I’ve got this sinking feeling
We’ve often heard throughout our life how we tend to learn from our mistakes. It’s true, but sometimes we don’t necessarily learn exactly what we should learn. All we end up doing is learn what we should not do. I personally prefer to learn from someone else’s mistakes. This means I won’t have to make the same mistakes, so I can rule out attempting that particular skill that particular way. Do you have the same feelings?
For example, one of my classroom students from Young Drivers of Canada sent me this photo. (Thanks Brittany!) She said a driver just drove into a sink hole in the middle of a 4 lane road. What stopped them from going around it? Were they distracted? Were they only looking just over the hood of their vehicle and didn’t see it in time? Were they driving too fast and couldn’t respond to it in time? Or perhaps they had “target fixation” and stared straight at it and therefore drove straight into it. Maybe they didn’t think it was even a problem. Whatever the reason for this, it’s enough to make you think about our own driving and what you can do to try to avoid making the same mistakes, isn’t it?
Taking the time to process information, any information can help prepare you for making these quick decisions throughout your driving life. Planting a seen of knowledge in your mind early will give it time to grow through repetition.
Once we identify the problem, we need to think of the counter-balance of that problem – the solution – so we can avoid making that same mistake. As far as the driver in this photo, unless we speak directly to them, we won’t know exactly what caused the problem, but we can think of a few possible problems and come up with possible solutions so we can avoid making those same mistakes.
Stay focused on your driving. Remove distractions from your driving compartment, or at least control them, including passenger distractions. Look well ahead of your vehicle to give you time to see a potential problem, time to think about how to deal with it and then time to actually deal with it. Reduce speed when visibility is poor to give yourself time to respond.
Giving the driver in this photo some credit, they may have thought the water on the road was just that – water on the road. They may not have realized it was a sink hole filled with water. The same could be said about leaves covering the road. What may look like a pile of leaves is actually a pot hole or in this case, a sink hole that is filled with leaves. If at any time you’re not sure if it’s a hole in the road, avoid it and drive around it. If the driver ahead of you drove through it safely and smoothly, it’s most likely ok for you to do the same.
Learning from other drivers can be quite helpful and perhaps even more helpful than making the mistake yourself. This technique can also help you avoid having that sinking feeling.