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Know where you are going

We generally fall into two categories: those who plan and those who don’t and this includes drivers. If you’re a planner and driving somewhere unfamiliar, then you are likely to research the route and have a clear sense of where you’re going before setting off. On the other hand, if you leave everything to chance, you’ll be battling unfamiliar road layouts, worrying if you’ve overshot your exit, searching for a place to turn around and wishing you’d planned better. The reality, however, is that we get away with poor planning most of the time, fail to prepare, and deal with the fallout when we get lost. This is significant from a road safety point of view because getting lost can affect the quality of your driving. The chances are you’ll be anxious about where you’re going and being late. Being distracted like this could mean you miss important safety-related information such as a speed limit or other regulatory signs, and more likely to speed if you lose your way. A driver worrying about something other than controlling their car poses a higher incident risk than one completely focused on the task in hand. In short, you’re less likely to perceive hazards that would be clear if you were calmer. All of this makes a strong case for you to plan an unfamiliar route. In this era of navigational technology, it’s the easiest driver error to fix. Even if you don’t use a satnav, you can find your route on the internet and print directions. Whether you’re an instinctive planner or prefer to get by on a wing and a prayer, the next time you take a new route, remember, there’s more to responsible driving than simply avoiding incidents.