Topic 2 – GDE Matrix

A framework already exists that considers all the knowledge and skills a driver needs. This is called the Goals for Driver Education (GDE) Matrix. 

The GDE has been developed through decades of research in the field of driver behaviour and shows that there are major gaps in driver knowledge and skills.

The GDE matrix shows that in order to reduce risks and improve road safety, drivers need to possess different levels of knowledge and skills. This is not just restricted to the knowledge and skills relating to the task of driving, or the physical and mechanical skills of driving (Level 1) and negotiating through traffic (Level 2) but, more significantly, the skills that we don’t always use or train, which are to self evaluate personal risks associated with individual journeys (Level 3). 

In addition to this, the personal values and goals that influence a driver’s behaviour in traffic (Level 4). Drivers also need to understand risk increasing factors and develop skills in self-evaluation so that they can understand how their beliefs and behaviours increase their risk of being involved in a crash. 

A key component of coaching is well thought-out questions that encompass all levels of the GDE Matrix.

Research has shown that instruction tends to focus on the lower two levels of the GDE matrix, it is felt that coaching will be better at addressing higher levels of the matrix that consider factors such as attitudes, personality and group norms.

Level Knowledge and skills Risk increasing factors Self evaluation
Organisational Logistics culture Planning & Reacting Awareness & Responsibility
Life and living Lifestyle, Motives & Values Attitude, Alcohol/Drugs & Sensation seek Impulse control & Risk aware
Context of trip Route choice, Peer Pressure & Obligations Human factors & Driving environment Planning & Self Awareness
Traffic situations Rules & Procedures Lack of awareness & Violations Driving style, Space & Self criticism
Vehicle control Control of direction and position Skill, Speed, Road conditions Driving skill

There are five levels to the GDE Matrix and the Matrix looks at the holistic approach to driving skills and life values. Successfully achieving a pass at the driving test does not holistically achieve all the levels because we have to consider the life values and consequences that intertwine with driving skills and behaviour. Why should anyone get a speeding ticket for a journey that involves shopping, for example.

Therefore there is a context to consider, and this is not currently covered adequately enough in the learning to drive process and beyond. The scenarios below will apply the GDE Matrix to:

Provisional licence holder

*Read through the below or listen to the audio. 

Scenario 1:

A provisional licence holder is keen to learn to drive. He has been driving since the age of 11 on a farm and is adept at driving a 1960’s Land Rover. The learner is a practical, hands-on, type of learner and needs to get licensed to drive with a trailer as soon as possible in order to move livestock to market.

On the first lesson the trainer notices the learner asking questions about the technology of the trainer’s vehicle. The trainer explains it and notices that the learner is quick to utilise the vehicle’s technology to maintain safety. The use of controls is good, but reading traffic situations needs a lot of development. The learner is able to give good attention to the developing situations on the road due to their competence with the controls.

As subsequent sessions take place the trainer sees development in judgement and finesse with the handling. The training continues into the winter and the learner wishes to continue training in icy and snowy conditions. The trainer embraces this attitude and sees that the learner is keen to develop a safe style of driving. A discussion reveals that the learner’s goals are to drive safely in all seasons, with smooth vehicle handling because he will be driving livestock in all weather conditions on and off road.

When asked about his attitude to sensation seeking when behind the wheel, the learner replies that there is a proper time for that, and there is a place on the farm where that can be done. When asked where the markets are, the learner reveals that they could be up to fifty miles away depending on the livestock, and in some cases, the breed of the animal, so he has to be versatile with the route he takes in order to safeguard the animal from injury in transit.

Compare in the GDE Matrix and it can be seen that there is a strength in control and direction, but possibly not position until educated and context understood (1). The learner has certain skills and a limit to understanding speed in an on-road environment and a lack of road skills (1), but his reflection is healthy because his driving attitude is to work and to be careful of the well-being of the animals (2 & 4). He is developing his knowledge of rules and procedures by wanting to drive in all weather conditions (3) and needs to adapt his style to suit conditions and load as he builds on the knowledge of rules (2 & 3). His attitude to sensation seeking is very mature (4) as he responds to being risk averse. 

There is a good grounding here because the learner understands care and responsibility and also realises that his daily environment puts him in the outside world and so changing weather conditions and environment surface changes are evident and must be considered for the safety of life and continuation of business. Although his on-road experience is limited he is inclined to the higher levels of behaviour in levels (3 and 4). Coaching is required for the contextual behaviour.

*Read through the below or listen to the audio. 

Scenario 2:

A learner has to take their test again after being banned from driving for six months under the New Driver’s Act 1995. He wants to do the training and test in his own high-powered sports car that is paid for and insured by his parents. The learner tells the instructor that he only wants three lessons, but the parents have already been in touch with the instructor and told her that she is to give their son as many lessons as required. 

The trainer turns up for the first session to find that the car does not meet the DVSA Minimum Test Vehicle (MTV) regulations. She tells the learner this and he argues against this and tells the instructor that she doesn’t know what she is talking about because his mate drives a similar car all the time. The trainer tells the parents that the vehicle cannot be used for the driving test because it is a two seater, soft top, sports car. The parents were not aware and they suggest that the training be done in the trainer’s car instead. The learner reluctantly agrees and after successfully completing an eyesight test and gets into the trainer’s car. The learner’s control of the vehicle is a little erratic but his observations and responses are good. 

The trainer asks him what his aspirations are and the reply is that he won’t be working because he gets a sizeable allowance from the parents and has just been bought his own property, so wants to spend his time out with his mates and get away from his parents as soon as he can.

The learner has to retake the test after violations (1,2,& 4).The fact that the learner is dictating to the trainer how many lessons are required is worrying because it berates the trainer’s professionalism (3, 4 & 5). He also argues with the trainer over a matter concerning procedure of the driving test that he has completed once before (2 & 3). His vehicle control is reasonable but he lacks some skills to ensure his safety (1 & 2). 

The attitude is poor and he is reliant on being sponsored through life and has no or little regard to safe driving practices. This is going to take a lot of coaching to get the context of safe driving into behavioural change. There is little or no concept of driving for life, rather ‘driving for the present’ and so he has no understanding above level 2 after meeting negative aspects in levels 3, 4 and 5.

Full licence holder going from A to B

*Read through the below or listen to the audio. 

A lady drives about 5000 miles social, domestic and pleasure mileage whilst enjoying her retirement. She has friends all over the country after being a senior manager of a large national voluntary food distribution organisation. She has decided to visit a friend for a weekend that is about 3 hours drive away and has just got her car back from a service and an MOT. She will be leaving on the Friday from her home near Gatwick to go to Nantwich in Cheshire. She has checked the map to see her options for travelling, despite having an in-car navigation system. 

It will soon be the shortest day of the year and the weather and temperature will be changeable, so she has decided to take a shovel and some blankets, along with some extra water and de-icer. Although there are motorway service stations to stop and buy food and drink she is going to take sandwiches, a hot drink and make sure her mobile phone is working and fully charged.  She is also going to clean her shoes and take a pair of boots, a flourescent yellow jacket and a blanket. She also intends to check the traffic volumes on the day to see when the best time is to leave for the journey as she would prefer not to drive in the dark. 

Today is Tuesday so she has to ensure that she has time to organise all her medication from the doctor’s surgery and pharmacist before the journey and to ensure that she has filled the car with fuel and checked the tyre pressures. She is a little uncertain about driving on a Smart Motorway and has asked a trainer for a two hour session to drive on the M23 for practice.

This lady plans in advance for her safety and the journey (2, 3 & 4). She has contingency plans for her welfare in the form of food and drink in case of a long hold up (3 & 4) and has a good idea of the journey after looking at the map and not just relying on the navigation system (2, 3, & 4). She has accessories for breakdown such as a yellow jacket and a blanket if the engine fails and she can’t keep warm(4 & 5). She has considered the time of day and ensured her continual health for the return journey in the form of ensuring supplies of medication (4 & 5).

The lady comes from a commercial background with safety in mind. She plans the journey to be prepared for any reasonable disruption and is alert to her own needs in terms of competence when driving (medication and time of day etc). She is very risk averse and would require on the move coaching as she meets most of all the areas of the matrix up to level 5.

Full licence holder driving for work

*Read through the below or listen to the audio. 

A senior manager has to go into work at the office to settle a dispute with a customer that has been unreasonable with their demands. The senior manager works for a supplier of water coolers and bottles for offices and is supposed to be on a day of annual leave. He has to take his young daughter to school, as previously agreed between himself and his partner but this will make him late. An argument ensues over this and he leaves the house in a mood. He gets the child into the car at the normal time for the school run because the child has not been booked in for pre-school breakfast. He also notices that he is low on fuel and will not make the journey to work on the level he has. He is held up on the route to school, which in itself he is used to, but he is unable to park close to the school to walk the child in as she is too young to cross the road on her own. By the time he gets to making his way to the office he is going to be 30 minutes late for the face-to-face meeting that the customer insists on having. 

He decides, before pulling away from the school, to phone the office to ask his secretary to rearrange the meeting for an hour later, but the secretary says that the client, who has stayed overnight in a hotel, has already confirmed, by email, the meeting time and wanted confirmation of the address for the taxi from the hotel. She has already responded to the email, so he asks his secretary to make excuses and he will get there as soon as he can. The journey is a 60 minute journey on urban and rural roads, but he is in rush hour traffic and the progress, at the outset, is slow. He thinks of other routes to take to get to work that might be quicker and decides to take a cut through, but is held up further by road works, making him even later. 

He gets on to the country roads and decides that this is where he will have to make up some of the time because there will be less traffic. He progresses quite well until he turns a corner to find a slow moving queue of eight vehicles following a tractor that is hedge cutting that cannot pass. The tractor eventually pulls into a lay-by to let the traffic pass and progress starts but he wishes the vehicle in front to ‘get on with it’ and he attempts to overtake it. He does this successfully, but has to break the speed limit to do so and gets flashed by a speed camera doing 55 in a 40 mph limit. He decides he will just have to deal with those consequences later. He eventually arrives at the office 40 minutes late for the meeting.

The senior manager is not managing (5). The only sensible move he did was to phone ahead whilst at the side of the road at the school (5).  He is in an unusual situation but relies on the same methods, eg same routes (1 & 2)  – he is not aware of the cut throughs because he relies on subjective norms (1, 2 & 3). 

This is an example where the manager does not understand his responsibility to the company’s policy for Occupational Safety and Health and does not lead by example (5).  It is going to be a difficult job to get a safety environment instilled from top down in this establishment. 

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This course includes our COVID-19 Guarantee. If the course has to be cancelled due to COVID-19 we’ll transfer your place or issue a refund where necessary. 

If you cancel within seven days of booking we will refund the cost of the course. However, we cannot issue any refunds if you want to cancel anytime after this. We may need to cancel or postpone courses occasionally due to reasons beyond our control. The course date will go ahead even if there is just one attendee. If you plan to book overnight accommodation as part of this course, do ensure you book a refundable option in case the course date had to be changed, postponed or cancelled. The DIA is not responsible for any costs you may incur.

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By purchasing this product you agree that you have read and understood the requirements of the test that you are applying for.

Refund policy: Once a booking has been confirmed with a trainer directly for either a one-to-one standards check or mock test session you will need to give seven days notice to cancel, otherwise the fee will be lost and a new booking and payment will be required.

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You will need to use your own vehicle for the standards check session and mock test, which is suitable for training and allows for your Diamond trainer to role play a suitable candidate, with the relevant insurance in place to allow for this. All Diamond trainers are qualified ADIs with a Diamond examiner qualification in place. You will need to show relevant insurance cover to your Diamond trainer, either before or on the day of your agreed booking date and time. The vehicle you supply must be both roadworthy and legal for the purposes of the standards check session and mock test and your session will be cancelled if you do not present a suitable car with the relevant insurance. If you are more than 15 minutes late to your standards check or mock test session you will lose your booking and the fee will need to be paid again.

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To attend the Zoom sessions you will need a PC, laptop or tablet that can run Zoom and must also have a camera and microphone so you are able to participate fully in the sessions. You are responsible for ensuring you can access and navigate zoom and that you have a strong enough internet connection. If you cannot join the session due to technical difficulties, we cannot guarantee that you will be moved to another session. Session dates are subject to change.

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