Where to look for hazards
When starting to learn, most learners tend to look just a few feet ahead of car, (as in the diagram area 1) because they feel that they need to ‘see where the car is going’. This results in poor planning and late decisions. This can lead the learner to going from one ‘disaster’ to the next. A more positive method is to look at the road well ahead to where you will be in around 15 seconds, (area 2 and 3) as well as looking at areas closer to you. By doing this, you will have more time to decide what action or actions (such as giving a when to give a signal, slowing down or changing lane) you’ll need. It’s also important that you constantly ‘scan’ the road ahead by keeping your eyes moving from one area to another looking for hazards. Avoid fixing your eyes on one hazard, because you could miss something else that may need more of you attention. For example a cyclist – by looking ahead of them the road may be clear and safe to overtake them; or you’re when following a line of vehicles, by looking at the other areas (Area 2 and 3), you may see other vehicles slowing down ahead which in turn might affect you.
The picture shows a typical scene. There are four possible hazards, see if you can spot them?
- The red car waiting to emerge
- The parked car on the left past the red car
- The white van that’s about to pull out from behind the parked car on the right
- Numerous driveways – where someone could pull out