To us Malaysians, driving is an everyday affair and without cars, you can safely say that our economy would come to a grinding halt. With cars being part of our everyday lives for decades now, many have yet to fully understand safety on the road. Many of us still take driving lightly and disregard the fact that we could harm ourselves, or worse yet, put someone else in danger just by losing our focus when driving.

Having said that, many of us practice the right driving habits but at times, we are forced to be in situations that will put ourselves and the people around us in danger. Personally I have been through these situations plenty of times, such as swerving out of harm’s way when a biker pulls out of a junction suddenly without warning.

Which is why some automakers promote defensive driving which can help reduce accident rates on the roads. BMW has their very own version of this, called the BMW Driver Training which has been around since 1977. Running for several good years in Malaysia, the BMW Driver Training programme teaches its participants various driving techniques that will help prevent accidents on the road. The most recent one was held last weekend at the Sepang International Circuit.

With its certified and highly trained instructors, the programme starts off with a one and a half hour long theory session. Following this, participants get behind the wheel of a BMW 3-Series, which in last weekend’s case, a 325i Sport and drive through various exercises including double-handed slalom which allows you to practice the correct steering technique.

There is also something called emergency braking which enables you to experience a braking situation with the ABS or anti-lock braking system working in the background. Contrary of popular belief, ABS doesn’t give you stronger braking but instead it allows you to steer your car while carrying out emergency braking. Participants will experience this further with the brake, steer and avoid exercise.

This is then followed by emergency lane change which teaches you how to avoid a potential hazard on the road by swerving or “flicking” the steering wheel. Then there is also understeer and oversteer exercises which show you how both scenarios are induced and how they can be prevented with the help of vehicle electronic stability programme or ESP. Participants will then have to combine what they have learned and implement them in a slalom competition which can be quite fun :)

The icing on the cake is the track fascination where participants get “chauffeured” around the entire Sepang circuit by the instructors. At the end of the day, participants will go home with a valuable piece of certificate that is valid worldwide, indicating that the bearer has successfully completed the Advance module of the programme. He or she can use this to upgrade to the Intensive level, which will be offered in Malaysia soon.

All in all, it is a good way to spend a weekend and most importantly, improve your driving techniques and the understanding of more safety on the road. For those who are interested in taking part in this recommended training, please call BMW Voice at 1800 88 3000. Participation fee starts off at RM1,700 for BMW owners and RM1,800 for non-BMW owners. You can also visit the BMW Driver Training website here.

The next BMW Driver Training takes place on 3rd and 4th September 2011. Continue reading to view an image gallery.

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