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Aim High Vision


Our eyes provide two types of visions:

Central vision
Peripheral or side vision



Our central vision covers about three degrees of our visual field and peripheral vision, or side vision, covers the rest.

The three degrees of central vision is a very small area in your total field of vision. But central vision allows us to make very important judgments like estimating distance and understanding details in the path ahead.

Our peripheral vision is not as sharp as central vision, but it is more sensitive to light and motion. That's a good thing because it helps us detect events to the side that are important to us, even when we're not looking directly at them.

Events like cars entering our field of vision from the side, or warning lights from ambulances, police cars, and other emergency vehicles are all observed using peripheral vision.

Central vision plus side vision make up the entire visual field, which is the main source of information that all drivers need for safe driving. Most driving mistakes are caused by bad habits in the way drivers use their eyes.


1. Aim high

“Aiming high ” means don’t make your steering adjustments based on what is directly in front of you. Instead, look way down the road and as far into the turn as possible. You’ll notice your turns are not only smoother, but you’re being safer, too.

Always look as far ahead as possible and observe what is happening. Recognizing danger or a potential hazard early enough will enable you to avoid the hazard in the first place. Scanning the road a half mile to a full mile ahead goes completely against our natural human response, yet it’s necessary for safe driving. Our bodies were designed for speeds of less than 10 mph. You need to learn to consciously break that natural instinct and focus farther ahead.

Scanning ahead will also cause you to drive more smoothly. You’ll find there are fewer sudden stops and hard braking during your drives because you aren’t taken by surprise as often. However, if you aren’t looking ahead, those hazards will take you by surprise, and could lead to a very dangerous situation

2. Get the big picture

One of the first things I noticed as a driver finisher was how people seem to become fixated on things — Like the rear of the car in front. a potentially deadly habit.

When drivers fixate on something, they are not getting the big picture of the road ahead, which means, they can’t form an escape plan if necessary, and they lose track of vehicles around them.

The ultimate goal?

Never be caught off guard. Know where each and every vehicle is around you, and spot all hazards early and often.

Curves up ahead
speed limits
exit numbers
car brakes ahead
low clearances
weather conditions, etc., together form the big picture while driving.


3. Keep your eyes moving

We have two types of vision: peripheral and central. Peripheral vision detects undefined objects of interest, while central vision investigates those objects with clarity.

Keep your eyes moving, every five to eight seconds. Observing things in quick glances maximizes your central and peripheral vision. Keeping your early warning system continuously engaged and your mind alert, assures your avoidance of a fixed or blank stare, and keeps your brain stimulated and alert.

Before entering an intersection, look left, right, and then left again. Look left twice because, normally, the first vehicle that could hit you would come from the left.

Don't forget about all of your mirrors! As part of your scanning, you should glance into your mirrors every few seconds. It only takes a fraction of a second and it will help you get a clear picture of your surroundings and available escape routes (such as having to make a quick lane change).


4. Leave yourself an out

One of the most important driving tips I can share is to always have an escape plan. Drivers should always assume the worst will happen and be prepared for it. Constantly ask yourself questions and make up possible scenarios in your head. Some examples:

  • What if the driver in front of you slams on his brakes for no apparent reason, or an animal runs into the roadway?

  • What if someone blows a tire, or swerves to avoid an object in the road near me?

  • What if the approaching vehicle drifts into my lane?

One of the simplest ways to always have an escape plan is to establish and maintain a buffer zone. Swerving should actually be a last resort. If you are forced to swerve, that means you were following too closely. Keep a safe following distance, and the side of your vehicle free from obstructions if possible.



5. Make sure they see you

What Is Eye Contact?

Eye contact is a major benefit of proper communication with others in the driving environment. Through eye contact we assure ourselves that our intentions have been communicated, frequently bringing the desired response from other drivers and pedestrians. Eye contact, however only indicates that people see you. It does not guarantee that they will do what you would like.

Techniques for Seeking Eye Contact

  • Use your horn. A light, friendly tap or two can usually bring eye contact.
    There is no need for a long blast that might imply your disapproval, or irritate others.

    Use your headlights; the human eye is attracted to light.

  • Use your brake lights; Early braking alerts people behind you and gives them more time to respond.

  • Use hand signals. If you have time and if your window is open, hand signals can show your intentions especially to drivers behind you.
    Be ready to quickly alter your plans. If your signals are not heeded, use your space cushion as your out.

  • Always, use your turn signal when changing lanes, and making right or left turns, even if you don’t see anyone behind you. Initiate your signal 3 to 4 seconds before change lanes.




Aim high in steering



Get the big picture



Keep your eyes moving



Leave yourself an out



Make sure you are seen



4 parts of the big picture:

-1-2 city blocks ahead 
-1/2 mile ahead on highways, expressways, & country roads
-sidewalk to sidewalk 
-all area around your vehicle


3 driver skills:

-know what to do
-know how to do it
-know when to do it


2 advantages you gain from 3 second hesitation:

-you get to aim high in steering
-you get to keep your eyes moving


3 problems you face when you're "boxed in" while driving:

-you can't keep your eyes moving 
-you can't aim high in steering 
-you can't leave yourself an out


What are the seeing steps?

-Aim high in steering 
-Get the big picture
-keep your eyes moving


What are the responding steps?

-leave yourself out
-make sure you are seen


What is the point of no return?

The point where you cannot stop safety at a white line

What is H.E.L.T. ? (Habitual Eye Lead Time)

Keep a 12/15 sec of eye lead time

The 15 sec eye-lead time is defined as:

The distance. Measured in time. Which our eyes lead the vehicle


The best time to use your warning device is:

Early enough to avoid a problem


The most common cause excuse for an accident is:

"I didn't see him"


The distance we look ahead should vary depending on speed:



Nevada Drive Academy suggests use of mirrors every:

5-8 sec


Negative effect of a "fixed stare" is:

Peripheral (fringe) vision is lost


The vision defined as an early warning system is:

Fringe (Peripheral)


Following a large vehicle too closely most directly affects:

Aiming high in steering


To calculate proper following distance you must:

When the rear of the vehicle ahead in your lane passes a fixed point count one.... One thousand two..... Until the front of your vehicle reaches the same point


Getting the "big picture" requires

-maintaining a proper following distance 
-checking your mirrors every 5-8 sec
-look well ahead of your vehicle


Eliminating tailgaters:

-adjust speed, speed up or slow down
-change lanes
-pull over, allow them to pass, turn and take a different route
-turn on signal 
-flash brake lights 
-turn on and off headlights

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