Yesterday my mum (sitting next to me wearing glasses) and I participated in the Safety Days (previously known as Young Drivers' Day) event in Colmar-Berg. The aim was to remind drivers of the importance of safe driving through different workshops.
The first workshop was a simulation of what it would feel if you had a car crash and the car would roll over. I volunteered to sit inside the car. I can tell you that it was a scary feeling. We were all screaming as the car was rotating.
Next up was a session about the dangers of drunk driving (something that I have frequently been guilty of). The glasses above give you an idea how difficult it is to see clearly when you have had a few too many.
We mixed a nice non-alcoholic kiwi cocktail. There are many delicious drinks that don't have to involve alcohol.
This is the alcohol breath test machine that the Police are using when checking drivers.
A damaged car from an accident where the driver died but the passenger survived.
The third workshop was about ensuring that your car is in good order, especially before going on long-distance trips.
We also learned about flat tyres, what you can do if this happens to you and how the tyres can be repaired.
The last session before lunch was about driving slowly on a wet track and then fully hitting the break. The faster you drive, the longer it takes to bring the car to a complete halt.
Then it was time for a lunch break.
Challenge: get as many people as possible inside this car. 21 people managed to fit inside.
After lunch we practiced more driving on wet tracks. This time the car was made to skid and we had to get it back under control.
We were then asked to drive into wet roundabouts and we were taught that winter tyres have a much better grip than summer tyres.
This was a fun exercise. I managed to mess it up completely by not following the instructions to leave the hand break on. My team leader wasn't too happy with me.
Next up was driving fast cars on the racing track. As passengers of course. Professional drivers took us around for a couple of laps.
I sat in the car above. It was boiling hot inside. I had to wear a helmet and we drove at 270 kmh (168 mph). The driver was wearing a fire proof suit while I was in shorts and tee. It was a bit scary and I was thinking if this car goes up in flames, I will turn into a grilled chicken.
A more relaxing workshop had us drive hybrid cars through the village and the instructor showed us how we could save energy by knowing when to switch gears and avoid unnecessary full stops.
Back to tyres: it is important to choose a quality tyre and they come in different categories: A to G. We were taught how to read the various information written on the side (age, size, wear).
The final two sessions centred around how to fill in an accident report and basic first aid.
At the end I got the result of an inspection that was made to my car. Unfortunately I failed in two areas: not enough window cleaner liquid and the breaks need to be replaced. Good thing that I am anyway taking my car to the garage tomorrow for minor fixes, so it can all be sorted then.
This was a really useful and eye-opening event. Even though I have been driving for many years, this was a good refresher and I learned many new things. At the end we were showered with many practical goodies and we went home tired but happy.