As a sports fan you often hear how the athletes will anticipate what the other players may do before they do it. They can see the signs of the play based on the actions of the other players and respond early. It’s a good skill to have as an athlete, but also a good skill to have as a driver. Anticipating what the flow of traffic may do early, will give any driver the edge to make a smooth change within their driving.
Looking well ahead is the first thing we need to do. Most drivers have a problem responding late to brake lights, but if you look at least 2 city blocks ahead of where you are at the time, you’ll have more time to see brake lights from vehicles ahead of you. This allows you to slow down sooner and with ease. It may also allow you to change lanes and keep the flow of traffic moving along. I’ve often said to my students that I’m teaching from Young Drivers of Canada that if they can slow down before the driver directly ahead of them, it’s a good thing. That means they’ve correctly read the signs.
Reading the road is another good way to be a proactive driver. For example, if you’re driving in the right lane and you see all the drivers ahead of you in the right lane all change to the left lane you know there’s a problem in your lane. Instead of waiting to see what the problem is, change lanes early while you can. This again allows you to keep the flow of traffic moving along smoothly. Waiting until the last second, could interrupt the flow for more than just you, as the driver in this photo did.
The other evening I was driving toward a hidden curve in the road with snow banks on both sides of the narrow residential road as well. I noticed the spray of headlights coming toward me even though I couldn’t see the vehicle because of a row of houses, hedges and trees lining up alongside the edge of the road. Seeing the spray of headlights gave me time to reduce speed and move over toward an opening between snow banks to allow the oncoming driver pass. I read the road to see the signs and it worked out well for both me and the oncoming driver. Being a courteous driver helps the flow move along as well.
Sometimes, the most important signs aren’t made of metal. They come from the actions of other drivers. You just have to find them, decipher them and then respond correctly to what they are showing you.