Advanced Driving is all about anticipation and forward planning. Reading the road ahead and getting clues will help you anticipate and plan much more effectively.
Apart from official road signs there are many clues on your road, which many may see but don’t note and react to. This is where advanced driving techniques are of such great benefit.
Six Simple Yet Essential Visual Checks:
1.Parking Stops: Always check if there are any vehicles parked. Try to gauge their actions. Are they about to move off? Are they just stopping?
2. Mud on the Road: It’s always worthwhile checking for mud on the road. This will give you an indication there may be a slow moving tractor ahead. It’s also essential to take note of this on corners as mud can cause a loss of traction.
3. Entrances: It’s a good idea to try to get a good look into any entrances onto the road for people, traffic, and animals. Notice in this picture the motorist has the additional task of dealing with a corner so good planning is paramount.
4. Micro Climates: This is no geography lesson but understanding that in winter, parts of the road that are out of direct sunlight can still be icy, many hours after the rest of the road has become ice-free.
5. Watch those power lines! To assist with your planning along an unfamiliar stretch of road it is sometimes worth seeing what route power lines take as often they will follow the side of the road, helping you to identify if the road ahead is straight or bends. Please never totally rely on this as roadside power lines are sometimes diverted across fields!
6. Corners: If you are unsure about how tight a corner is try to notice the speed at which the cars are coming towards you from the corner. If they are creeping round the chances are it’s quite sharp. This is only one out of many factors you really should consider when negotiating a corner!