If you said it's the basic manual skills like steering and braking... you'd be wrong.
If you said it's getting to grips with the fancy manoeuvres like emergency braking and skid control... you'd be wrong.
If you said a textbook knowledge of the road code... you'd still be wrong.
These things absolutely have a place.
BUT, these skills can't do much to help you avoid a hazard or tricky situation that you didn't even see—or spotted too late.
(Does this sound familiar? "I didn't even see them! They came out of nowhere!")
Safe drivers spot hazards early and choose the right way to deal with the risk. This means they keep their eyes moving, check their mirrors, and look well ahead of the car. They are able to make effective decisions when things get difficult.
We call these skills higher-level skills: visual search, hazard perception and risk management. Research shows that these higher-level skills are actually more important for lowering crash-risk than vehicle handling skills 1.
When you're a learner driver, these higher-level skills take longer to learn than manual car handling skills. And of course, even experienced drivers benefit from brushing up on these as well.
eDrive is online driver training to improve the crucial higher-level driving skills. Developed by road-safety experts with decades of research under their belts, eDrive is all based on masses of science.
From the safety of your computer, eDrive coaches you through real-life, video-based scenarios from throughout New Zealand. You don't have to think about manual car handling skills while you practice. You can concentrate on training effective eye movements and responding to risks. And you'll take your improved skills with you when you're back behind the wheel 2.
In 2010, Dr. Robert Isler, a road safety expert with decades of research under his belt, and a team from all over New Zealand set out to combat the country's tragically high road toll, especially among young drivers.
They developed eDrive, an online programme for learner drivers, in collaboration with the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) and the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC). Today, eDrive is still teaching thousands of our young drivers essential higher-level driving skills to keep them safer on the road.
You need a modern browser with a high-speed internet connection. eDrive is supported on the latest versions of Internet Explorer, Edge, and Chrome on desktop and Safari or Chrome on iPad.
You can take as long as you need to finish the course. It's up to you whether you do it all in one go or do a little bit every day. (Note that if you're doing eDrive through the AA Defensive Driving Course, you do have a time limit. Ask your tutor for more details.)
Visit our help centre here.
To continue your eDrive course, log in here.
Fleetcoach is a leading online driver training provider for another group of at-risk drivers—those who drive for work. Fleetcoach is built on the same proven science as eDrive, and a research partnership with the University of Waikato means we continue to incorporate the very latest road safety research. Learn more about Fleetcoach.
For more information, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
1. Horswill, M.S. & McKenna, F.P., (2004). Drivers' hazard perception ability: Situation awareness on the road. In Cognitive Approach to Situation Awareness, S. Banbury and S. Tremblay (Eds.), pp.155-175 (Aldershot, UK: Asgate).
2. Charlton, S., Starkey, N., Perrone, J., Isler, R. (2014). What's the risk? A comparison of actual and perceived driving risk. Transportation Research Part F: Psychology and Behavior, (25) 50-54.
Chapman, P., Underwood, G., & Roberts, K. (2002). Visual search patterns in trained and untrained novice drivers. Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour, 5(2), 157-167.