Men usually say that us females are terrible drivers. I would like to say that’s not true! 😛
I’ve always taken pride in my driving skills.. I would like to think that i’m a reasonably good driver. Yes, maybe overstating the obvious.. lol.. just kidding.
Anyways, one of the best ways to know if your driving skills is worthy to talk about is by taking part in a Defense Driving Course. Wait let me rephrase, you shall become a BETTER driver WHEN you take a Defense Driving Course. Which is exactly what i did last year. All thanks to Chevrolet I was given the chance to go for the second Defense Driving course in my life. The first time i ever went for one was years ago. So do you wanna know what we did? Check out the video! ^_^
What is Defense Driving all about?
Defense Driving aims to help you improve your skills by increasing your awareness of the range of factors that affect your driving :
- your own capabilities – proper sitting position and the correct way of holding and turning the steering wheel.
- the characteristics of your vehicle – the safety features in your car like the seatbelt, airbags
- the road and traffic conditions.
The Defense Driving Class Breakdown
1. Indoors – The Theory Session
Defense Driving teaches you on the importance of safety and why you should not take it for granted. Have you noticed, when you are placed behind the wheel of a vehicle you suddenly get a rush and that feeling of control. It makes you think that you can do anything and you are king of the “road”. Nuh uh, all the more you need to pay attention to what’s happening around you and be responsible for how you drive on the road.
We learnt about how the road accident statistics have been on the rise lately. We were also shown videos of what are the possible accident situations on the road and man they weren’t pretty. Just take a look at our faces when we saw some of the results of the accidents.
We were also shown typical road hazards and how the safety features in our cars works.
I was used as the guinea pig here. Our course instructor Ken Vin giving us an example of what happens when you follow a car too closely. The rule of thumb is to have 2 second gap between car in front. In doing so you would be able to apply emergency breaks without suddenly bumping into the car in front. Remember whenever you knock someone from behind, you are at fault!
2. Outdoors – The Practical Session
Moving on to the outdoors. This is fun part! Where we get to really try out how to do “Defense” driving! But before getting into that, our instructors first gave us a rundown on the basics of what goes on under the hood of the car. While driving correctly is important it’s also necessary to know how our means of transport work and why it’s important to consistently send our car for servicing. basically maintaining the car. Like for example how to check the level of water of our car, where and when is the best time to change the engine oil.
At least now i know how to estimate the age of my tyres.
This is how you read the numbers on the tyres.
1. Slalom and the Push-pull Steering
How The Maneuver is Done: The first practical lesson of the day was Slaloming. Yeah ok it sound like a real weird name – sounds like Shalom. So Slaloming is where you basically need to drive your cars through cones that have been spaced out unevenly in the straight line. Now in order to do this correctly, you also need to steer your car with the correct method which is the push-pull method.
Why The Maneuver is Important: Now we all know how we drive on the road. Sometimes we can get a bit too comfortable at the wheel and then we start to steer the car with one hand. Admit it you do it and thats bad but how bout when you’re driving with two hands. When you go for for the defense driving course you’ll come to realise that the way you steer your car is completely off. Most of the time we don’t usually follow the way we were thought in driving school.. which is the push-pull method. This is a much safer and reliable method of steering, cause it won’t cause you harm in the event you get into an accident. Imagine if your arms are crossed over the steering wheel, your body movement is locked and you are more likely to hit your face with accessories on your hand.
Using the push-pull method on the Cruze, the steering was sturdy – (just the way i like my car steering wheels to be ^_^ ) and it felt like you had a good grip on the road.
2. Emergency Braking Accident Avoidance (ABS braking/ collision avoidance)
This practical exercise needs a bit of timing judgement. We were to drive at a speed of roughly 70km/h from a certain distance and come to a screeching halt before we hit an orange cone at the end of road.
Why The Maneuver is Important:
This is to teach us how to apply the emergency brakes in the event suddenly a kid or anyone for that matter runs in the middle of the road. Or maybe the car in front of you stalls and to avoid banging it, you have to apply the emergency brakes.
The Cruze is equipped with 4-wheel disk brakes with Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS), Brake Assist, and Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD) which helps to stop the car in a shorter distance while allowing the driver to maneuver away from a collision
3. Skid Control
How The Maneuver is Done:
The last exercise was probably the “Scariest”. Oil/ Grease was poured on the road and we were to drive through that at a speed of 80km/h. It doesn’t end there, the instructor will then suddenly pull the handbrake which will cause the car to swerve and skid. You are basically doing the move that everyone sorta wanted to do after watching “Fast and Furious” – Drifting! Yeap! What we were taught – When the car is skidding say to the left we have to quickly turn our steering wheel left and and then quickly back to the opposite direction. It took a while to get used to i can tell you that.
Why The Maneuver is Important:
We get a better idea of what happens when your car suddenly runs out of control. From learning this maneuver which i like to call following the direction of the skid, we are taught how to control our “skidaway” car. Once the car is in skid motion you have to try and steer the car back to its original course instead of it doing a 360 degree turn or possibly turning turtle. I experience this situation before, whereby my steering wheel suddenly got locked and my car skidded. Thank God i had the sense to do what i was taught in the defense driving course! So yes very important if i wanna avoid accidents and stay alive!
The Cruze’s ‘Electronic Stability Control’ and ‘Traction Control’ were turned OFF to enable the car to skid (so we could learn how to control a skid)
That concluded the Defense Driving Course! But before i conclude, let me tell you more about the Chevrolet car.. ooo its quite a sleek thing i must say. It’s very sporty which is exactly how i like my cars to be. Sporty like me 😛
Here’s a bit of info on the Chevrolet Cruze.
1. Dynamic design with a wide track, long wheelbase and crisp sculpted shoulder lines.
2. Dual Bezel Design Headlamps.
3. Split-Design Tail Lamps.
4. Large 6.5J x 40.64 cm Alloy wheels.
1. Three-Gauge Instrument Cluster: Centre-positioned Driver Information Display sets out digital text information like odometer, average fuel, fuel consumption and average speed. Plus its ice-blue dash illumination heightens cabin sophistication and improves instrumentation and easy reading.
2. Three Spoke Steering Wheel: Thicker rim design enhances grip and feel while driving.
3. Integrated Centre Stack: Advanced integrated centre panel with graphic infotainment display, radio, HVAC controls and a 6-CD changer with MP3 compatibility.
Comfort and Convenience:-
1. Rain Sensing Wipers: Automatically starts when precipitation is detected and adjusts wiper speed based on rain intensity.
2. Smart Screen: A graphic information display on which numerous settings are possible. It also detects outside temperature and shows date and time.
1. Dual Airbags: Equipped with dual front airbags.
2. Anti Lock Braking System (ABS): Prevents the wheels from locking while braking and allows the driver to maintain steering control, especially on slippery surfaces.
3. All Wheel Disc Brake: Provides excellent stopping and stable braking capability, reduces brake noise and enhances pedal feel.
4. Front and Rear Crumple Zone: Maximises your safety by absorbing the energy from an impact.
With a precisely designed network of active and passive safety mechanisms, the Chevrolet Cruze is serious about giving you maximum protection. Its 4-wheel disc brakes with Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and occupant protection system is all about being protected every time you drive.
It is available in 7 colours. The Chevrolet Cruze 1.8LT costs RM98,716.40 (without insurance) and the Chevrolet Cruze 1.8LT Special Edition costs RM116,716.40 (without insurance).
All thanks to Chevrolet for giving MHB the chance to go for this course. You can say there are now 10 girls who are more aware about how to drive safely on the road! Personally, i would recommend that everyone should go for a Defense Driving course. Don’t think you know everything there is to driving. Sometimes you may not realise the way you drive can be quite reckless. A course like this will put you back into the road safety perspective.
Lets all try to be safer drivers on the road now. The only way to decrease road accidents it is for people to be aware of this. When people are aware, hopefully they will then take into consideration that their lives and lives of others is in their hands.
Once again THANK YOU CHEVROLET!!! ^_^
Want more info bout the Chevrolet Cruze ?
Click here – www.chevrolet.com.my
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Want to enroll in the Defense Driving Course?
Click here to ASIA ADVANCED DRIVING ACADEMY – http://www.aadasb.com/