Book 4 Reviews

Review by: John Lepine in MSA Newslink Magazine. (May 2012)

I warmed to this book. It is a cross between an instruction manual for older drivers, an advice book for ADIs and an essay on the author’s life and his experiences of teaching all sorts of drivers with many different needs. It also features his objections to what might be described as ‘blindfolded assessments’.

The author states, “The DSA seems to have abdicated its responsibility to educate drivers and instead prefers to rely on testing.”

He urges older drivers to be pro-active: “If we drive too slowly or inappropriately we can present a risk to others and that must be avoided and in many cases can be avoided if we take positive action.”

Older drivers actively put themselves under less stress by their proactive decisions on when and where to drive: not on certain roads or certain roundabouts and by choosing the time of day when to drive and maybe choosing to avoid the dark. This could be why they are involved in fewer accidents rather than the fact they have continued to develop their experience.

“But if they are required to undertake an Appraisal then they may not be up to the specific tasks, but by being pro-active, many could have been. In my experience this is very true, not just for older drivers, but for those who have learnt any skills, as they use it or lose it.

The final two chapters make the purchase worthwhile in themselves. The penultimate chapter poses a whole host of questions for ADIs. The author states that he is not trying to teach his grandmother to suck eggs by posing these questions: I can reassure him he is not. This old hand was made to think very hard about most of this chapter.

The final part deals with questions for older drivers. It produced some food for thought for the elderly relative I discussed it with.

Well worth a read and certainly one to include on your CPD activity log. The opportunity to reflect on what has been read and consider how to use the information in the future, are numerous.