Teaching young drivers skid control a good thing or not?

However, research does not support this and therefore international best practise advise against it.

In 1979, Norway implemented a two-phase driver training system where in the second phase new drivers had to do skid training. Upon evaluation, they found that 17% of young male drivers were more involved in crashes in general and there was a 23% increase in crashes on slippery roads for drivers who completed the skid training.

The reason: After the training drivers were overly confident in their skill levels, thus taking more risks. On the other hand, where they teach drivers how to identify slippery road conditions, crash rates were lower.

There is more and more proof that driving safely is not all about vehicle control, but rather a mental process about correct decision-making skills.

In another study Williams and O’Neill, compared crash and speeding violation rates for drivers registered as race drivers in three states in the US. Despite their assumed higher skills at vehicle control and navigation among speeding cars, they had significant more traffic violations and in one of the states, were involved in more crashes. Source: Traffic Safety and Human Behaviour, David Shinar, Emerald 2007.

This does not mean that getting novice drivers to do more on road practice is a bad thing. A Study in Australia showed that novice drivers with at least 120 hours under different driving conditions lower their risk of a crash.

Start with a strategy on how to do this. Visit www.scrs.org.nz/safety-concerns/scrs for more information.

Safer Journeys!

Daniel Naudé

Road Safety Coordinator