that my lack of "progress" had been noted, along with my commentary not being up to scratch, I was told "Oh, I think he's being picky. You'll be fine". Even without that comment, I thought I'd be fine too - but I'm not the "expert" here.

Horse wrote:Is it reasonably to think that within a generation, the IAM (and probably RoSPA) will be facing a severe volunteer staff shortage?

I've heard (although possibly not from any reliable source) that IAM could be struggling in some areas already. Maybe that's a problem in my locality.

Horse wrote:OP has taken the time and trouble to register here and explain his circumstances. I wonder what message he will give if asked "Oh, IAM, was it worth it?" . . . I doubt it would be ringing endorsement, ever again.

As I posted earlier in the thread, I have no gripe with any of the IAM people that I have had contact with. I wouldn't be so harsh as to put anyone off taking the course. In fact, having had the experience, I feel I can now give a better insight than IAM's internet "blurb" does.

Horse wrote:I think that I'd rather be driven by someone who recognises their limits and keeps within them, than someone deliberately licking the flap of their performance envelope.

Horse wrote:There's no denying that anyone driving up to their own limits and/or the road's is pushing their luck. No-one is perfect, we all make mistakes.

You know what?........... Those ^^^ 2 comments have made me feel a whole lot better about being a fully-fledged Advanced Driver! Thank you. :D

As I alluded to previously, my preconception and the feedback from my Observer was that the Advanced Driver Course was biased more toward safety than "progress". When I read the information pack, I saw that there was the option to progress (there's that word again, but in a different context) to Masters level. That was the section of the information where I first read about " Assessing, planning and executing safe overtaking manoeuvres", "Recognising opportunities to make safe progress (within the speed limits)", etc, etc.
So I would venture to suggest that if there's a real disconnect it's between what IAM appears to offer and what their Examiners expect to see Associates demonstrate on their test. Again with hindsight, had I been made aware that I was expected to drive the test as if I were a Police driver on a "shout" I'd have given it a go - but I thought that was for Masters candidates not Mr.Average-Advanced-Driver.


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