|The FIA Institute Young Driver Excellence Academy headed to Teesdorf, Austria last week (25-28 February) to focus on one of the key aspects of the programme: road safety.For four days, the Academy drivers were immersed in all facets of road safety, learning through practical and classroom based assignments. The training was provided with the goal of encouraging the 10 participants to become ambassadors for road safety during their careers.
To educate the drivers to this level, the Academy has been making use of the resources and coaching available at Test & Training International’s Road Safety Training Centre. The drivers have been educated in a number of areas from understanding engineering advances such as anti-lock braking and stability control to maintaining the right mental approach when behind the wheel.
Taking to the track, the drivers put their classroom knowledge into practice with tests on variable road surfaces to learn how to deal with driving hazards. The Academy has also focused on providing behaviour-orientated training for the drivers so they can convey passive and active road safety information in both a practical and theoretical form.
|South African rally driver Henk Lategan said: “It’s a real eye opener understanding what the safety features of a car do and the consequences for yourself and other road users if used incorrectly. The driving tasks have shown me just how hard it is even for a race driver to cope without them and I definitely have a new-found respect for road safety technology”.FIA experts were on hand to provide additional lessons to the Academy drivers. Susan Pikrallidas, Secretary General for Automobile Mobility and Tourism, gave a presentation on the numerous road safety campaigns the FIA are involved with and outlined how the drivers can best deliver these programmes to a broader, international audience.|
|Sweden’s Erik Johansson said: “The really exciting thing I will take from this workshop is how I can relate this knowledge to real life situations on the road – how I can coach other road users in road safety and how they can stay safe when driving”.Costa Rica’s Mauricio Hernandez added: “Road safety is extremely important to me because this is something I can help with in my own country. As a young racing driver, I hope I can influence other young drivers by speaking at schools and youth clubs and help to reduce the number of accidents on public roads”.|