Applying the GDE matrix to cycling?

As a member of the Institute of Advanced Motorists and a regular cyclist I’ve wondering whether the Goals for Driver Education (GDE) matrix can be applied to developing cyclist safety. With my own children learning to ride on the roads it’s more pertinent today than ever.

Briefly the matrix maps four levels to three areas. The levels are:

  • Goals for life and skills for living
  • Goals and context of driving
  • Driving in traffic
  • Vehicle Control

The three areas are:

  • Knowledge and Skill
  • Risk Increasing Aspects
  • Self Assessment

It’s a hierarchical model and driver/cyclist training typically focuses on the lower two levels. Various road safety organisations are promoting focussing on the higher levels as a more effective means of developing safer drivers.

For example, you may have great control, be experienced in traffic, but you just missed your turning and you’re late – suddenly you find yourself taking more risks.

The lower levels are much easier to explain and teach. The highest level is about who you are and your attitudes – much harder to fix but surely worthy of the investment.

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