One of the biggest challenges learner drivers face is developing the habit of looking far enough ahead while driving. This is understandable as it is natural to be concerned with what is immediately in front of the car to avoid hitting anything.
How can you tell if a driver isn’t looking far enough ahead?
One giveaway is that the driver may find it difficult to maintain a straight line. From inside the car you will notice the learner driver jiggling the steering wheel unnecessarily on a straight road. From outside the car you will see it occasionally veer slightly left & right before heading straight again.
One way to help a learner driver overcome the instinct to keep her gaze fixed on what is immediately in front of the car, is to have her focus on a spot just in front. Then ask her to describe something in the distance without raising her eyes. This is not possible (without cheating:-).
Next, ask her to focus on an object in the distance and ask if she can still see everything she needs to see right in front of the car. When she confirms she can still see the road right in front, this will give her the confidence to look into the distance. This makes driving in a straight line easy. It also helps with good early hazard perception – which is the subject of our next series of blog posts…