Learn to control your car – it could save your life

My Real Life Day Job is pretty sweet. I have a great team, a kickass boss and we have a lot of laughs in the office. What more could you ask for? We’re planning our end of year blow-out at the moment (lawn bowls! Woo!) and I’m trying to come up with some funny end of year awards (I plan on awarding myself something about messiest desk – it’s like the Bermuda Triangle). If you have any award suggestions, my email address is over there -> and the comment box is down below.

Anyway, as part of my Real Life Day Job, I was fortunate enough to be invited out to Eastern Creek on Saturday to do the Galmatic Defensive Driving Course. Galmatic is a really cool car care garage run by chicks for chicks. I’m totally clueless when it comes to cars, as are most girls, and Eleni (the head Galmatic hottie) has written a book with everything you need to know in a really easy to understand format. She also runs workshops to help you understand your car. Do you have any idea how important tyres are? The answer is Very. The final piece of the Galmatic puzzle is defensive driving courses. This involves heading out west and hitting the drag strip.

Think about it – when was the last time you got to practice emergency braking? Or any kind of braking, for that matter? You don’t. You just drive, hoping that you will never be in a situation where you need to need to slam on the brakes and swerve to avoid a car/truck/small child/cargo load of oranges. Statistically speaking though, you will have 7 car accidents in your lifetime, so you really want to be armed with the skills just in case. (I really had to resist the urge to make a ‘stats a lot of accidents’ wisecrack – I love a good stat joke)

In conjunction with Galmatic, the trainers for the course come from Driver Skills Australia, and they really know their juice. The day started in the classroom and we were learning the same material and seeing the same presentation as miners out in Western Australia, members of the army and the Australian government. That said, the trainer (hi Mark!) treated us with the same level of respect and dignity as he would treat anyone else, even when we asked silly questions (apparently it’s illegal to drive in thongs, but not illegal to drive barefoot). Once all the important theory was out of the way and I had sufficiently wet myself in fear, we hit the drag strip. I will admit to feeling a little Fast and the Furious and I know I wasn’t the only one (a certain beauty editor showed why she has a bit of a reputation as a rev-head).

We did all sorts of cool stuff like skidding through water and braking, and swerving through cones trying not to hit imaginary school kids. Speed is a variable you have to learn to control, and it’s quite alarming to think an extra 10km/hour can add hundreds of metres to your stopping distance. Don’t speed people!

Note: the video is me driving someone elses car. Watch for the last few seconds when Mark the trainer leaps out in front of the car. VERY disconcerting!

Is it worth it? Yes. Do I feel like a more confident driver now? Yes. Do I understand how to control my poor little car a bit better? Yes yes yes. Am I hoping I will ever need these skills? God no. But if the day comes when I need them, touch wood, I will be more prepared.

A huge, massive thanks to Eleni at Galmatic for having me!

Price: $225
From: Galmatic
Why you need it: These are potentially life saving skills, people. It’s really worth it, even just for the reminder of how dangerous things like texting and calling are whilst driving. My phone is off when I drive from now on!

Video and picture credit: Eleni @ Galmatic

2 Responses to "Learn to control your car – it could save your life"

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  1. Galmatic

    November 18, 2009 at 5:08 am

    I wasn't scared in the car with you at all! Although on the video would do sound a little silly!

  2. StuffGirl

    November 18, 2009 at 5:19 am

    Thanks! Although I would have freaked more if we had been going any faster. It's so weird driving someone elses (much more expensive) car.

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