Friday, February 03, 2006

Out manoeuvring

Its quite difficult to explain to a colleague the difference between race driving and defensive advance driving (the British Police style). I was asked this question as I blogged about the near miss accident I had the day before and my colleague was wondering where have all my "acquired skill" in advance driving and race driving has gone to. I suppose its gone to the dogs, since this year is the year of the dog.

Defensive driving is about using as much information available from the road and roadside furniture as possible to plan ahead and possibly negate an accident. Race driving is more of using whatever resource or space available to get the car through in the shortest possible time.

As a point of illustration for lane management:-

If I were to drive down a Looping S-curve two way street,
a) In defensive driving, u position the car to the left of the lane when going round a right hander to gather as much information as possible from up ahead for U to take necessary defensive measures.
b) In Race driving, you would do the reverse, U position the car as far right as possible to the lane to drift into the right hand corner so as to exit cleanly the right hander quickly or looking for the shortest path.

Another example of using the power of the engine:-
a) In defensive driving, (ala the Brit Police Style) you have to complete your braking prior to entering a corner lest you maybe in the wrong speed and wrong position. You do this by double declutching (ie brake into a corner holding straight line position and after finishing of braking, tap the accelerator pedal to rev the engine up while pressing the clutch to change gear, as U release the clutch to the matching engine speed) to prevent skidding due to engine rev. Maintain engine speed while taking the corners (do not lift off) and accelerate as you straighten the line.
b) In Race driving, this concept is replaced with heel and toe action on the accelerator and the brakes, balancing them in one foot while leaving the other to manage the clutch. One would normally power through the corners compensating for drifts to safe as much time possible in the corners.

My personal preference is for Defensive driving since I was taught that method while in the UK and it does give me a bit more control as it has a nice system and technique that one can practice even for beginers. Maybe I shud rekindle and horne back this skill to reduce and minimise the shock experience that I had yesterday. To all those concern, I wud like to say a big Thank You.

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