After 15 years of racing and 15 years of being a performance driving instructor, I have one piece of driving advice for you: “LOOK WHERE YOU WANT TO GO.”
If you keep this advice in mind when you are driving, you will be better off than most people. If you ask most people what they were looking at when they had a crash, it’s what they hit.
What most people don’t realize is that you drive exactly where you are looking. When I’m teaching driver training, I ask people if downhill skiers look at the trees. Most people chuckle and so “no.” We all know that if you are skiing and you look at the trees you will start skiing toward the trees, but no one ever makes that same connection with their driving. Your car is like you being on a set of skis. Your hands and feet, which are at the controls, are going where your eyes are telling them to go. They don’t have their own little brain.
We’ve all heard the story, where there is a single vehicle accident and they hit the only light pole around. Why is that? Well, because they were looking at it and saying to themselves “I don’t want to hit it” and then they end up driving right towards it. Most people don’t even realize they are looking at the problem. If you ever find yourself in a situation where perhaps you’ve lost control of your car or there is a car spinning out of control, what I want you to say to yourself is “where do I want to go” and look there with your eyes. If you look there, you will go there. Simple as that!
When things are out of control, look for the open space. If a truck is stalled in your lane and you keep looking at the truck you will hit the truck! If you look to the shoulder of the road, you will automatically steer there. Also, when our eyes don’t see space they make us brake harder. If the truck is getting bigger in your eyes, what do you think you will do with the brake pedal. You will literally try and break it off with your foot.
Just remember… ”LOOK WHERE YOU WANT TO GO.”
Race car driver, educator, safety advocate, TV personality, Kelly Williams started racing cars at 17 years old and continued to race for 15 years. Now she works in the automotive industry, teaching women about taking care of their vehicles. She also teaches performance driver training with BMW as well as other manufacturers, keeps busy as a spokesperson for Be Car Care Aware, hosts ladies' Car Care clinics across Canada, and has recently launched a new consumer website www.KellysGarage.ca
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