We all know people who need a few driving tips. I, for starters, know someone who thinks
crashing is simply 'one of those things'. Okay, but three times in two years? His Astra
spends more time parked in ditches than at supermarkets. Another motorist in my life
cannot park - despite passing his test when Henry Ford was a young man. As such, these
chaps and many others should read the Institute of Advanced Motorists top ten driving
Read the road: the further ahead you look, the more time you have to recognise and
respond to hazards. Always be able to stop your vehicle in the distance you can see
to be clear.
- Anticipate: having looked further ahead use that knowledge to anticipate the
problems that might come up and plan for them well in advance to avoid needing to
take last minute action.
- Use the two second rule: spot a marker ahead, such as a bridge or a lamppost and
wait until the vehicle ahead of you goes past it. Then say to yourself “only a fool
breaks the two second rule”. If you are at the marker before you have finished, you
are too close. Double it if the road is wet.
- Concentrate: at 70 mph your stopping distance is the length of a football pitch.
Looking away at a crucial moment can be fatal.
- Assume the worst: never assume that another motorist has seen you or will react as
you expect – and don’t rely on somebody else’s reactions to keep you safe.
- Look behind – and to the side: use mirrors regularly so you have a 360 degree
understanding of what’s going on around you. Use shoulder checks before you
move out to solve blind spot problems.
- Manage your personal space: if you keep space around your vehicle, you’ll have
more time and room to deal with hazards.
- Stay fresh: driver fatigue is a major factor in many crashes. Take at least a 15
minute break after two hours at the wheel.
- No sudden movements: if you have scanned all around you and used that
information to predict what may happen, you should never be surprised by another
- Learn from your mistakes: near misses happen to everybody. Afterwards, think how
you could have avoided getting into that situation, even if you think it was the other