Wednesday 18 October 2017

Better driving: Commentate to concentrate

THIS week we are going to look at the technique of "commentary driving". One of the more common phrases after any accident is "I didn't see you". A lapse in concentration is often one of the main contributory factors.

THIS week we are going to look at the technique of "commentary driving".

One of the more common phrases after any accident is "I didn't see you".

A lapse in concentration is often one of the main contributory factors.

The biggest problem is that many experienced drivers fall into "automatic pilot" - when we are thinking about other things.

How often have you arrived without any recollection of passing through a particular location en route.

To overcome this problem we can "commentate to concentrate".

It means talking about different hazards and explaining how to minimise the risk.

It works on the principle that it is difficult to talk sensibly about something and think about something else.

Therefore talking about our driving will help us to concentrate on it.

A verbal commentary is probably better because it helps us to focus our mind and regulate our speed.

Speed is regulated because if we do not have time to mention all the main hazards then we are probably going too fast to deal with them anyway.

We either have to slow down or look further ahead.

Over the next week why not practice these three Commentary exercises:

1. Call out road signs, markings or changes in road surface as you drive.

2. Identify situations where your vision is restricted because of bends, hills, buildings, parked vehicles etc.

3. Identify anyone emerging from side roads/exits and ask yourself "do they see me?"

Weekly safety advice courtesy Mike Kavanagh, Institute of Advanced Motorists (056 7771778)

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