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Drivers urged to learn from mistakes

White knuckle moments can make better drivers

car driver hands on steering wheel

A leading road safety organisation says the best drivers learn from their mistakes and reflect on those moments where things almost went very well.

GEM Motoring Assist road safety officer, Neil Worth, tells us everyone makes mistakes out on the roads, the trick though is to learn and grow from these ‘oops’ moments.

Related: High anxiety for parents teaching teens to drive

“We are all familiar with those moments, where no harm was actually done but where we came close to disaster.

“We’re encouraging drivers to set aside time to think about these moments.

“But rather than allowing themselves to dwell on the danger and risk being distracted, we suggest they wait until the end of a journey and set aside a few moments to think about why it happened.

“That short period of reflection may be all that’s needed to identify the reason, and to adapt techniques of observation or concentration in order to prevent a similar situation happening again.”

Four simple tips to reduce risk for drivers:

Think about risk on journeys

This risk could come from a dangerous stretch of road, from adverse weather, an unwise choice of speed or from a lack of focus on the driving task.

Expect the unexpected

This is especially true on familiar stretches of road. Keep your guard up, anticipate what could happen and stay ahead of the situation, rather than having to react urgently.

Eliminate the word ‘suddenly’ from your driving vocabulary

By identifying all the possible areas of risk, you can adapt and update your speed and position to keep yourself away from trouble.

Learn from mistakes

You’re sure to be familiar with the ‘oops factor’; the realisation that a risky moment just happened. Take time later to think about why that moment happened.

Did you fail to see another vehicle? Did you misjudge distance or speed? Did you gamble with a changing traffic light? Most important, what different action could you take next time to reduce the risk?

“We all make mistakes; but unfortunately, a lot of us look to blame everyone or everything else – making it difficult or impossible to learn.

Related: Rear seat car passengers often unrestrained

“By recognising the situations that may lead to greater danger, and learning from those ‘oops factor’ moments, we can actively reduce risk, both to ourselves and to those around us.”

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About Simon Lai 1452 Articles

Simon’s interest in cars stems from hours in a misspent youth playing racing computer games.

His love of being at the wheel and of tech has translated into the real world as a member of our road test team providing an everyday-man perspective on the affordable range of vehicles.

When he’s not being a geek, Simon also has a hand in our product reviews, video production and is a regular contributor on the podcast.

He lives in Sydney with his wife and newborn son.

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