You get into your car after your friend’s borrowed it… but you don’t notice the mirror is all wrong for you until you need to use it and it’s not showing you what you need to see.
You’re driving along when you notice that all the oncoming traffic is swerving to miss a car that’s broken down awkwardly on their side of the road. Cars are cutting into your lane a bit, but you don’t realise that until you’re tooted at.
You reverse your work car out of the company parking lot like you’ve done many times before, but there’s been some maintenance work and a new bollard is where there was once a clear space. You don’t see it until your reversing sensors alert you!
These are all examples of how important it is to be aware of your environment when you drive. We already know how important it is to be looking all around you to spot hazards and respond to them… but what you might not have realised is just how many things require your attention, some before you have even gotten in the car.
How aware are you of your environment? This week we challenge you to pay some extra attention when you first get in your car, when you start driving, and when you’ve been on the road a little while.
Some questions to get you started:
- Do I need to adjust anything before I start driving? Are my mirrors and seat where I need them to be? Does my windscreen need defogging? How much petrol do I have?
- What is all around me at any one time? What are other drivers doing? How is the weather, and what can I see about the road surface that I’m travelling on?
- How am I responding to my environment? Am I sleepy, irritable, running late? Is there anything I need to do to be really present in this task of driving?
Of course there are hundreds more, but these are good ideas to get you started. What factors in your environment are you cautious to be aware of?