Help Forum

Help requested posted on 8th November 2013:

Young Driver Skills Days

We are thinking of holding a skills day at Thruxton Race Circuit as part of our young driver programme. The day is likely to include using the Skid Pan with activities on the track. We are interested if any other authority has done this before and can offer any feedback good or bad which would help us plan our day.

Lyndsay Ellarby
Hampshire County Council

Reply to this request

Response posted on 8th November 2013 by:
Tony Flory
Durham County Council
T: 03000 268172

Skills Day-skidpan-young driver

Please ensure that each activity has a well thought out 'desired outcome' and an effective way to test it.

I have witnessed young drivers using such activities with little or no reference to road safety. Enjoying learning is good but the important word is 'learning'.

Good Luck with your endeavours.

Response posted on 8th November 2013 by:
Ron Paterson
West Sussex County Council
T: 0330 2226712

Young driver courses

Hi Lyndsay, we ran a young driver course for several years and used Goodwood circuit as a base (the venue made it attractive) and we also used the skidpan as a part of the day.
We found some reports that highlighted the potential problem this might cause with young drivers becoming overconfident.( might be worth a quick trawl on the net if you haven't already done so) I think I recall Frank McKenna might have published something too ? In any case we worked with the trainers to ensure that they covered in-depth the reasons for skidding and the behaviours that can cause it. All they demonstrated on the skidpan was the very limited amout of control available once the car was actually skidding and the amount of space it needed to recover. Space that's rearely available in the real world. What we insisted on was that they didn't do was stray too far into showing the young people how to recover and risk them them becoming complacent. It was only a small part of a whole day's training that involved classroom and on-road elements.In the end we felt that it was available to them commercially if they wanted it and by working with the trainers to 'steer' the direction they took we at least had some element of control over what they were teaching our young drivers.

Response posted on 8th November 2013 by:
Richard Owen
Road Safety Analysis /Agilysis
T: 441295731815

Young Drivers

You should check out the research done by Devon -


"Skills programmes such as skid training have been shown to increase young
driverís confidence of coping with difficult driving situations, increasing their exposure to collisions."

As road safety professionals we have a duty to at least ensure our work causes no harm, even if we find it difficult to prove our schemes have directly contributed to saving lives. If there is evidence that an initiative could do harm, no matter how popular or well-intentioned, then very serious consideration should be given as to whether it is undertaken.

Response posted on 11th November 2013 by:
Neil Snow
Nottingham City Council
T: 01158764249

Young driver skills

There is plenty of research dating back to the mid-nineties that shows that providing skills training in isolation can increase crash risk due to overconfidence and young drivers testing out their new skills. TRL recently conducted a literiture review in this area
and concluded that such courses can also increase risk through encouraging early licensure (age being a risk factor). This is not to say that skills training should not be considered or undertaken at all just that it needs to be age appropriate and placed within a structured programme which also deals with knowledge, understanding, attitudes and beliefs. Including self-evaluation skills and personality issues. Any such course should deal with all of the levels and columns of the Goals for Driver Eduacation Matrix rather than just level one in isolation. Knowing nothing of the rest of your young driver programme it is is possible to say if this is the case so would advise caution in pursuing a skid pan session.

Response posted on 11th November 2013 by:
Elizabeth Box
RAC Foundation
T: 020 7747 3489

Young driver skills

Would echo the sentiments already expressed. Research has shown time and time again that skid pan training for younger drivers can increase exposure to risk (through early licensing and increasing confidence). Peer based work on attitudes towards driving show more promise - although research is not conclusive on effects. Would recommend the following reading to help assist with your planning and course development:

Box, E. and Wengraf, I. (2013) Young driver safety: Solutions to an age old problem. An RAC Foundation report. p47-49 gives an overview of what driving training can be expected to deliver

- The recent TRL report as already mentioned (p137-139)

- The Road Safety Observatory Evidence Review on Younger Drivers

In designing your intervention it might also be worth using the EvaluIT tool

All the best for your work in this important area of activity.

Response posted on 11th November 2013 by:
Elizabeth Box
RAC Foundation
T: 020 7747 3489

Young driver skills

In addition - a link to a report from Frank McKenna on the subject of education in road safety which refers to skid pan training (p.4 and p.7)

Response posted on 28th November 2013 by:
Craig Anderson
Any other organisation
T: 07786987827

young driver skills

My name is Craig Anderson and I am a Driving Coach with Mercedes Benz Driving Academy.

We are offering a number of Road Sense programmes with different schools/colleges, I would like to offer you the opportunity to take part in this programme.

We hold the Road Sense programmes at Silverstone or Mercedes Benz World using our dedicated Mercedes Benz Driving Experience site, teaching young people/school children the importance of road safety. This is a hands on experience of both practical and theory coaching with a mixture of being in the dual controlled vehicles and in our state of the art Pavillion to hold the discussions.

The programme is run by Mercedes Benz Driving Academy as we see the importance of teaching people from an early age about road safety. I would like to discuss things further with you and arrange a meeting with the Managing Director of Mercedes Benz Driving Academy. Please let me know a time and date that is most convenient for you.

Please do not hesitate to contact me should you require any further information or a brochure.

Post a response to the above help request by completing the form below:

Your name
Your email
Your telephone (optional)
My response is: