UK drivers attend RoadStars driving safety training
DRIVING SAFETY EVENT
Three UK Blue Steering Wheel holders won the opportunity to attend the RoadStars driving safety training event in November.
Brought together by their passion for Mercedes-Benz trucks, 24 Blue Steering Wheel holders enjoyed a weekend of safety training and comradery at the 2017 RoadStars driving safety training event held at Baden Airpark at the end of November. Though the participants, who won attendance to the event by entering a RoadStars competition, were from many different backgrounds and countries, the event “had a proper community feel to it… it was a great meeting of like-minded people,” explained Rupert Barnard of Mercedes-Benz Trucks UK Ltd, who hosted the three winners from the United Kingdom.
The three UK winners – Paul Hayward, Dominic Newby and Phillip Clay – had never met before the event, but quickly connected over their combined interest in Mercedes-Benz trucks and the RoadStars community.
Dominic Newby, who was a runner-up in the Mercedes-Benz Truckfest display competition in Peterborough earlier this year, said “The online RoadStars community provides a wealth of information and opportunities for truck drivers... It is also a privilege to be part of a like-minded community for whom trucks are a passion. It was a real honour to be chosen to go and be part of this special occasion. I thoroughly enjoyed having the opportunity to speak with the trainers and listen to the wealth of knowledge they shared with us over the course of the weekend.”
After flying in Friday afternoon and meeting the RoadStars team, the group spent Saturday at the driving track participating in a range of safety activities that included testing different vehicle capabilities on various road surfaces and in extreme conditions such as heavy rain.
Mercedes-Benz trucks have a host of safety systems to assist drivers overcome adverse situations, all of which the participants were able to put to the test. These features include Active Brake Assist 4, which assists the driver when an accident hazard is detected and automatically reduces the vehicle speed, Roll Control Assist, which uses electronically controlled dampers to constantly adjust to suit road conditions and counteract rollover potential and Stability Control Assist, which helps drivers maintain driving stability of both the truck and trailer in potentially dangerous driving situations such as skidding or swerving.
The hands-on safety training was a favourite part of the weekend for Dominic. “I most enjoyed experiencing the new technologies now available in Mercedes-Benz trucks, particularly the Roll Control Assist. It was an incredible experience driving round a corner at speed and seeing how stable the vehicle stayed. I also thought the Sideguard Assist was a great new safety innovation,” he explained. Sideguard Assist, currently only available in LHD vehicles, is the first available assistance system that affords pedestrian and cyclist protection when a truck is in a cornering situation.
The participants were also able to provide valuable feedback on the safety features. “For me, I think it was a great opportunity to be in the cab with professional drivers observing their feedback,” said Rupert. “From a product management point of view, that first-hand and the way that the guys are actually interacting with the vehicle tells you so much about how the vehicle works for the driver.” RoadStars also provided classroom instruction in addition to the hands-on training.
A successful event.
After the event, the competition winners were mailed a participation certificate for their involvement in the RoadStars sponsored weekend. Overall, it was a great learning opportunity and experience for all involved.
“It was a great experience…The fact that the guys came back with such good feedback really showed what a great and well-organised event it was,” Rupert said. “The Mercedes staff looked after us superbly. The organisation and care was second to none,” Dominic agreed.