Road safety in schools

BIG TOM Driving School held a road safety in 2019 talk to Yr 12’s at Spalding Grammar School today.

Owner of the driving school, Tom Ingram spoke about the impact of mobile phones affecting road safety and the very latest statistics in the industry and how his driving school is contributing towards the 3 goals set in the DVSA Road Safety Statement 2019.

Tom Ingram adds:

“I am grateful to Spalding Grammar School for their invitation to talk to their Year 12 students about UK road safety.  I have been doing these talks at my local grammar school for many years and it is a nice opportunity to help the teachers at Spalding Grammar school too.  The students were very engaged doing various tasks and asking questions – a credit to the school”.

BIG TOM is happy to assist other schools and welcomes invitations.

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Observing the driving test

BIG TOM driving school has a positive policy on observing driving tests for pupils, this blog explains how it helps.

Pupils of the BIG TOM intensive driving course have the guaranteed right to expect to have their driving test observed by their driving instructor.  The test can be stressful and pupils’ ability to recollect what happens varies considerably.  By having a driving instructor observe the test, there is precise feedback of where incidents occur at the time.

Tom Ingram (Owner of BIG TOM) adds:

I would remind readers that the role of a driving examiner is purely one of assessment; they are not performing a instructive function.  The feedback they give will only be based around what happened that created a major driving fault to be recorded.  By having a driving instructor observe the test, they can provide vital feedback of how to actually improve skills and techniques.  This is yet another benefit passed on to customers that set us apart from others.

It is of course optional for BIG TOM customers, no-one has to have their test observed if they do not want it.  If any of our customers WANT the service, then it is guaranteed to be provided – a cast iron pledge.

The two-week intensive course starts from £1497 – call us on 0800 689 4174

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Learning to drive with dyspraxia

People who have dyspraxia can find the routine tasks of our day to day living difficult.  Driving is no exception.  Coping with learning to drive can be hard.  At BIG TOM we understand the problem.

One of the essentials of learning to drive with dyspraxia is persevering. BIG TOM has got a lot of experience of helping adults learn to drive with dyspraxia and patience is a reliable guarantee.

The co-ordination skills that others will take for granted are not necessarily present. The unusual swings in driving ability can be very trying. When pupils come on to the BIG TOM intensive driving course, what they need is a driving instructor who is staying calm, helping out as much as possible. In our experience, it is possible to overcome issues relating to dyspraxia. Still, there should be an acknowledgement that it is going to take time, repeated practice and a great big dollop of understanding.

Since being established in 2009, BIG TOM has been helping pupils with a range of learning difficulties. The experience gained helps us to recognise and expect the emotional imbalance that pupils feel. Feelings of isolation, confusion, low self-esteem are common, and this driving school understands these effects. The driving training is conducted within a learning environment, mindful of maintaining respect and dignity. We don’t expect every pupil to progress at the same rate in some robotic fashion.

Our experience helps us to understand the symptoms, design in assisting mechanisms and truly empathise. We know the problem and do all we can to keep our pupils on track to achieve their goal of a full driving licence, in realistic timescales.

The two-week intensive course starts from £1497 – call us on 0800 689 4174

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Driving with friends

It is a fact that there can be increased risk factors associated when driving with many occupants in a car.

Driving with friends in the car can be very distracting, and it can affect driving behaviours. Latest DVSA data shows that young men aged 17-24 are the highest risk group of all car drivers. Drivers are not intentionally being distracted and increasing the risks; it is purely down to the influence of friends in the car. It becomes more about how well a driver can manage the situation. Driving is an effortful activity, requiring concentration and focus, especially in the early years of passing a driving test.
The BIG TOM intensive driving course does cover this subject as part of the flagship two-week course. It is one of many factors that can affect driving behaviours. Drivers need to recognise increased risk factors when they drive independently. Raising awareness of how external and internally generated factors can alter how someone drives a car is an essential aspect of the training programme.

Tom Ingram (Owner of BIG TOM) adds:

“It is not just a problem related to when driving with other occupants present.  It can also occur when passengers get in a car, when they may know some of the occupants but perhaps not the driver.  Younger people can be reluctant to speak out about how they feel danger when someone else is driving.  Drivers have a responsibility to keep their passengers safe and feeling safe, and this is an important point on our two-week intensive driving course.”

The two-week intensive course starts from £1497 – call us on 0800 689 4174

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Simple steps to road safety

BIG TOM provides a range of resources for the benefit of our customers.  We go the ‘extra mile’ to help and support pupils on our popular intensive driving courses.  Take a look at our Simple Steps to Road Safety infographic.

Pupils do not have to wait until they are doing the in-car training on the intensive course before learning key road safety concepts.  Support and guidance come to customers the moment they reserve their course.

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Intensive driving course feedback

At BIG TOM, we take customer feedback about our intensive driving course very seriously.  In that way, we can continue to refine our service to meet our customers’ needs.

Customer surveys are routinely sent out post-course to ask for feedback.  The one being shown on this blog was received this morning.  Tom Ingram (owner of BIG TOM) says:

“I am always very grateful to customers who take the time to provide feedback.  In order to stay focussed on the needs of people who use our service, it is an integral element for responding to feedback.  Thank you to all customers who engage in our customer service process; you are helping us to continually improve the standard of our service for future pupils at BIG TOM.”

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Help learning to drive

A helping hand.

Are you feeling worried, frustrated or confused about learning to drive?  BIG TOM driving school offers plenty of pre-booking support to help you.  David from Sleaford also felt the pressure of needing to learn to drive for a new job.  This is what he says about his BIG TOM two week intensive driving course:

“I did the BIG TOM 2 week intensive course as I was due to start a new job which required a driving licence. I cannot recommend Tom highly enough, he has a wonderful ability to put you at ease and he really let me take control of my own learning.
He focussed on making sure I was a confident, competent driver and not just focusing on scraping a pass.
The 2nd week was all about confidence and refinement of my skills & his honesty really helped in making sure I was more than prepared for test day.
Fantastic course, top guy, couldn’t recommend any higher.
David’’

It is very natural to feel emotional when there is a need to learn to drive but for whatever reason, it isn’t going how you want it to go.  Take control of the situation, call the BIG TOM advice line on 0800 689 4174 and let us start relieving you of some of that pressure you are feeling.

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Spotless intensive driving course

Clean as you go BIG TOM intensive driving course

Symptoms of colds and flu can sometimes arise at the change of seasons.  As we are now marching into Autumn and soon the winter, BIG TOM does all we can to provide a germ-free learning environment.

Prior to every driving training session, the car controls are cleaned with an anti-bacterial wipe.  The weekly valeting includes use of an interior upholstery shampoo so that customers know that headrests, seats and mats have not just been vacuumed but also treated.

We do everything we can to provide a germ-free intensive driving course for our customers and we ask them to help us in our aim.

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Broaden learning

BIG TOM announces key pledge to broaden driving training

The Road Safety Statement 2019 details a commitment from the DVSA to broaden the range of driving training that learners experience before taking driving tests.  They have identified three key objectives on their campaign: rural roads, independent driving and driving in the dark.  BIG TOM is proud to commit to these pledges and today announces a firm guarantee to customers.

Owner of BIG TOM, Tom Ingram says:

“My driving school is always happy to adapt to change in the interest of raising standards.  We have shown that we can respond to customer requests and also work aligned to our governing body the DVSA.  Today, my school guarantees to all customers of our popular two week intensive driving course that they will be offered driving in the dark as part of their training.  This is a firm commitment which will be guaranteed, and is with immediate effect of any subsequent bookings of the BIG TOM two week intensive driving course.”

The three pledges from the DVSA include spending 2 or more hours training on rural roads, which BIG TOM already delivers on.  It ensures learners have practised more than 4 hours on independent driving which again, BIG TOM already guarantees as standard on the two-week course.  And the last pledge is for some time to have been spent driving in the dark.  This is where BIG TOM customers will now be offered the opportunity to programme into their schedule some driving in the dark.

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How to be a good driver

The England cricket team show true grit to win at Headingley.

In a breathtaking day of cricket versus Australia, England managed to hold on and win the match after a gruelling spell of batting by Ben Stokes.  Shane Warne in the commentary has made mention of Stokes’ work rate when practising.  Stokes always puts 100% effort into his practice; the frequency, duration and intensity is always high quality.

Owner of BIG TOM, Tom Ingram says:

“This is a great lesson for pupils learning to drive.  Good quality practice combined with a deep desire to succeed is a winning formula.  Only by putting the hours in practising, can you then rely on good techniques and habits when you are in stressful or high pressure situations such as the driving test.  There really is no substitute for continuous, high quality practice.  BIG TOM offers pupils the opportunity to practice driving in a wide range of locations on their intensive driving course therefore picking up experience of differing driving conditions.”

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