Expert Driving, by Patrick Bedard

reviewed by Greg Raven

Expert Driving
by Patrick Bedard
80 pages, illustrated, 6 × 8 inches
$9.95
Valentine Research

If you have read some of the other books on driving, you might be wondering why in the world you would spend money to buy another one. Pat Bedard says it best, Oh, no, another guy holding forth on smoothness and holding back on the real secrets of driving.

But this book is different.

How different? Let’s start out by acknowledging that giving driving lessons in a book is difficult. This book manages to do it, albeit with a little outside help.

Bedard, an engineer, racer, and car magazine writer, has all the qualifications to write a good book on a subject such as this. The style is conversational and not too technical, and even the seat-of-the-pants driver will be able to get a lot out of it.

For maximum value, Bedard expects Expert Driving to be used in conjunction with the other product from Valentine Research, the g.analyst. This pushes the price of the book some $379.00 over the $10.00 cover price, but it also makes the learning curve much steeper.

If you have seen the ads for the g-analyst you are familiar with the display. Bedard makes good use of this graphic device to illustrate each of the separate techniques (braking, acceleration, and cornering), showing not only the right approach but some of the wrong ones as well. This makes the concepts more easy to grasp and more memorable when actually executing the maneuvers, whether or not a g.analyst is employed.

Casting the g.analyst as the [accomplice] takes away nothing from Bedard’s tutorial. With nothing more than the book you could do a good job of educating the seat-of-your-pants. Even a smarty-pants would benefit from the use of a g.analyst, however, and for most owners of the g.analyst, this book should be indispensable.

Bedard is careful to point out that expert driving is not necessarily fast driving, or racing on the street. Expert driving also encompasses smooth street driving at the posted limit. If the thanks of your passengers are not enough reward, consider that all the time you spend driving smoothly on the street will stand you in good stead when the opportunity for some high performance driving comes along.