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All Good Drivers Practice This Skill

Always be aware
by Jason Tulio for | Sep 15, 2017
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Driving can be a metaphor for life in a lot of ways. For example, did you know that it pays to look far ahead when you're behind the wheel? Many motorists only pay attention to what's right in front of them, oblivious to what's going on ahead. 

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This point was demonstrated to us by former race car driver, photographer, and current Mazda Philippines PR man Mikko David. At the Batangas Racing Circuit, Mikko laid out a shortened lap for us to drive around, and encouraged us to look ahead of where we're going. Afterwards, we were quizzed on whether we saw the obstructions he had planted along the track. The purpose, he said, was so that we're aware of changing road conditions and possible hazards on the road. 

How far ahead should you look? The Tennessee Commercial Driver’s License Manual recommends looking about 12 to 15 seconds ahead. That means focusing on where you'll end up in 12 to 15 seconds based on the road and your speed. At average city speeds, that's about one block. On the highway, about 400 or 500 meters. 

Now, this isn't to say that you shouldn't also be aware of what's right in front of you either. That's important too, especially considering how often we get stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic. A skilled driver will know to adjust their focus back and forth regularly so they're aware of everything that's going on. Remember, accidents can be prevented if you're careful and able to adjust ahead of time.

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This story originally appeared on
*Minor edits have been made by the editors.


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