COPING WITH THE UNEXPECTED
There are no magic formulas or techniques for predicting when
unexpected hazards will pop up when driving. Suggesting that you expect
the unexpected when driving is easy to say, but harder to do.
Applying the following skills can help you reduce the risk of something
unexpected causing problems for you or other road users:
• Scan well ahead of your car – keep your eyes moving to the front, left
• Look for indicators on other vehicles.
• Observe the head and eye movements of other drivers (eg where are
they looking? At you or at something else).
• Look for pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists that may be hidden
by other vehicles or objects – check your blindspots.
• Give yourself plenty of time to detect and cope with hazards and
space to take some action to avoid a crash.
• Be cautious in situations that are new or different (eg roadworks,
• Make your vehicle easier to see – if it is dull, overcast or raining turn
on your headlights, even during the day.
• Slowing down is a good precaution as it gives you both time and
space to cope with a hazard.
KEY POINTS SUMMARY: EXPECTANCIES AND
• Drivers often rely on expectancies when they drive.
• Other drivers will make mistakes and do things that you don’t expect.
• To cope with the unexpected, use a scanning routine and keep a safe
distance from other road users.
• Give yourself plenty of time and space to cope.
• Make your vehicle easier to see – drive with your headlights on