If you’re not sure what to focus on when driving, the Institute of Advanced Motorists have come up with a few points to help:
- Read the road
The further ahead you look, the more time you have to recognise and respond to hazards. Always be able to stop your vehicle in the distance you can see to be clear.
Having looked ahead, use that knowledge to anticipate the problems that might come up and plan for them well in advance, to avoid needing to take last minute action.
- Use the two second rule
Watch as the vehicle in front goes past a marker, and then say “only a fool breaks the two second rule”. If you’re at the marker before you’ve finished, you’re too close, double it in the wet.
At 70 mph your stopping distance is the length of a football pitch. Looking away at a crucial moment can be fatal.
- Assume the worst
Never assume another driver has seen you or will react as you expect. Don’t rely on someone else’s reactions to keep you safe.
- Look behind – and to the side
Use mirrors regularly so you have a 360 degree understanding of what’s going on around you. Always check over the shoulder before moving out.
- Manage your personal space
If you keep space around your vehicle, you’ll always have more time and space to deal with hazards.
- Stay fresh
Driver fatigue is a major factor in many crashes. Take at least one 15 minute break after every 2 hours at the wheel.
- No sudden movements
If you’ve scanned all around and used that information to predict what may happen, you should never be surprised by another vehicle’s movements.
- Learn from your mistakes
Near misses happen to everybody. After, think how you could have avoided getting into that situation, even if you think it was the other driver’s fault.
*If you are interested in becoming a member of the Institute of Advanced Motorists, please visit http://www.iam.org.uk/