Advanced Drive 1-4

I just had my fourth drive with Observer Colin from Edinburgh Advanced Motorists. The Institute of Advanced Motorists existed at first to train and test Advanced Car Drivers and the other categories, such as motorcycles, followed later through the years as the need became apparent.

Edinburgh IAM are separate to EDAM, the car group spun off the Motorcycle group a number of years ago and both groups have grown to be two of the biggest voluntary road safety organisations in Scotland, with hundreds of full members (i.e. those who have passed the advanced test in the relevant class) in both groups.

There have been similarities and differences between efforts toward the IAM Motorcycle test and the Car test. Similar stuff is:

  • The System of Motorcycle Control and the System of Car Control are closely related, both with Information, Position, Speed, Gear and Acceleration phases.
  • Both emphasize safety over all other considerations such as smoothness and speed.
  • Positioning for corners and limit point analysis are similar, within the constraints of the relative sizes of the different vehicles.
  • Both are prepared for by means of the Observing arrangement, which isn’t quite training but more of a drive and comment arrangement.
  • Both are based on their versions of Roadcraft.
  • Both have specific starting and stopping drills to apply a systematic approach to beginning and finishing a drive.

Different things are:

  • Where the Observer goes. In the car they sit in the passenger seat alongside you and can make comments as the drive runs. For Motorcycles they follow on their own machine, and then stop and discuss the ride in a debrief before continuing. This is quite an important difference, as Motorcycle Associates usually contribute to the fuel expenses of their Observer.
  • Motorcycle Helmets restrict peripheral vision, so the System of Motorcycle Control also features the so-called “Head Check” and “Lifesaver” looks which are a quick look to the right or left (depending on the maneuver) or a look right round over your shoulder. This takes place before the Acceleration phase and is part of the Information phase which extends throughout.
  • Not a System thing but a group thing, Edinburgh IAM run 3 class based theory sessions which take place before the drive, and they also give you a CD-ROM and DVD with the course info. EDAM run a weekly homework system based on chapters from Roadcraft.

I might think of more differences, so I’ll post them if they occur to me.