On a serious note, many car manufacturers offer driving programs that are not only educational and inspire confidence in drivers of all ages, they are also an insane amount of fun.
You’re taught how to handle tricky situations, and take every possible course of action to avoid crashes when one of the aforementioned idiots does something stupid on the road.
We’ve all seen those situations, a driver that doesn’t indicate and merges into another car, a motorist entering a busy road who fails to judge the space and cuts it too fine causing a rear end collision, someone not paying attention behind the wheel who almost misses their turn and slams on the brakes before squealing around the corner leaving a trail of destruction in their wake.
You can’t control what other drivers do, but you can arm yourself with techniques that can significantly improve your driving IQ.
I’ve done several courses, and can personally vouch for the difference they make. I’m more attentive and have avoided more than one crash because the training has kicked in and I’ve almost subconsciously made the right decision at the right time.
But it’s not all theory and practicing specific exercises like ABS braking or slaloms. Most of the courses I’m talking about are conducted at racetracks and the program will often include a chance to let it rip around the track. That adrenaline rush is amazing and for those who struggle with fear or feel intimidated on the road, it’s a way to help free your mind and build confidence.
Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche run comprehensive programs with levels that are completed one-by-one. You start with the basics and by the end of it, you’re driving powerful sports cars around, for example, the Phillip Island Grand Prix circuit.
Of course, there are different courses to suit different skill levels and budgets. Inevitably, though, you get what you pay for, with some of the pricier options affording more comprehensive access to expert driving tuition, a broader and more challenging variety of vehicles, extended track time and a generally more heightened experience.
The courses are held at locations across Australia, and I’ve done the Audi Advanced Driving Experience at Sandown Raceway, the BMW Intensive Driving Experience at Sydney Motor Sport Park, Mercedes-AMG Drive Day at Phillip Island and the Porsche Sport Driving School Precision driver training.
One of the highlights though was driving on ice and snow, learning how to drift and trying to maintain control on icy surfaces in New Zealand for the BMW Alpine xDrive experience.
Other car manufacturers will invite current or prospective customers to special drive events, and some even offer the chance to win a spot at a one-off track day through social media.
A passion for driving can even be combined with a fabulous trip of a lifetime. If you’re into travel and cars, brands like Jaguar and Land Rover offer spectacular driving holidays through places like China, South Africa, Russia and Skandinavia.
So get behind the wheel, try a driving course and get to know your car and its capabilities. You’ll also get to explore your own limits, expand your horizons and be a safer driver for it.
The Carousel thanks Tegan Lawson from CarAdvice for this article