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Accidents and the Colour of your Car

August 19, 20150 Comments

Transcript Hi Just a quick one. I’ve just had an email from someone asking me what colour is best for driving school cars? Are they less likely to be in an accident if they are certain colours? They have quoted a couple of colleagues that have white and silver cars that have had a couple of accidents in their vehicles. This got me thinking really. I have had lots of different colours whilst I’ve been an instructor and not found a difference so I did some research on google and found some research that you can see on the link below. This research is from 2010 that said black cars are the worst for accidents. I haven’t read the whole research but just the article. What I would say is that it brings up another point really which is about having accidents with pupils and what is the most common accident we have. The most common accident is a rear end shunt, particularly at traffic lights, roundabouts and closed junctions. I have had experience of having five of these shunts in a week once. They were at the same time every day; Monday to Friday at about 4.30pm in November / December time, which is relevant. Basically, it got me thinking ‘what is going on here?’ and I came to the conclusion that I was allowing the pupil to do a false start or stall. I am sure you know what a stall is so I won’t explain it. What I mean by ‘false starting’ is them starting to go and then me saying “no, don’t go!” or me dualing them or taking some sort of action that would make them suddenly stop. Of course, what happens then is that car behind doesn’t look at you again as they are still looking to the right; they hit you because they think you have gone. Changing your level of instruction can be very useful, particularly if it is dusk time. Going back to my experience of 5 accidents in a week they were all at dusk and it was quite difficult to see people in the dusk. This is particularly true for cyclists as we don’t always look far enough to the right and they don’t always wear bright clothing to be seen more easily. You can up your level of instruction where there is a possibility of false starts by asking things like “when are you thinking of going?” “What can you see coming that may stop you going?” If they say they are going to go you can say “oh don’t” before they have moved. The important thing is to get your verbal instruction in before they move. This way you won’t end up with a false start. The other classic is stalling and that can be quite difficult to work out when they are going to stall. I think, with experience, you can normally tell if the clutch is a bit high or if they are biting against the handbrake a bit so if they miss-time the handbrake down they are going to stall. You can also tell that your pupil maybe rushing a bit. It is difficult to explain how you can tell that they are rushing but with experience you can. If you are thinking “they might stall here” then the last word you want to use is ‘stall’ but go back a level of instruction and say something like “just remember to keep your feet still as you come up here. Don’t rush. Take your time and off we go.” Don’t be afraid to go back a level of instruction because that can avoid false starting and, therefore, avoid a rear end shunt. I am not saying it will eliminate a shunt but it can bring the chances of having one down. I’m probably going to drop myself in it by saying this but I’ve not had a rear end shunt in 20 years since realising that I was allowing my pupils to false start. No doubt I will have one tomorrow now! It is just worth thinking about if you find that your pupils do stall a lot or go out and you have to dual control them. These are always potential situations for a rear end shunt particularly when it is dark or dusk.

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About the Author ()

Blaine Walsh is the owner of, has been a driving instructor trainer for 15 years and a driving instructor for over 20 years. When he first qualified Blaine admits his was not a very good instructor, became disillusioned, was not retaining pupils and not making any money, so he quit full time teaching. After spending time self-reflecting, he had a light bulb moment and realised that he needed to put more explanation, effort and enthusiasm into teaching learners. Since then he has not looked back and is now regarded as one of the top trainers in the country.

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