Did you forget you have a bad memory?
We all tend to forget things from time to time. We may not like it, but we tend to accept it. Its part of life, wouldn’t you say? There are things that tend to annoy us if we forget them though. Things like picking your kids up after their game or activity, running specific errands or paying bills on time can get quite annoying if you forgot about them. What do you do while driving that also needs good memory? Perhaps you need to remember more information than you currently are while driving? Let’s find out.
Checking the rear view mirror is a common task while driving, but do you remember what you saw? I would often have students out in the car that I was teaching atYoung Driversof Canadaand after they checked their mirror, I covered it up with my hand and asked them what they saw. They can’t remember. Why check the mirror if you don’t remember if a driver was tailgating or if it was completely clear behind you? Maybe you’re in so much of a routine that you go trough the motions of checking your mirror without actually paying attention to what you’ve seen?
Do you notice road signs while you’re driving? If so, what was the last one you saw? What was the last yellow sign you passed? These are important to warn us of impending danger, but if you can’t remember them, what’s the purpose of having those signs there? This would be particularly important if you were traveling on a strange and unfamiliar road. I’ve had licensed drivers out on the freeway for an evaluation and on the exit ramp after passing the posted yellow ramp speed sign I asked them what the speed was. They couldn’t remember even though I saw them glance at the sign and then their speedometer. Why glance at the speedometer if you don’t know what the safe speed should be?
How about directions? Are you good at remembering directions? I’ve seen drivers look down multiple times at their written notes while driving because they couldn’t remember where their next turn was going to be. One way to help with that is to know the name of the street before the street you need to turn onto. Making a short point-form list can help you safely plan your route if it is complex.
There are ways to help improve your short term memory. One way is to say your directions or what you’ve just seen that’s important to you out loud. By hearing your voice it will often keep your brain active, which helps you remember things. It becomes more than just a thought. This form of commentary is a common thing we do with our students atYoung Driversof Canada.
Another way to help improve your short term memory is to perform cognitive training. A cognitive assessment will let you know how strong or weak your short term memory is. Some programs can also offer you cognitive training to help improve this short coming. For example, Young Driversof Canadaalso has a cognitive training program called Cognifit. You can find it on their website (www.yd.com), including a demo to try.
Improving your short term memory will help you benefit from many things in life, but may even allow you to enjoy life just a bit more; especially while driving…as long as you remember to do the training.