‘Observation’ means using sight, hearing and even smell to gain as much information about conditions as possible. Effective observation is the foundation of good driving. If you do not know something is there you cannot react to it. Careful observation gives you extra time to think and react, and so gives you more control over your driving.
Safe and effective driving depends on systematically using the information gained from observation to plan your driving actions.
-Order hazards in importance
-Decide what to do
Generally things do not just happen, they take a while to develop – good planning depends on early observation and early anticipation of risk.
Keep your attention focused and free of distraction and keep a safe distance from other road users.
Anticipate the movements of other vehicles and pedestrians. Take note of the signals given by other drivers. Give way to buses signaling to move out from bus stops.
Observe the road signs and markings as well as the condition of the road surface.
Be aware of the movements of vehicles well ahead of you, as well as the one immediately in front.
Take note of any side roads or hills ahead, as these are potential hazards.
Awareness & Anticipation
In any traffic situation there are some things that are obviously going to happen as well as some things that might happen. To anticipate is to take action when you expect something will or might happen.
-What am I likely to find?
-What are other road users trying to do?
-Should I speed up or slow down?
-Do I need to stop?
Anticipate and act on the actions of other road users; Scan the road for anything with a potential for moving into or across their path.
To be able to stop well within the distance you can see to be clear, you should identify any blind areas in your field of vision and adjust your speed accordingly.
To avoid collisions with road users at the sides and rear, you should make full use of mirrors and peripheral vision.