On Wednesday 11th September 2013, Mike Page a member of Stratford upon Avon's IAM (Institute of Advanced Motorists) came to Snitterfield W.I., to talk about the role of IAM and endeavoured in a short space of time to re-educate us in our approach to driving.

The Institute, which currently has 100,000 members, is a charity that relies upon volunteers to help people become "advanced" motorists. IAM supports the raising of driving and riding standards and campaigns for increased on-road skills.

It has contacts within Parliament and the Police force and works on the side of motorists. They aim to inform and influence government and decision makers to ensure that road safety remains a relevant topic and receives the focus and investment that it requires.

Three courses are held each year in January, April and September, the courses cost £139 and run for a minimum of 15 hours. They are based on the Police Driver's Manual and are comprised of theory sessions and time on the road. IAM support and represent motorists, motorcyclists and cyclists through practical driving and riding programmes and urge all road users to act more responsibly and safely. An advanced motorist is 2/3 less likely to be involved in a blameworthy accident.

Advanced driving puts the fun back into driving and teaches you how to drive smoothly which in turn uses less fuel and saves on wear on the clutch and the brakes. Skills in anticipation, planning, observation and car control are developed and drivers adopt the Two Second Rule, whereby to enable safe stopping, you work out the distance between the car in front and your car. Motorists learn to drive up to the speed limit when conditions allow and to take opportunities when they present themselves.

Mike pointed out that a skid is caused by too much steering, too much speed, too much acceleration and too much braking. He encouraged us to do a shoulder check when changing lanes as mirrors do not cover the "blind spot."

Stratford upon Avon IAM organise Skid Pan Sessions and run courses for under age drivers (16 year olds), to learn the basics of car control. These courses are held on private land.
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