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Roadcraft vs Carcraft
The author believes that proponents of each 'school' of thought should study the opposite point of view with the aim of mutual benefit.


The term "Advanced Driving" has been propagated by people with various backgrounds in driver training.     The result is that the term "Advanced Driving" means different things to different people.

The Two main 'schools' of thought have become known as "Roadcraft" and "Carcraft".

Studies have shown a disparity between the crash records of graduates of the two types of courses,
(e.g. Perry, 1979; Hoinville, Berthound and Mackie, 1972).

The author believes that proponents of each 'school' of thought should study the opposite point of view with the aim of mutual benefit.

 The following is a comparative summary of the key features of "Roadcraft" and "Carcraft".

Is a concept of planning, based on observation and anticipation 


Is a technique of driving to optimize vehicle performance through understanding the vehicle's handling characteristics and the skills required to obtain this 

Seeks to train the mind to recognise potential hazards and plan a course of action through each hazard. Seeks to develop a repertoire of back up manoeuvres of escape routes.
Places safety emphasis on the mental attitude of the driver.   Drivers develop habits which produce appropriate reactions in an emergency. (see Five Great Driving Habits). Places safety emphasis on the handling characteristics of the vehicle and skill of the driver.
Trains the driver to be relaxed, balanced and smooth in the handling of the controls. Trains the driver to be fast and accurate in the handling of the controls.
Emphasis on car sympathy and low driver fatigue. Emphasis on understanding the optimum performance of the vehicle.
Usual based on the system taught at the Hendon Police College, London.   Each "hazard" (loosely defined as any point of potential conflict) is approached with a set order in the operation of vehicle controls.   Commencing with "Course Selected" the driver forms a mental plan of: 
1. The intended path of the vehicle. 
2. Estimates the approach speed. 
3. Marks imaginary point on the road's surface where the gear Change is to be made. 
4. Calculates the zones of visibility and invisibility.
No overall concept of hazard.   Each "hazard" is approached according to its type eg. for a left turn, approach from the right side of the lane.

Brakes & Gears: 
Teaches reducing speed on the brakes then changing the gears separately. 

Often advocates "Pull-Push" steering for the following reasons: 
1. Better deportment. 
2. Positive wheel grip. 
3. Smooth vehicle reaction. 
4. Steering efficiency. 

Skid control: 
Often cover practical skid control with an emphasis on prevention. 

The left foot is used to brace the body weight.  Right foot "brushes" then squeezes the brake until tyre squeal. 

The correct line through a bend is to achieve an increase in the field of view and a decrease in the centrifugal effect on the vehicle. 
Basic line: 
Wide approach to entrance - tight at apex  - wide at the exit. 
Early Line (e.g. slight bend with good visibility) the wheel is turned prior to the bend commencing. 
Centre Line (e.g. a bend with good visibility) the wheel is turned at the same time as the bend commences. 
Late Line (e.g. a bend with restricted visibility) the steering is commenced late - the apex is past the middle of the bend. 
Five Point Line (e.g. long sweeping "U" bend with poor visibility) incorporating entrance - apex - pocket - apex - exit. 


Brakes & Gears: 
Teaches reducing speed on brakes and changing gears simultaneously using "heel and toe". 

Often advocates "Cross Arm" or "1/4 to 3 and glue" and/or "hand over hand" for the following reasons: 
1. More wheel speed for the first half turn in either direction. 
2. More natural reflex action. 

Skid control: 
Gives greater emphasis to practical skid control. 

Often refers to "Threshold" braking (means the same thing). 

Sometimes uses a "Circuit" line, which is an early, tight line.   The driver leaves the wide approach early and hugs the apex for a greater distance.   The purpose is to block competitors.  Obstacles do not restrict observation on a racing circuit. 

Some who have participated in Carcraft courses on a racing circuit seem to use this line on the road. 


Hoinville,G., Berthound, R. & Mackie, A.M. (1972)

A study of accident rates amongst motorists who passed or failed an advanced driving test.

Department of the Environment, Berkshire, England TRRL Report LR499.

Perry, D.R. (1979)

Driver Instruction: Some issues in Pre- and Post instruction in Australia.

Research Board, AIR 104502.