From drivers to cyclists, charity highlights its resources and training aimed at making roads safer

Road safety charity the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) is urging road users to forgo new year’s resolutions they may find impossible to keep and instead focus on small changes that will lead to them enjoying the road more and help improve safety.

In the charity’s own words, people are asked to “make 2011 the year when you advance your on-road skills, to improve your driving, riding or cycling enjoyment and the safety of you and those around you.”

Peter Rodger, IAM Chief Examiner commented; “Continuous personal development is often top of the mind at this time of year, but our skill as a driver, rider or cyclist can get taken for granted. Whichever way you travel, make doing it more safely and efficiently your goal for the new year:”

According to the IAM, research it commissioned last year should that nearly one in two women and one in three men believed that taking an advanced driving course, such as the IAM’s own Skill for Life course which costs £139, would boost their confidence behind the wheel. There’s a financial incentive too, with those who have passed the course potentially benefiting from lower insurance premiums.

The IAM also highlights cycling’s role in helping people meet the Department of Health’s recommendation that they undertake physical exercise of 30 minutes’ duration at least five time’s a week, and for those who perhaps don’t yet have the confidence to take to the roads on their bike, it recommends its How To Be A Better Cyclist guide or taking part on one of its three courses.

The charity, which also runs courses for motorcyclists, believes that post-test training is a key factor in reducing the level of road casualties, and will soon be launching a new product, Momentum, aimed at young drivers who have just passed their driving test.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.