Becoming an “Experienced Driver”

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Seven Steps/Phases In the Process

The insurance industry, based on the surcharge placed on new teen drivers for the first few years, believes that maturity is the key to safer driving behavior. If you wait until you are 25 to learn to drive, even though you have no experience, you will not be penalized with an increased premium. Implicitly, the insurance companies are totally discounting the value of proper training for a new driver.

In thinking about the process of gaining experience behind the wheel, I have identified the following 7 steps:

1. Learning Basic Vehicle Controls

2. Learning the Rules of the Road

3. Mastering Vehicle Controls

4. Executing Normal Vehicle Maneuvers

5. Developing Situational Awareness

6. Negotiating Hazardous Conditions

7. Learning Personal and Vehicle Limitations

The steps are not necessarily serially executed. The learning process takes place over time, and application of technology available today can significantly reduce the time needed to become an “Experienced Driver”.

The real goal should be to instill safe driving habits and behaviors as early as possible in the process, and to accelerate the process wherever practical to reduce the window where the new driver is a greater risk to all of us.

I would love to hear your thoughts.

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