I am sorry things did not work out for you today, you may want to think of how you’ve learnt things in the past. Did you get everything right the first time? Majority of the time, the answer to that question is no. Did you sometimes experience failure or disappointment? My guess is yes.
You must be realistic, you will achieve your desired success if you really want to, but it will take time.
It is safe to say that driving a motor vehicle is a complex task involving not just the driver, but also the vehicle, the road and the environment.
The majority of road crashes are a result of driver error. These driver errors include; lack of attention, excessive speed, poor observation skills, incorrect evasive action and failing to obey road rules.
By becoming a safe, responsible driver, we can minimize our risk of being involved in a collision. In addition to the requirement that you are able to handle the physical task of driving a motor vehicle and cope with a variety of weather and road conditions, you also need to possess:
• A detailed knowledge of the road rules and how to apply them
• Sound observation and judgement
• Common sense along with courtesy when sharing the road with other users
• Hazard recognition and risk avoidance skills
• Anticipation and awareness
• An ability to make good decisions quickly.
• Understanding of your driving behaviours and how they potentially affect other road users
• The right attitude and approach to your driving by avoiding risk taking behaviours.
There is also a common perception that learning stops once a driver has passed their test. Remember the driving test is only an assessment of a person’s ability to be granted permission to drive a vehicle unsupervised.
The most important thing to remember is that your driving instructor should not be teaching you to pass a driving test s/he should educating people in skills that are essential in staying safe after the driving test.
One of the most important senses required for driving is vision. 90% of the information received by a driver is visual. Problems with vision are increasingly common with advancing age and can occur gradually. These problems may include difficulty in being able to:
• Observe and read road signs, signals and markings
• Detect moving or stationary objects
• See after exposure to sudden glare or when going from dark to light or vice versa
Also known as side vision, this is ability to see objects off to the sides, whilst looking directly ahead at an object. This full field of vision should be approximately 140 degrees (70 degrees on either side). We use the term ‘tunnel vision’ to describe those who have a narrow field of vision, and people with tunnel vision are at a great disadvantage when it comes to driving. When it comes to driving, it is essential to have near full visual field or at least the ability to compensate for any loss.
“Never rely on your peripheral vision alone – always turn your head”
To be a good driver, you must aim to have the best possible view around the vehicle at all times, this can be achieved by ensuring the windscreen is clean, and the cockpit drill has been achieved and the wipers are in good working order. To get the ‘big picture’, aim high by looking well ahead and straight past any vehicles in front. It is suggested that the eyes scan from the road environment and signs to the mirrors to the vehicle’s gauges, i.e., speed, fuel, temperature and oil. You should be checking your mirrors every 5 seconds along with your position. When approaching intersections and roundabouts you should scan by turning your head in both directions to increase your peripheral vision.
Planning and Judgement
Good planning and judgement skills are essential in order to react appropriately to what you observe so that you drive safely in your own vehicle and with other road users. Your responses should be judged on what you:
Although much of this process seems automatic, in reality our mind and body are working hard to process all of the information and then plan a response. The processing of information and reaction times tend to slow down as a driver gets older. Consider the demands of driving in peak hour traffic, entering a busy highway, reacting to hazardous situations, negotiating a busy intersection or roundabout, travelling in unfamiliar territory and changing lanes in busy traffic.
Driving in certain situations can:
• Put more pressure on you
• Give less time to respond dangerous situation
• Require fast processing of information
Be sure to brush up on road rules (refer to Your keys to driving in Queensland)