DEP Overview - Part 2

There are three aptitude principle in DEP, which share common themes across all four of the fundamental principles.

Posted by Head Coach - February 20, 2019

The Three Aptitude Principles

There are three aptitude principles in DEP, which share common themes across all four of the fundamental principles. For each fundamental principle, the student driver should learn the skills and knowledge associated to that principle, recognise the factors that increase the risks involved with that principle, and learn how to do self-assessment of their strengths and which areas to develop regarding that principle.

The Vehicle Principle

Skills and Knowledge:

What are the basic things I need to know on how to operate controls smoothly, move away from and stop, perform maneuvers easily, and deal with basic functions as well as how to maintain a vehicle and periodically carry out maintenance checks?

Factors that Increase the Risks:

What will happen if I will not wear my seatbelt or check out my brakes and tires? What could possibly go wrong if I use the brake harshly, accelerate aggressively or steer sharply?

Self-Assessment:

What is the level of my skills in terms of operating the controls? What weaknesses should I identify? How good am I in choosing the correct gear as well as identifying the timing for my gear changes?

The Road Principle

Skills and Knowledge:

What must I learn in order to drive efficiently in various traffic situation, deal with busy junctions, plan the routes to take, perceive the road and hazards, and what skills should I develop when driving in various weather conditions as well as at night?

Factors that Increase the Risks:

What are the risks involved when driving at night or in hostile weather conditions? What will happen if I don't look at the road properly or don't plan ahead?

Self-Assessment:

What is my skill level when driving through all types of traffic? What are the strengths that I have? What weaknesses should I identify and improve upon?

The Journey Principle

Skills and Knowledge:

What should I learn in order to plan my journey? What type of transportation mode should I use properly? What is the best time of the day should I start my journey? What route should I avoid? What are the effects of distractions, passengers, drugs and alcohol on my driving?

Factors that Increase the Risks:

What risks should I identify when drinking and driving, speeding, getting distracted, using my gadgets while driving or driving even when exhausted as well as driving with my peers?

Self-Assessment:

How well do I navigate and plan the routes to take? What are the effects of exhaustion to my concentration while driving? What are my strengths in dealing with peer pressure? What areas of weaknesses should I improve on?

The Person Principle

Skills and Knowledge:

Do I know who I really am? Do I know what my specific goals and ambitions are? Do I know what level my skills are? What are the principles and beliefs do I have? What are the things that I enjoy most while driving? What motivates me to learn how to drive?

Factors that Increase the Risks:

What kind of personality do I have? What are the factors that increase the risks if I am a thrill seeker, aggressive, or nervous and anxious? What are the risks involved when I pass my test?

Self-Assessment:

How good am I at managing myself? Do I have the ability to reflect? Do I have complete understanding of the consequences of my behaviors and actions? Can I cope with driving as soon as I pass my test?

 

Summary

This coaching approach encompasses the DEP framework. Conventionally, driver training concentrates on imparting skills and knowledge of the DEP to student drivers, including maneuvering a vehicle and connecting with other road users, because these are the things that are required in the driving test. A conventional driver training doesn't necessarily include the second and third aptitudes in the DEP framework (e.g. factors that increase the risks and self-assessment), simply because the driving test doesn't evaluate these areas.

However, as ADI's, we carry a serious responsibility to do what is best at ensuring that the young drivers we teach will have the skills and knowledge necessary to keep them safe once they're out driving on their own. Yet, we are relieved of such responsibility the moment they pass their driving test. As far as they and their guardians are concerned, we have already done our part in helping them pass their driving test.

Needless to say, we may meet our students again after they've passed their test, however this is not certain, and probably the ones who chose not return are actually the ones who will benefit most from it. If we discuss the road crash statistics however, it will show us that 20% of newly qualified drivers get involved in a serious accident within the first year of passing the driving test. Therefore, it would be to our best interest if we consider where the challenge resides and how we can reduce the risk before the student driver takes the test. Addressing DEP prior to the test will permit students to take full responsibility of their lives, their driving and learning, and in doing so decreases the risk of getting involved in a serious accident when they are driving on their own.