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Editorial: Stay alert with active scanning
By Liz Dobson • 02/04/2016
Editorial: Rally ace recommends active scanning
Kiwi rally driver Emma Gilmour isn’t just a champion, she is also a talented driving instructor with some handy tips for us non-professional drivers.
I’ve been lucky enough to have Emma instruct me on the track a few times, have interviewed her, and follow her on social media (www.facebook.com/emmagilmourrally).
So it was great to see her post about where to look when you’re driving, especially as many drivers just look one way — ahead.
●Look as far up the road as you can, then scan closer in front of you
●Keep those eyes moving!
●Scan the road ahead, side roads, footpaths, intersections
●Keep checking your mirrors
●Your eyes shouldn’t stop moving: Road, mirrors, road, mirrors — constantly. Why? Because you’re travelling at speed, in a heavy object that takes time to stop or swerve suddenly. That’s once you’ve realised, of course, that you need to stop or swerve. Scanning, when done properly, makes you slow down in built-up areas. You’re anticipating all kinds of hazards:
●Kids running on to the road
●Buses pulling out from stops
●Cyclists needing room
●Pedestrians not looking where they’re walking
●Cars reversing from parks or driveways
Basically you’re expecting the worst, and you’re better prepared to react. In humans, all that scanning takes up a lot of brain capacity. That’s why driving needs all our attention, why visibility is so important and why doing things such as texting while driving are so dodgy. Thanks for the tips, Emma.