GEM road safety officer Neil Worth stated: “We are all familiar with those ‘oops factor’ moments, where no harm was actually done but where we came close to disaster."
"We’re encouraging drivers to set aside time to think about their own particular ‘oops factor’ moments. But rather than allowing themselves to dwell on the danger and risk being distracted, we suggest they wait until the end of a journey and set aside a few moments to think about why it happened."
He added: “That short period of reflection may be all that’s needed to identify the reason, and to adapt techniques of observation or concentration in order to prevent a similar situation happening again.”
GEM has produced the following four simple tips to help reduce the risks for drivers:
1) Think about risk on journeys. This risk could come from a dangerous stretch of road, bad weather conditions, not paying attention to the speed limit, or from a lack of focus on the driving task.
2) Expect the unexpected. This is especially true on familiar stretches of road. Keep your guard up, stay present and aware and stay ahead of the situation, rather than having to react urgently.
3) Eliminate the word ‘suddenly’ from your driving vocabulary. By identifying all the possible areas of risk, you can adapt and update your speed and position to keep yourself away from trouble.
4) Learn from mistakes. You’re sure to be familiar with the ‘oops factor’ - the realisation that a risky moment just occurred. But why did this moment occur? Did you fail to see another vehicle? Did you misjudge distance or speed? Did you gamble with a changing traffic light? Most importantly, what different action could you take next time to reduce the risk?
Neil is aware that mistakes can happen, but wants us all to remember that we are much more vulnerable on the road than we sometimes think we are - “By recognising the situations that may lead to greater danger, and learning from those ‘oops factor’ moments, we can actively reduce risk, both to ourselves and to those around us.”
For more road safety information, check out the official GEM Motoring Assist website here
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