I was told a story recently that I have every reason to believe is true but I can’t verify it, and even if I was able to I wouldn’t, in order to protect personal confidentiality. Some of you may have heard of, or more sadly been involved in similar stories.
It’s very simple and it goes like this.
An ADI had a ‘star’ pupil. A young lad who was what you could refer to as a model learner. He took on-board everything he was taught and told to do and learned to be a very proficient driver in very short time. When it came round to his driving test he passed on his first attempt and with a clean sheet. No faults.
Well the lad was rightly pleased with himself and of course his ADI positively ‘glowed’ in the glory of this young man’s success.
About two to three weeks later, the boy was dead having wrapped a car round a tree.
What a tragic waste of life, but why did this happen? How comes a young man with so much promise, skill and ability could do such a thing?
Because he was taught how to drive and control a car well but not how to control himself, that’s why.
We’re all good at getting people through their driving test so we must be doing things right yes? So how come that new and especially, young drivers are over represented when it comes to crashes, serious injury and fatalities on the road? Is the driving test good enough and more importantly, should driving test success for our clients be our measure of success as well?
The phrase ‘if it isn’t wrong then don’t fix it’ has been used by many ADIs in the past about the switch to coaching because their vision of success can’t see beyond the driving test. Their measure of success stops right there; at the driving test.
How can we say that it isn’t wrong and doesn’t need fixing if the statistics show so many avoidable tragedies after the driving test. Yes avoidable, because there’s a way of helping these young drivers and although it’s new in our field of education, it’s very well established as being very successful in so many other fields of education from academia through sport and on to business; and the way is through coaching of course.
Immediately you start the aCCeLerate course and within a very short space of time you get to realise that what you’ve been doing all these years can quickly be adapted to be utilised within coaching. Your skills as a professional driving instructor are so very important for the coaching environment. However with coaching they become much more effective and really help your clients to become well rounded drivers, able to deal with road situations and more importantly themselves. This will go a long way to make tragic stories like the one above much rarer.
No, we can’t stop it completely. When we’re young we’re impetuous and actually need to take risks as part of human nature. But if we could reduce the percentage of this risk we will reduce the tragedies.
So when will you start being one of those that’s fixing things for the better?