it's in your hands

Think Like a Driver

Drivers have to pay close attention to what is happening in the situation around them and make lots of decisions. As a passenger, you can switch off and it doesn’t matter. As a driver, if you switch off your attention you could be in big trouble.

Activity: Think like a driver

Before driving

  • Picture in your mind where you’re going and what route you will take.
  • Now think more deeply about the route. Try to picture the actual streets and intersections in your mind from start to finish.
  • If you don’t know the way, use a street directory or internet map. (If you have a navigation aid in your car, don't use it for this activity.)
  • Work out if you have lots of time to get there, just enough time, or not enough time. Notice how this affects how the driver drives and what passengers say.

On the road

  • When your trip starts, look well ahead. In your mind decide when you would slow down, speed up, merge with traffic, change lanes, and turn – just as if you were driving.
  • Try to think about nothing other than driving. You could time yourself to see how long you can attend to driving before your mind wanders off; it won’t be very long because it’s actually very hard to do. Practice will increase your concentration time.
  • When you arrive, think back over your trip. Can you remember noticing how feelings may have affected how someone drove?

Next activity: how to judge distance