Planning and Assessing
When approaching a problem on the road you are going to need to think about planning and assessing what is the best course of action you need to follow is, so you do not put yourself or anyone else into danger.
Looking, Assessing, Deciding & Acting.
Your Instructor will explain what Scanning is for planning and assessing; basically it is looking for hazards in a logical manner. You should know what types of hazard to look for, how to negotiate them and how to prioritize the hazards before dealing with them. So when you Approach a Hazard you will start to Look for the Hazards Asses the Potential danger & Prioritize the Danger, then Decide on a safe course of action, then Act on what you have decided.
Planning and assessing helps you keep a look out for the different warning signs and road marking that will give you clues as to any danger about. Try thinking about looking for feet behind or under a lorry, recognizing a bus or coach off loading people, an Ice-Cream Van, seeing children playing by the side of a road. These are a few of the many warning signs that could mean that you will need to take evasive action. Always check your mirrors so you know what is behind you and be prepared to take evasive action. Keep in mind the various options and be prepared to use them. Look again at the Road Making and Signs of the Highway Code (HC p106 – 116).
You should keep your eyes moving looking the clues or potential danger. Looking from one side of the road to the other and between or underneath oncoming vehicles. Remember when looking for hazards you will need to not only look ahead of you but some times behind or to the side of you. Scanning is the Art of Looking, Seeing & Identifying Possible Dangers
Consider the stopping distances with the speed of any other road users about you, the positioning of these road users both stationary and moving can be important. Try understanding that different situation create different levels of danger. Emergency Vehicles need to be given priority as they could be on there way to or from an accident. A car parked in a driveway would be a very low risk so long as there is no one sitting in the car.
Here are some hazards that you need to use planning and assessing. They could be cyclists, motorcyclists, pedestrians, animals, emergency vehicles or other road users and junctions. Once you have identified them you will need to know how to deal with them and reduce or control the situation so it is as safe as possible.
Remember when looking for hazards you will need to not only look ahead of you but some times behind or to the side of you.
Different Times the same place can have different problems. Why?
Traffic levels can increase according to the time of day or day of week (market days etc.)
A method of Scanning & Recognising Hazards using remembered images
Demonstration – Park Up Safely.
Prepare to look to your side for the count of 2. Objective to remember what you are going to see.
Turn your head to the right count 2 quickly then look forward. Now try to remember what you saw. It might only be a car but you are likely to remember the colour size which way it is facing. This will improve with practise but you should now recognise your ability to take snapshots & recall situations with your mind. The eyes and the brain take a snapshot of information 400 times faster than we can speak.
If this demonstration has worked then you will start to realise that your eye & brain can take a snapshot a number of different situations as you look.
By putting this with your experience from your theory test training for hazard perception & your previous MSM lesson you should start to realise that you can use this IDEA to help you help SCAN a situation as you approach a HAZARD.
Say you are going down a road; you know what to look for as a Hazard, so when you recognise a hazard take a snapshot with your mind, do not think about one hazard because there can be many. You have also been taught about Mirror Signal Manoeuvre. So if these Hazards are going to cause you to have to react then you will need to check your Mirrors.
Queuing in traffic
If you are queuing in traffic you should keep at least half a cars length between you and the car in front for safety. Just in case you or the other vehicle roll towards each other or the vehicle in front breaks down and you need to overtake. Try not to get intimidated if the vehicle behind you gets to close. Keep your distance you can control the distance in front of you but not the distance behind you. Remember to keep a look out for traffic not only behind and in front of you but traffic that could be coming near you to your side such as motorbikes or cycles. Think about the blindspot of your car as well. If you have been stationary for a while before moving off use your Blindspot procedure before moving to make sure it is safe to move
This is an Area around the car which varies depending on the speed of the car & other situations while driving to help keep the car safe from other traffic