Rule two of the Megasafe7 Rules of Safe Driving is Expand Your View. This can ensure you have adequate time to identify potential hazards and take action to prevent an accident. It is especially important to be vigilant in expanding your view when entering an intersection, driving on unfamiliar roads and during adverse weather conditions. This also includes continuously checking your mirrors to see what is around you.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), it takes three-fourths of a second from the moment your brain sends the signal to your foot to move to when your foot actually applies the brake. In that brief moment, you may have already traveled as far as 60 feet. Therefore, it is essential to look as far down the road as possible. The FMCSA recommends looking at least one-fourth of a mile ahead on an open highway. Aim to look at least three blocks ahead when driving in the city, and always look through curves and turns.
Looking ahead by at least the recommended amount can minimize the risk of having to brake abruptly. One factor that contributes to braking is the actions of the rest of the motoring public. You should watch for indicators that a vehicle in front of you may be changing direction or speed, such as:
- The speed of rotation and angle of the front wheels
- Swerving in the lane
- Brake lights
- Traffic signs or signals