That Was Why... Now How?
Yesterday we looked at some of the reasons to seek out specialized training in various high-risk or challenging driving techniques. Today I'll talk about some ways to get that training. Some cost a lot of money, some are low-cost or free, and one or two might even pay you to learn.
RV as BOV
It's funny that to drive a short bus with 16 passengers, a limo, or a truck for hire, you need special training and a CDL (commercial driver's license) of one type or another; but to drive a giant motorcoach or a large pickup with a 38' 5th wheel camper trailer, you just need the money to buy it. Don't get me wrong, I'm not advocating special licensing for RV'ers, but as a person who has crushed more than one hubcap on a shuttle bus, I can say that it might behoove a person to get some training.
The best option would be to get training on your particular RV. A Google search for "RV driver training" revealed training classes and schools all over the country. I can't vouch for any one in particular; check with your dealership, local Good Sam club, or other RV'ers for recommendations.
Another option might be to go through a Emergency Vehicle Operators Course as a fire truck or ambulance driver with your local volunteer organization. Different states and organizations have different requirements, but check in your locality. Many are happy to have volunteers who can't commit to EMT or firefighter training and certification, but are willing to drive a unit, freeing up a service provider.
If you are between jobs or partially retired, consider getting a part time job as a school bus driver. Many school divisions are in need of good drivers, and will often provide the necessary training and licensing. If you can navigate a big yellow bus full of excited children through crowded city streets or small country roads, you can safely get your RV to your BOL in less than ideal conditions.
In The Car
If you are like me and just have a regular car or pickup that you use on a daily basis, but want to improve your skills so that you are better able to get home in a SHTF or stressful situation, then some advanced defensive driving might be for you. If you've ever been through a DMV "defensive driving" course to get out of a ticket, you know that is not the same thing as what we are looking at.
Yesterday I mentioned going through a State Department executive protection driving course as a test student for new instructors. I did that training at ITI at their permanent facility on the grounds of the West Point, Va. airport. They not only offer "tactical" driving, they also have civilian advanced techniques, and shooting schools. Kind of a one stop shop. I've known several instructors there over the years and they have a very good reputation, so I can recommend them if they fit your needs.
Googling "advanced driver training," "crash avoidance" and "EVOC driver training" will get you tons of potential training schools all over the country. Again, check them out and find our if they are of good quality before putting your money down.
Many police or sheriff's departments have volunteer auxiliary programs where candidates receive the same training as full time staff, but only work a couple days a month. That can be an excellent way to get trained and practice high speed maneuvering and other skills, as well as some advanced shooting skills.
When I was 17, I was lucky enough to have my Dad let me drive his 75 Jeep CJ5 to school and on weekends. I was stupid enough to take it off road to the point where I got well beyond my capabilities and sunk it in about 30" of thick clay mud. It ultimately took one of those 18 wheeler tow trucks to get it out.
If you are planning to take an off-road route to get home in SHTF or out to your BOL, please learn how to do it safely and have your rig equipped for whatever terrain you are in. At the very least, join the local 4 wheel drive club and go on organized trips with experienced off roaders until you learn what your and your rig's capabilities and limitations are. That super-cool FJ Cruiser in black and green with the aggressive tread is useless if you roll it or get it stuck in your inexperience.
A Google search for "off road driver training" or "4x4 driver training" brings up a plethora of possible training opportunities. As above, investigate and be sure you are getting the quality of training that you are expecting. I can't vouch for any of them, but I did find Overland Experts which seems to be an established and proven training school in Connecticut and Virginia. In addition to basic and advanced off road training, they also offer driving trips in locales ranging from NE Canada to the wilds of Kenya. I told my wife about them last night and we are going to look into taking a class at their Virginia location.
Driving after It Hits The Fan is a lot different than your daily commute. Be sure that you and your vehicle are ready for it.