By now, we probably all know that we should “drive defensively.” A major factor in defensive driving is situational awareness.
Situational awareness, as it applies to driving, is the perception of environmental elements such as traffic, road conditions, weather, debris on the road, road signs, and traffic lights. We take in a lot of information when we drive, but we don’t all take in the same amount. Even drivers who are highly aware of their environment do not sustain that level of awareness for the entire time they are driving.
Levels of Situational Awareness
Keeping more distance between oneself and the car ahead determines the amount of information to which a driver has access and how high a level of situational awareness he or she can achieve. Drivers.com discusses the levels of situational awareness that drivers attain:
- Drivers at the lowest level are aware of not much more than the objects or events that directly affect them, such as the car immediately ahead.
- The next-level drivers are aware of what is affecting the objects or events that directly affect them.
- The highest-level driver, which Drivers.com calls the zen driver, is aware of what affects the first two levels.
The zen driver is super sensitive, highly skilled, and very relaxed. Drivers.com speculates that few drivers can sustain this high level of situational awareness for more than short periods. Most drivers seem to oscillate between the first and second levels and may never experience the third level.
If you have been injured by a reckless or negligent driver, contact a Lexington car accident lawyer at Gray and White Law. Call us at 502-210-8942 or toll free at 888-450-4456 to set up a FREE, no-obligation consultation.