Drivers coached beyond the L-test to advanced driving standard are more aware of other road users, road conditions and hazards on the road, according to a study by Jean Hopkin Research Associates.
Ninety per cent of advanced drivers are more aware of other road users, and potential hazards.
Sixty-six per cent believe that advanced driver training helped them to avoid an incident or collision, and 78 per cent have better car-handling skills.
The independent survey of 2,500 IAM members also shows that advanced driving saves fuel and money. Sixty per cent say their driving is more fuel efficient as a result of taking a course.
The top ten reasons for taking the advanced driving course are:
l greater awareness of potential hazards and difficult driving conditions
l greater awareness of other road users
l improved general driving outlook/ philosophy
l improved planning and anticipation
l smoother driving/ better progress
l improved use of road space
l more alert driving – less ‘driving on auto-pilot’
l better car handling skills
l improved confidence in my driving; and
l more tolerant and aware of the behaviour of other road users.
Men are more likely than women to say their driving has become more responsible, considerate, and tolerant, and that they drive less fast as a result of the course.
Women are more likely than men to say their driving had become more decisive and confident.
Eighty nine per cent agree that taking the IAM test had a permanent positive effect on their day-to-day driving.
Women were more likely to report lasting effects on their driving style than men.
Among 17- to 29-year-olds, 49 per cent took the advanced test to get cheaper insurance and 60 per cent to reduce their risk of being involved in an accident.
IAM chief executive Simon Best said: “We know that educating drivers and changing their attitudes to driving makes them safer. This report also demonstrates an improvement in hazard awareness and therefore a reduction in the likelihood of an accident.
“Young and inexperienced drivers in particular will benefit from further coaching, but more experience on the road doesn’t mean that your attitude to driving is any healthier. Advanced drivers are significantly safer in a number of key areas, including speed, maintaining safe distances between themselves and other drivers, cornering and use of mirrors.”