What is a hazard: In driving terms it is something that might make you slow, stop, speed up or adjust your course.
Static, Moving, Environmental (and you the driver!)
Are you safe to drive?
Are you ill, drunk, or on medication that may affect your driving?
Had enough sleep, do you have a good attitude (not upset or angry)?
Are you fed and watered?
These are obstacles in your path such as junctions, parked cars, road surface or street furniture (i.e. traffic calming)
These are things such as other vehicles, cyclist, motorcycles, horses, Persons directing traffic…
When you recognise these potential hazards you must decide what to do and how this might affect other road users.
Time and Space
Learning to identify hazards early will give you more time use that information, decide what to do and act on it.
- Scan the road ahead. Don’t just look at your bonnet or front wheel!
- Check your mirrors regularly to understand what is around and behind you.
- Watch for visual clues to a potential danger or hazard (Visual Links)
Look around over, under and through objects to get a head start on identifying potential hazards. Observation & Anticipation.
Remember: Speed Limits are just that, limits not targets!
If you can’t give yourself space then give yourself time.
If potential hazards are close by i.e. parked cars on your side of the road, and you are out of your normal road position to pass those cars, with oncoming traffic… assuming you had enough space to start with, slow things down. Give yourself time to react to changing events. If you don’t have enough room then better planning is needed!
Observation & Anticipation –
Time and / or space: If you can’t have one have the other but both is better.