Being a better driver can mean different things. Perhaps it’s a feeling of confidence when navigating obstacles on a crowded street or skillfully handling tricky road conditions. Maybe it means setting a great example of how to be a safe, competent driver for your kids and getting the most life from your car by having an extended auto warranty. Whatever your definition of being a better driver is, it’s a worthwhile goal.
Perhaps you've thought about actively working on becoming a better driver and asked yourself, “Will a performance driving course help me improve as a driver?” Often these kinds of courses are held at race tracks and teach valuable car control skills, all while letting you have an absolute blast. Read on to see if it's worth signing up for one.
Oh Boy, This is Going to Be Fun!
Tires shriek as you tear through a sharp right-hand corner. The steering wheel thrashes in your hands, while the car searches for grip. As soon as you feel the tires catch, you point the car toward the finish line and pin the throttle. The engine roars. The dazzling feel of acceleration presses you back into the seat, almost taking your breath away. As you shift gears, speed climbs. The world outside the window turns to a multicolor blur as your car tries to head-butt the horizon. And there’s the checkered flag! Victory!
There’s something romantic and exciting about driving fast and experiencing all the performance your car has to offer, even if you’re not a card-carrying gearhead. In much the same way that Protect My Car is a leader in the auto warranty field, professional racing drivers are some of the most skilled athletes in the world and are the very best at what they do. So, it would seem to follow that taking a performance driving class is a guaranteed way to improve as a driver and be safer on the road. But is that really true?
Does Driving Fast Lead to Better Driving?
In short, no. While many useful skills are taught in an advanced driving course, taking one doesn’t mean you’re automatically going to be safer on the street. Some experts actually recommend against advanced driving lessons as a means of becoming a better driver.
Consider these points when deciding to take performance driving class:
- Driving safely and going fast on a track are two very different things
- Drivers who’ve taken a class may be more inclined to take risks on the road
- Car control skills are not defensive driving skills
Better Ways to Be Safe
Advanced car control skills can be beneficial in numerous ways. When it comes to street driving, there are better ways to become a safer driver than taking a performance driving course. Those methods revolve around awareness of your driving environment and proper risk assessment.
So much of being a better driver comes back to the basics we all learned in driver’s education. Drive defensively and assume that no one else on the road sees you. Always leave yourself an escape route so that no matter what happens, you’ll have a way to get out of it safely. Slow down, particularly when around other people. Keep your eyes on the road, and definitely leave your phone turned off or put away.
Your Car Warranty and Proper Maintenance
Another way to be a safer driver that’s very much under your control is keeping your vehicle maintained. A well-maintained car is a safe, reliable car. Additionally, an extended auto warranty like those provided by PMC can help reduce the negative impact of costly repairs on cars that are out of warranty protection, but still have plenty of useful life left.
What It Takes to Be a Better Driver
While performance driving courses certainly have their place and can offer a lot of value, simply signing up and taking one is no guarantee of becoming a better street driver. That takes maturity, prudence, and committed practice. And it almost goes without saying that the street is no place to sharpen the skills taught in driving courses. A better driver is one who approaches the task at hand with a clear mind, drives with common sense, and focuses on the road ahead.