Knowing your limits is key

KNOWING your driver personality and understanding driver behaviour, is key to becoming a safer driver, Geoff Fickling says.

The chief instructor with Victorian not-for-profit organisation Motorvation, hosted driver awareness classes in Launceston and Hobart last week.

Mr Fickling said a lot of skills-based defensive driving courses did not work, because they made drivers overconfident.

He said Motorvation's approach was different, because it tackled the heart of the problem: driver attitudes.

The organisation offers classes for groups including young drivers and people who drive for work.

``It's a very unusual approach, a unique approach about driver attitude,'' Mr Fickling said.

``It's about driver personality; are you a dominant driver or a demure driver?

``Dominant drivers are overconfident and demure drivers are frightened of driving.

``Then sometimes they are a little bit like hoons, we would call them driveaholics.

``Drivers are either in one category or another.''

Mr Fickling said penalties such as crushing cars, taking away licences and huge fines, were ineffective in the long-term.

He said for some who did the Motorvation course, it was like a revelation.

``People learn about why they want to take risks,'' Mr Fickling said.

Instructor and training manager Jennie Hill said making people safer drivers was not just about teaching them how to cope in emergencies.

She said Motorvation's program was unique in Australia, and as far as the organisation was aware, unique worldwide.

Ms Hill said the program had attracted interest from overseas governments, but so far, not from governments in Australia.

``This has been developed and trialled with governments in the Middle East and Europe, because it's the only training that does reduce crash rates,'' she said.

``Most people are not aware of that.''

More information about Motorvation's ``Driver IQ'' program is available at www.motorvation.org.

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