“Ultimately, we want to leave home, and come back home safely, to our loved ones.”
When we were children, we grew up hearing “look out for cars before crossing the road”, from our parents. And now that we’ve become parents, we tell the same to our kids (or loved ones). We even invest in safety car seats for them, and tell our husbands to drive safely on the roads.
That’s because we know that road safety cannot be compromised, whether as drivers or passengers. All it takes is just one moment to lose a loved one forever.
Just last year, the number of fatal accidents increased by 2.6 per cent (from 120 as compared to 117 in 2017), according to statistics from the Singapore Police Force.
Not only that, the number of fatalities went up 2.5 per cent to 124. Now, that is certainly a cause for worry.
But what if we could instil the confidence and skills needed in drivers that such incidents can be avoided? What if drivers are better equipped to handle road situations?
While road rage is a factor, here we assess the common, yet important aspects of drivers’ driving habits that most of us are not aware of.
How “safe” do you think you are as a driver?: ‘Drive Safe’ initiative kicks off
As much as all drivers would like to think they are great drivers (well of course), does it mean that they are driving their vehicles “safe”? Or are they in fact compromising their own safety—and others around them—without knowing?
We had the opportunity to attend the launch of the ‘Drive Safe’ initiative that happened late last month, by Borneo Motors (Singapore) and ComfortDelGro driving centre, in their commitment to promoting safer roads in Singapore and nurture socially responsible drivers.
They introduced their new Drive Safe Course, and even celebrated national athlete, Joseph Schooling was present. As Toyota’s Safe-driving Ambassador, Schooling had the first-hand experience to test out the new course.
According to Schooling, whether it is practicing in the pool or driving on the roads, he shows respect for other drivers on the road, just like how he would treat his competitors.
“Respect your competitors, don’t honk at drivers on the road,” he said.
The Toyota Ambassador looks forward to see “what he can do better on the roads, and what he can do to make the world a better place.” “I want to learn what my bad habits are, and correct those,” he added.
Strapped into his car, and ready to take on 20 to 30 minutes of driving practical along a designated route, Schooling had an on-site trainer who provided individual coaching.
His driving skills was scored based on 5 key dimensions:
- Road cornering
- Steering, and
- Distance keeping
All of these were measured using the Driver Development Tool—a visual-based management software. Like many drivers on the roads, it was able to accurately highlight common mistakes that drivers may make. No exceptions, even for Schooling himself!
At the end of the drive, Schooling also received a driver’s assessment report whereby 75% of his driving capabilities were assessed by the system, and the other 25% assessed by an instructor. All for a fairer judgement.
The report also included feedback on drivers’ performance with advice on how they can improve. And that is just the practical session of the interactive half-day course, which participants of the Drive Safe Course will get to experience if they sign up for it.
Participants of the Drive Safe Course will get to sit through a theory-based session that is designed to help them further reinforce their driving habits, and increase mindfulness of their road behaviour.
“Physical and mental conditions are very important, for both drivers and passengers,” shared Mr Yusoff Bari, Senior Chief Instructor at ComfortDelgro Driving Centre.
They affect drivers’ decision-making skills that unfortunately, are the main cause of driving errors. Such topics will be covered in the theoretical training—and will certainly be a refresher for even the most seasoned of drivers.
At the end of the theory training, participants will also be given a simple multiple-choice question (MCQ) test to evaluate their understanding of road handling.
Once both the practical and theory session are completed, drivers will be awarded a Certificate of attendance.
And since it is just a half-day course, it makes it easier for busy parents to swing by and take the assessment. After all, what is more important than one’s own safety in the long run?
“Road safety is a way of life, it’s not a campaign.”
Road safety is often compromised as many take it for granted. How we drive and how we lead our lives, they are somewhat interconnected. Do we live our lives recklessly like how we drive on the roads? Or do we live it mindfully while paying attention to our surroundings (i.e. roads)?
“Road safety is a way of life, it’s not a campaign,” emphasised Mr Samuel Yong, Marketing and Business Strategy Director of Borneo Motors (Singapore).
The Drive Safe Course is available for not just Toyota drivers but also for the public (valued at S$250).
If you have purchased a Toyota passenger car from 18 October 2018 onwards with Borneo Motors (Singapore), great news, because the Drive Safe course is complimentary for all Toyota drivers in Singapore.
This helps to encourage new customers to practice safe driving while familiarising themselves with their new vehicles.
For existing Toyota owners who have purchased their vehicle through Borneo Motors (Singapore), the course can either be redeemed using points from the Toyota ME customer rewards programme, or be purchased at a discounted rate with a Toyota ME membership.
As for owners of parallel imported Toyota passenger cars, participate in the Drive Safe Course by signing up for a new Toyota ME membership at a discounted rate.
Whether or not you are a Toyota car owner, or plan to drive a Toyota vehicle, your loved ones and your safety matters most.
“Ultimately, we want to leave home, and come back home safely to our loved ones,” said Mr Yong.
Picture credits: BORNEO MOTORS (SINGAPORE) and ComfortDelGro Driving Centre.
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