Driving Hazards: Perception & Negotiation
iv) Changing Speed &/Or Direction
So, you are driving along the High Street and the car in front starts braking. You immediately glance in your rear view mirror and ease off the gas. You are now in a great position to judge how quickly you can brake without risking the car behind running into you. Applying your own brakes early gives the following driver plenty of notice that you are slowing down. You can now control the RATE AT WHICH YOU SLOW DOWN (DECELERATE). You are now less likely to have anyone run into your boot. You are also less likely to be forced to stop in a spot that inconveniences other road users e.g. blocking a driveway, pedestrian crossing or side road.
Sometimes when faced with a driving hazard, the best course of action is to actually speed up. An example is where you are approaching a parked vehicle on your left which narrows your lane. If there is a vehicle coming the other way you will sometimes need to speed up SLIGHTLY to avoid meeting it where the road narrows. In these cases it is imperative that you check your rear view and right mirrors to make sure nothing is trying to overtake you before you speed up.
The same applies if you need to turn the wheel right to get around this obstacle. Many a motorcyclist has been seriously injured because they’ve been ’side-swiped’ by a car driver who had no idea the motorcyclist was in the process of overtaking. Don’t be that car driver.
Keep ALL High Wycombe road users safe by making these Driving Hazard routines a part of you daily driving habits.