Even on dull days, the shadows cast by a highway over-bridge is an excellent marker with which to check that your following distance is adequate.

Photograph copyright 2012 - All rights reserved

 

Driver Safety Seminars and Training Courses for Military Personnel

 

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Marine pilot killed in Julian motorcycle accident (CA)

November 16, 2010; Sign on San Diego

....The pilot was identified as Maj. Lawrence A. Washington, 39, of Santa Barbara. Washington was stationed at Miramar Marine Corps Air Station....

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Four British soldiers killed in road accident in Afghanistan

June 24, 2010; The Guardian

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US soldier dies, 2 injured in road accident on Kuwait highway - NC Times

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Ft. Jackson Soldier Killed in Car Accident

February 1, 2010 - wtx.com

It has been known for many years that in war zones the military typically loses around a quarter of its casualties in vehicle crashes which do not involve enemy action. 

 

Take the case of the four British soldiers killed in a road accident in Afghanistan (headline on left).  The media article states that they were on their way to "

investigate an incident at a checkpoint near Gereshk, in Helmand province."  The British police have a saying that it is no use getting yourself killed by crashing on the way to help a colleague, and sadly this incident appears to be just a variation on that theme.

 

Just as bad is the fact that other very high losses to military personnel occur in civilian vehicles when people are home, on leave, from the front line.  It might be understandable that a soldier will relax when away from a battlefront but with monotonous regularity this proves to be a fatal mistake.

 

Advanced Drivers of America [ADA], as an organization, is not only led by people with a disciplined background but also uses a uniquely-proven and suitably-disciplined methodology to work effectively with personnel from any branch of the military and help make progress in reducing the currently-wasted lives and resources.

  

None-the-less, safe driving is very much like safety on a weapons range in that it is primarily an issue of attitude, with relevant skills training in close support.  (See here what types of skill training have been found to be inappropriate because they have been shown to be dangerously counterproductive.)

 

The chief instructor at ADA is Eddie Wren, a former UK traffic patrol officer (similar role to American state police) who scored the second-highest marks ever on the police advanced motorcycle course and also qualified as a police advanced driver. Wren's extensive driver-safety-related résumé is probably without equal in North America and should be read if you are considering the possibility of using ADA for military driver-safety training or any of our other courses.

 

In turn, it is worth emphasizing that the UK police method of advanced driver training is the oldest, the most in-depth and the most-proven in the world. This "System of Car Control" despite its name is suitable for the drivers of any road-going vehicles. It was started over 75 years ago, in 1935, and has been continually developed and refined ever since then.

ADA Chief Instructor Eddie Wren in the "back seat" of an RAF Hawk Jet preparing for a full "top gun" style exercise through Northern England and Scotland. Copyright 2003. All rights reserved.

The UK police driver-training approach, which now blends appropriate attitudinal aspects with essential and relevant practical training, includes a lot of high-speed driving on public roads, using unmarked cars (or motorcycles) with neither flashing lights nor sirens.  This is done -- obviously for police purposes only -- to put all of the responsibility for maximum safety on the trainee police officer in question.  None-police trainees do the same training without the "high speeds on public roads" element but the important point is that this methodology has been held to have cut police crashes to approximately one-sixth of their previous level and to have held them in that zone throughout the last several decades.  This is why the British Government sanctions the use of the high-speed element of training on public roads where regular, civilian drivers have no knowledge whatsoever that a police training vehicle is approaching very fast.  The excellent safety record speaks for itself.  This methodology works extremely well, with or without the high-speed-on-public-roads element.

 

ADA's approach to military driver safety issues is three-pronged.  We tackle the key focus-area of attitude in a way which military personnel can relate to; we use the world's most proven method of driver training (read more detail about advanced driving and its history, here); and we underpin these two aspects with unmatched highway safety knowledge, a research-based approach and the use of global best practices.

 

“Marines need to have a plan, said Sgt. Maj. Michael Giannecchini, sergeant major of Headquarters and Support Battalion, Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. “We don't want Marines drinking, then driving and getting into trouble. We want Marines to have a good time... and make it home safely.”

From "Time to honor and celebrate the Marine Corps" http://www.lejeune.usmc.mil/, November 10, 2010

On this web page are two photographs which clearly have nothing to do with safe driving, as such, but which we believe are relevant to the military mind-set. In 2003, Wren was lucky enough to spend 70 minutes in the Weapons Systems Operator's ("Whizzo's") seat of an RAF Hawk jet, throughout a low-level bombing and high-level dog-fighting exercise in the northern half of Britain.  RAF, USAF, Fleet Air Arm, US Marines or whatever, there can be little doubt that the standard of "vehicle control" Wren witnessed on that day was effectively as good as it gets.

 

The interesting differences between cars and flying a plane (though admittedly not a combat plane) are that – as we all know – flying a plane requires more skill.  However, a driver commonly faces far more potential conflict/crash situations during every single mile of routine driving than a pilot ever does during routine flying. Understanding and explaining such differences makes seminars and driver training for military personnel much more relevant and valuable.

 

It is also worth mention that Wren's pre-flight conversations with

various flying crew and officers did confirm his suspicions that the most dangerous task – in terms of serious casualties – that Royal Air Force personnel undertake is driving their own cars!

 

Here, then, is half of the problem.  Even the most highly-trained military people take-for-granted the relatively dangerous task of driving.  The very time they should be particularly cautious is the time they are usually doing the exact opposite and not paying anywhere near enough attention.

 

The sad results are there for all to see.

 

ADA's suggested approach is that your base brings us in to run a seminar for a reasonably-sized group of personnel, using pre-talk and post-talk feedback so that we may tailor the information to your specific needs.

 

Put simply, we can work with you to create a program that is highly appropriate for your personnel, and naturally we focus on the approach that will most effectively minimize individual harm.

Photo by Eddie Wren, from one RAF Hawk to another, Copyright 2003. All rights reserved.

As an example, ADA ran a three-year program for several divisions of a US Fortune 500 corporation which in turn had provided driver training for its personnel, through other suppliers, for each of the previous 17 years. Put simply, despite the prior involvement of other driver trainers, ADA succeeded in cutting the client's fleet crashes by over 50 percent and casualties by almost 80 percent, and holding them steady at these new, lower levels!

 

Click here to see precisely why you should use Advanced Drivers of America as your driver safety training suppliers

 

If, during the development period of this website the Information Request Form (below) does not appear to function correctly, please contact our Chief Instructor, Eddie Wren, via e.wren@advanceddrivers.com for further details of our military safe driving seminars and courses.

 


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All contents – including text, logos, artwork and photographs – are copyright © 2010 Advanced Drivers of America and/or Eddie Wren, unless stated otherwise.  Website last modified on 07-May-2012.