Welcome to DGIAM, the South West Scotland branch of the Institute of Advanced Motorists. We are a registered charity that’s affiliated, like over 200 other local groups to the Institute of Advanced Motorists – or IAM. Our aim, like the IAM itself is to improve the standards of driving and the advancement of road safety on Dumfries & Galloway’s roads.
We are made up of a friendly group of volunteers, covering all ages, all with a keen interest in better driving & motoring for all. To this end, we encourage all motorists to take the Advanced Driving Test, and offer them guidance, through our associate scheme, on how to prepare for this.
You can join the group as an existing full IAM member, or as an “Associate” member. Associates are members who have not yet passed their Advanced Driving Test, but wish to get involved and take advantage from the coaching & advice given by our Observers.
As soon as I heard that I had been accepted onto the ‘Skill for Life’ programme, I was initially nervous because I didn’t know quite what to expect. Very soon after being accepted I had my first drive with my Observer, in this he explained the basis of the system of driving which should be used. During this drive I became aware of how many bad habits I had developed; ranging from the common crossing of arms on the steering wheel, to the rather more concerning lack of mirror checks and general observation.
I found that applying new concepts like the system, and new techniques such as sustained-rev gear changes, made my driving much more enjoyable. In every observed drive I was being coached to drive in a much safer way and I quickly decided that this was a far better way of driving. The type of safe driving coached by IAM is not checking mirrors all the time and driving excessively slowly; it is how to handle a car safely at all speeds and in all environments. In fact one of the things my coach was most keen for me to do was to drive faster and make more progress.
When the time came for my test, I was both apprehensive and excited, however the Examiner’s attitude immediately put me at ease. The test was a drive that lasted about an hour and half and all that was required was that I drive the way I had been coached. I actually enjoyed the test and was pleased that my driving was up to the required standard.”
“The ‘Skill for Life’ programme has led to me being a safer and more confident driver and I would thoroughly recommend it to people my age; it allows you to be a safer driver without making driving any less enjoyable.” – Will