Just slightly more than a week ago, we wrote an article about the Mercedes-Benz AMG® Driving Academy. This innovative outreach program by the German automaker provides an opportunity for driving enthusiasts to test the limits of the AMG® with professional drivers – at a cost, naturally. If the sites for the academy are not within a proximity for which you would drive, the company also posts videos, delineated by episodes, which cover various behind-the-wheel topics.
Our host of the Driving Academy series is Tommy Kendall, a Sports Car Club of America Trans-Am champion. He uses his expertise to speak about the curriculum taught by the AMG® professionals on the course, emphasizing particular facts that may otherwise seem unimportant. All of the information presented in these episodes are useful far beyond the racetrack, so they may benefit you during test drives should you return to the market for a new car.
The inaugural episode focuses on the basic fundamentals of driving: seating position and line of sight. Though reviewing the basics may seem unnecessary, keep in mind that proper techniques are often lost as we develop personal driving habits. You’ll absorb plenty of facts and tips from watching the video, but here are a few items that, to us, were of particular interest.
An appropriate distance based upon your height will affect the leverage you’ll sustain while driving, especially when you decelerate. It is vital to be able to fully depress the brake pedal without sitting too close to the dashboard. Another factor affected by distance is arm positioning: your arms should not be fully extended nor curled up – and Mr. Kendall emphasizes the importance of hand placement at “9” and “3” for optimal handling in an emergency situation.
Line of Sight
We all know to ensure that nothing obstructs our view. We must also be cognizant not to look too close ahead, for that causes us to make many minor adjustments while driving. These facts probably seem like common sense; however, you may not realize exactly how your body reacts to potential collisions. The more adrenaline our bodies produce, the nearer our eyes look for escape as part of the natural fight-or-flight response. While skidding, it is important to look where you want to go – not where you’re headed.