How far do you look when driving?

The one comment I used to get when I was teaching defensive driving to company drivers after I had completed a demonstration drive was, ‘don’t you look far ahead’.

So how far do you look when driving?

Yes, it does depend on your speed.  If you are driving at 30 mph in a busy town, looking a mile ahead would not only be a waste of time, but could also be dangerous (if not impossible).  However if you are on a fast road, say 60 mph or above, you should be looking to the horizon first and rapidly scanning back through the middle distance to the near distance, not forgetting to scan the whole scene and not just the road that you are driving on.

Getting into the habit of scanning the whole scene will greatly improve your ability to react to potential hazards. For example if you scan correctly you may notice things like buildings off to the left or right. Now using your hazard perception skills you should be thinking ‘there must be some way to get to those buildings, so where is the road junction?’

If you look at the image you will notice a warning sign telling you there is a junction ahead, but by scanning the whole scene you will notice the hedge line, that must be where the side road is, so now you can work out where the junction will be.

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