Another day, another fatality what is wrong with Novice Drivers

This is such a frustrating and sad post to read, write and detail. It is all of these things as it is so unnecessary.

What is the definition of stupid, doing what you have always done, in the hope that one day it will give you a different outcome. This is how we prepare drivers.

Driver training and driver licencing has not evolved in decades. The Politicians are always too happy to get their mugs on tv and pat themselves on the back that the road toll is falling. Well, this is not true. You see, it is influenced by four key factors, that have a variety of elements between them.

Road safety comprises of four key elements
Road safety comprises of four key elements

1. Road design,

Go a take a drive on a country road somewhere for an experience. wow, how did we ever survive those days? Two objects hurtling towards each other at a combined speed of 200kph. if they are doing the speed limit. Road design and engineering has evolved at an unbelievable rate in the last two decades, but that cant be responsible for reducing fatalities can it.

2. Vehicle design:

Want to see just how far vehicle design has progressed and what manufacturers have achieved. Go and drive a car only 10 years old. Then drive the new example. To say it will blow your mind is an understatement.

3. Regulations:

Here is what the Politicians want to take credit for and I am not here to start a debate on that, as quite honestly, this is a years worth of articles in itself. What we cannot avoid though, is regulation ties everything and everyone together, with the hope and aim that not only are we all trying to do the same things, but we should also be able to read and plan for what we expect others to do, and that is what keeps us safe. Only thing is we don’t teach that skill with getting a licence, we leave it up to chance.

What the politicians are not telling us, is we are having more accidents, per person, per kilometre traveled than ever before. Catch is, the vehicles are infinitely safer, engineered and are full of active and passive safety equipment, this means we survive accidents that would previously have killed us. For example, last week on the Gold Coast, numerous accidents were reported, one involved a vehicle with a multiple roll over accident. ten years ago, that would have killed the occupants.

4. Driver

We haven’t changed the way we develop and nurture our drivers since driver training and licencing was created. The irony of the current system is it allows the student to be the teacher, to decide what they think they need to learn, how they want to learn it and what support they think they will require.

The entire industry conforms to this. They think, as the student is paying for the lesson, then they need to entertain the student, control the amount of information, when and how it is given, as that is their only means of creating more income.

The test process is all about rules, yet they know that it takes less than two hours for students, once they have passed the test, to metaphorically decide what rules are relevant and what are not. You can see where this is going horribly wrong can’t you.

To add insult to injury, as we allow the student to define the process, enforce the parents, (Whose training and driver licencing experience was limited to driving a police officer around the block and not hitting anything) to become the learner drivers, training supervisor, an industry whose bench mark of performance and success is passing the driving test and a test process that is only about rules, not about managing the environment they create as a driver.

the scary truth on taking shortcuts with driver preparation
the scary truth on taking shortcuts with driver preparation

Driver training and legislation. The Default

Let us now ad insult to injury. The authorities now this exists, they have even given it a name

It is called the default. This means what happens if we don’t do anything. This is not just in Australia, this is global.

So why do we have this problem and don’t do anything about it? Quite simply, everyones career and income is derived from this, at our kids expense.

The academics, get paid to research, source government grants, come up with campaigns, write papers and get published, this is how their career path progresses.

The Governments get to create legislation, create penalties and revenue, that is why they budget and why they keep with Mantra’s such as “Every kay over is a killer” I mean, seriously. If this is true, then how does one or two km over the limit, make a difference when the closing speed is 200kph? Why is the safest, non fatality road in the country, the only one with an unrestricted speed limit and why was the only times it did create fatalities, was when a speed limit was imposed (Labour) and why did the Road toll immediately drop when the speed limits were removed (road safety experiment by Lib/Nat)

Kids pay with their lives, Parents pay with their futures, the entire process has to be changed from the parents perspective, as they are the only ones who have a loss.

It is ironic, that we invest, willingly, nearly a million dollars to raise our kids, per kid (choice magazine) then we get them to this stage, getting a licence and decide it is their responsibility, they have to pay and they can choose, so long as they pass the driving test, and yet, the statistics as so damning on this process, the acedemics have given it a name, what happens if we don’t do anything.

So what are your options for choosing a driving school?

The difference in outcomes between the default and a structured program
The difference in outcomes between the default and a structured program

Well I have written a lot on this, also you can down load our Eguide  or click this link 

So here is a little story, of a customer we were talking to this week.

Mum: ” I love your program, but my daughter says she can get lessons for $40.00.”

Read this article again. Read the news outlets again, then ask yourself, the parents of that girl, if they could make that decision on driver training, driving lessons and the entire process again, would they search on price, or would then commit to outcome?

Why the Total Driver program works.

I am very fortunate to have had an amazing journey, experiences and been introduced to astounding knowledge, from people far smarter and experience than I. This journey took me working for different manufacturers, Mercedes Benz, BMW, Ford, Holden and many others, faciliating High end and performance driving programs.

What I learnt, we that we had this habitual conversation with nearly every gig. The drivers are horrendous, who teaches these people, someone should do something about this, the manufacturers, the insurers, the governments.

I would think, “Mmm this is interesting, we cannot define our value proposition, we do not understand our client base and what is it that we actually do, besides drive fast?”

Now I have to admit, that is a little bit left of field, of course I new what we did, we were constantly being trained, upskilled, there was a tremendous amount of knowledge and research involved in it, but how do we explain it.

Once I understood the answers to this, I then realised, where this was needed most, was not the glamour side of the industry, it was the Learn to drive industry. Kids, parents, communities.

So we designed a training program. See, at Total Driver, we don’t sell driving lessons, we provide driving programs, creating a three way partnership, between parent, student and us. Why do we do this, it is the only was we can set out a plan of deliverable’s to achieve the outcomes, whilst managing the cost.

The return, as demonstrated by the graph, is we fixed the default. We have shown we can change the driving culture, the decision making process and reduce the drivers risk patterns. We actually understand what driver training is, we broke it down to it’s core element, and built an end to end process around it. This is why, in 2015, Griffith university are joining Total Driver in a three year research program. To prove the graph.

So,  why do governments not join in?

Simples, whilst we only have to have a reduction in Youth driving accidents of 25% to achieve an economic benefit for NSW, at only 60% market penetration, to save the economy in excess of $1bn per annum (One billion dollars, per annum) that is only for NSW, as a user pays program.

No one makes any money out of it, the revenue, through legislation, the academics, through endless research, campaigns, papers and publishing.

Who pays, the parents.

So, how much would you like to pay, and what currency would you like to use and when do you want to pay.

One of our first inquiries when we started, after hearing of our program and prices, decided no. Two years after that, he walks in again, I remembered him (I have a thing for faces, hopeless with names) and purchased the platinum package. I asked him why the turn around, what was the motivation.

He told me of his son, they thought as parents they were smart, they saved money on lessons, they saved money on a car. They even saved on insurance.

He said it wasn’t until he was writing the check for the funeral home, that he realised the irony of what they had saved, to what they had lost.

Now it wasn’t about cost, it was about investment.

Safe driving starts with great preparation
Safe driving starts with great preparation

Driver training does not cost, it saves.

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Graduates of Total Driver have a 400% reduction in accidents over the first 3 years of obtaining their license, in comparison to the national average*.

The question we ask all supervisors:

“Will you bet your child’s life you have the skills to teach the art of driving?”