Defensive Driving Training
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  1. #1
    Member Bugsy1701's Avatar
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    Jun 2005

    Default Defensive Driving Training

    As part of a safety initiative at work I went along to Murcotts at Sandown on friday, I had a great day and learnt heaps ....even after 20 odd years driving.


    I am interested in the experiences of fellow AFers as I am planning to put all our company's drivers through the course.

    88 205 GTi
    I wonder what it's like to be grown up?

  2. #2
    Fellow Frogger! sdabel's Avatar
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    Jun 2003


    I was sent on a course by my work years ago, the emphasis was on attitude adjustment not advanced techniques. They started off in a classroom setting with some drivers point of view pictures of postential accident situations. We all had to tell the rest of the group who was to blame for the crash that might happen and why.

    Scary bit for me was that several people in the group had the attitude that because legally they would not be responsable they would not take any action to avoid the crash! One guy took full responsabilaty for all situations, his logic was that if he could avaoid a crash then he should. Years later I am still hoping that people like him are around me if I ever make a mistake while driving!

    This kind of sums up defensive driving for me- its not about left footed braking or heel and toe but attitude readjustment. And our instructor for the day was a well known local rally driver so she was defianatly in position to teach technical skills if required!

    I would argue that this is more usefull for work purposes when the aim is to reduce the risk to workers required to drive by their employer. Another way of putting this is that it saves money on workers compensation claims. Certainly everyone from our work place thought it worthwhile.

    1996 XM 2.1 TD Exclusive

  3. #3
    Fellow Frogger! vanderaj's Avatar
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    Feb 2003


    I did mine a long time ago, just after I got my license. I'm not sure this place (it was out Ringwood way) is still in business.

    Mine was a half day in the class room and half a day on the course. It had this really tall hill to practice hill starts, a dirt section, and a sealed road with varying surfaces.

    We learnt about "there is no such thing as an accident unless you're hit by a falling satellite", safe distances between cars, lane discipline (staying in your lane, and how to change lanes safely), approaching all sorts of intersections, braking distances* and techniques (these were pre-ABS... I know I'm supposed to just jump on the brakes now...), and high speed avoid the cone thing. It wasn't a heel and toe / slide type of place and the emphasis was totally defensive.

    The training worked - I've never had an incident yet ... except for when I backed into my parents car a few months back, and that was just embarrassing as I didn't see their dark maroon car in the dark street.

    If anyone is going to do some training as part of a club day or similar soon, I'd be up for a refresher as I reckon I've forgotten more than I've remembered.


    * This was mostly about trying to encourage you to keep speeds down by scaring you about how much further you need to stop and how fast you'll hit the obstacle if you don't manage it. Unfortunately, in my case this bit has fallen on a deaf and heavy right foot. I keep to the speed limits in back streets as I agree with them... but elsewhere...
    2003 C3 Exclusive Panoramique auto

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Moss Vale


    hey guys,
    i just did the AAMI defensive driving training day at Blacktown. It was great to learn in a controlled environment just what you could and couldnt do. the exercises were never done at more than 45km/h but it was more than enough to couse mayhem. i never thought 5km/h could make such a step is go to more driver training and eventually get a cams license. anyways i would recommend these days to anyone. plus it helps lower your premiums
    later yp
    00' 206 GTi Diablo Red 315k
    05' 407SW Executive 14k

  5. #5
    Fellow Frogger! Jez 405's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2001


    I went to Jim Murcott's stage 1 and 2, both as gifts.
    I'd recommend stage1 to anybody. Very eye-opening, and a lot of fun. I had been driving maybe six months then, and you do learn a lot and adjust your driving to suit... well, I did anyway. They also emphasised a lot on driving attitude and awareness which was probably the one most impotant aspect of the course.
    Wet braking technique (candence braking) for non-ABS cars is something everyone should know. Truncated stopping distances are something everyone should experience BEFORE they get their licences...

    Stage 2 was even better - maneuvers up to 110km/h!! Took the Peugeot 405 on this one, the other 3 cars consisted of a VT, a VX Commodore and an AU Falcon.
    They taught us how to recover from oversteer and understeer situations, pushed the cars to their grip limits on the slalom, braking and avoid at higher speeds... My only reservation with sending people like me there is that they tell you how get the car to oversteer to teach you how to control it. Possibly not a brilliant idea, but nothing I already haven't tried (or paid for )
    They were all laughing at the fact that I had to take twice as much run-up to do the high-speed maneuvers and no-one thought that the Pug would oversteer...heh heh heh I showed them!!
    "Nah, mate you need a rear drive car!"
    "yeah, and some power to boot the tail out with"
    .... then came the high speed slalom... cue 3 big aussie barges roll-steering and tripping over their undersized rubber...

    Earlier this month I took the AAMI safety course that Youngpugga mentioned (hey, it was free! not exactly an advanced driving course though). It was good, but nothing new there and I reckon Jim Murcott's stage 1 was better. All maneuvers were done at speeds below 45km/h on a dry track - practically an open car park. Hellooooo, flatspots! They mostly emphasised on awareness of risks, and the braking and swerving capabilities of your car (difference 5 or 10km/h can make) rather than teaching you any driving technique. Had the Range-Rover on this one And you thought a Citroen could roll...
    Last edited by Jez 405; 16th October 2005 at 08:19 PM.
    1987 Peugeot 205 GTI S1
    1996 Jaguar XJR X300
    1991 Honda VT250 Spada
    1992 Peugeot 405 S (R.I.P. 31/07/2005)

  6. #6
    Member marcmarc62's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Melbourne, Northern Sub's


    A number of years ago when I was a postie with Aussie post they sent me on a "stay upright" motorcycle course. Although I'd been riding bikes for 15 years at the time I went in there with the attitude that, if I learn one thing today, this is good. I learnt many things that day, counter steering on a bike, braking techniques and much more, "there is no such thing as an accident unless you're hit by a falling bridge"(not a satellite in my case)we were told.
    With braking for example, I could stop a bike reasonbly quickly, or so I thought. When the instructors put what I did into words and explained the physics of braking (weight distribution & grip etc) I made great braking improvements regardless of the surface. I could now understand what I was doing and why.
    I practised and practised what I'd learnt daily on my postie round until I felt there was no way of stopping that bike more quickly. A couple of years later I was sent on a refresher course. The instructor asked who'd practiced what they'd learnt, I put my hand up. "Yeah, we'll see" was the response. They did see and told me so later in the day.
    Another postie, in his fifties, said to me before first the course - "I've had my share of accidents, this is a waste of time". I thought (but didn't say), you're getting paid for this why not make the most of it? Two weeks later he was delivering his mail one day when the rubbish bins were out on the nature strips. He happened to hit one with the right handlebar which in turn squeezed the front brake lever on and locked up the front wheel. He came down pretty hard and was off work for months. Even after this accident I don't think his attitude had changed, he was locked into (his attitude) it instead of being open minded.

    Attitude I think is the number one road safety factor. With the right attitude everything else falls into place.
    Forget about things like speed limits, booze/drug busses and older slightly unroadworthy cars etc.
    With the right attitude I'll slow down below the speed limit if I'm uncertain of the situation at hand.
    If I'm not feeling right to drive due to booze/drugs my attitude will prevail me from driving home.
    If my car's unroadworthy (within reason) I'll take that into account and drive accordingly.

    Say for example you're at a barbeque. Two people have had a few drinks. One decides to drive home and the other finds another way home. The first will probably think, I'll take the risk and drive. The risk of what I ask? Getting caught by a booze bus? The risk of injury or death to others doesn't enter their mind. Can't happen to me, they think .
    The second person at the BBQ will understand that it can happen too any of us and will find another way home just incase. It may not happen but it's not worth the risk.
    The difference between these two is their attitude and nothing else.

    The right attitude extends to things like courtesy and not just vehicle control. We're all stuck on these roads together so lets make things a little more pleasant for each other. The other option, road rage, is dangerous!
    I remember a road safety campaign years ago here in Vic, "courtesy is catching". This is the type of thing I'm talking about. Changing attitudes rather than stricter law enforcement. We don't see anything like that these days, maybe it doesn't help the government coffers?

    A few years later, after doing these defensive riding courses I was hit by a car doing a right hand turn across an intersection on the postie bike. I was heading straight and definitely had the right of way. My first thought was why didn't I spot the car across the intersection as a possible danger? Being in the right "technically" didn't even cross my mind as I layed in the gutter. If I'd seen her I wouldn't be in this predicament regardless of who's fault it was!
    My right ankle was crushed between the cars bumper and the bikes engine as the bike was ripped out from underneath me. I still have two platinum screws in my right ankle to prove it.

    I believe that the right person, with the right attitude can benefit enormously from defensive driving/riding courses but . . .
    With the wrong attitude in the first place they will not. A waste of time and money.

    Personally too me it's a matter of survival and not being right or wrong.


  7. #7
    Member marcmarc62's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Melbourne, Northern Sub's


    Quote Originally Posted by Bugsy1701
    As part of a safety initiative at work I went along to Murcotts at Sandown on friday, I had a great day and learnt heaps ....even after 20 odd years driving.

    I am interested in the experiences of fellow AFers as I am planning to put all our company's drivers through the course.
    Ps Bugsy -

    I hope my above post/experiences helps with your decision as to whether sending others on the course.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2004
    West Melbourne, VIC


    Hi Marc, what's the cost for one of these drive training? Sounds fun with the pug

  9. #9
    Member marcmarc62's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Melbourne, Northern Sub's


    Quote Originally Posted by Chef
    Hi Marc, what's the cost for one of these drive training? Sounds fun with the pug
    I can't say the cost as I've never paid for one but believe me you won't regret it. It will certainly raise your confidence and therefore your Pug driving experience, if you have the right attitude in the first place that is! (Which I'm sure you do)

    The cost I'm afraid, you'll have to do your own homework on. Or get a response from others here on OzFrogs.

    There are a variety of courses out there and I think none of them are bad but I'm no expert in this field.

    Hopefully other Oz Froggers may have more experience with particular driving courses.
    My experiences are mainly from motorcycle courses which I feel are in a very simmilar vein.


  10. #10
    Member marcmarc62's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Melbourne, Northern Sub's



    My advice -

    Do a cheaper/basic course and take it form there.

    See what you think.


  11. #11
    Fellow Frogger! 206 RC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005


    A group of us 206 GTi'ers recently participated in John Bowes Drive to Survive program.

    This program cost $260.00 although we received a discount.

    Four 206 GTi's turned up..

    With the rest of the cars being made up of:
    Ford Falcon XY, Ford Falcon EF, Mazda 323 sedan,
    Toyota Echo Sedan,
    Mitsubishi Starion Turbo, Suburu Legacy, Mitsubishi
    Magna, Holden Ute

    The theory side of the course anchored around safety,
    what makes a car safe,
    which of course the answer is the driver, so rather
    than boring you about
    the specifics, lets just say that the theory was
    fairly obvious.

    The "practical" side isn't all that practical. A
    great deal of the time is
    spent in skid control where the participants are
    supposed to find the
    "threshold" of their car's braking point. Lets just
    say, I don't think any
    of us in any of the events could perfectly find that
    "threshold". And
    personally, I won't be practicing on the road, because
    if you get it wrong
    it won't be a cone you hit.... Still was good fun,
    and showed you that you
    could turn and break severely in an emergency

    The highlight of each trial was the return back to the
    line via the front
    straight of Calder Thunderdome, those 180's sure do
    sound sweet when

    The following practical events were held:
    1. Emergency stopping (speed=65kmph, instructor blows
    a whistle when the
    participant should brake)
    2. Braking and swerving (must come to a complete stop,
    whistle involved
    3. Braking and swerving (this time no whistle, the
    instructor points to the
    direction to swerve in, this was by far the most
    difficult event for me, due
    to the anticipation and suprise factor)
    4. Braking swerving then accelerating
    5. Slalom

    It is terrifying to watch these cars (not pugs) do
    these practices, most of
    the cars have severe wheel lock and then just slide,
    the falcons especially.
    The XY Falcon was being driven by a 18year old girl
    who had had her license
    for 2 weeks. This is so scary, she could not control
    the car, my advice, if
    you see a Falcodore coming towards you, emergency!!!!

    The pugs were sensational through the slalom course,
    great fun to throw the
    car through the gaps.

    Front straight

    I would recommend this course to anyone, not
    necessarily because of the
    theory, but more because it is a safe environment to
    "test" what you and
    your car can and can't do.

    Obsidian Black 206 RC (2004)
    Ferodo DS2500 Racing Pads
    Green Cotton Dynatwist Induction Kit
    OZ Superturismo WRC 16" wheels

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