This morning on my way to a lesson in St. Leonards, Radio 2 on in the car, just a normal morning and then bam!
As I approached a set of traffic lights on the hill at Rye Road coming into Ore village, a young lad of about 12 ran straight in front of my car when I was about 12 feet from the line!
My brakes go on as I look at this young lad in front of the car time appears to slow down, I see shock and fear as he tries to back away from the bonnet that’s fast approaching him!
The ABS grumbles under my foot as the car struggles to stop from what was a leisurely 20mp/h and then thankfully I stop, he continues to run across the road and joins his mates, I see them mouthing “what happened?”
Fortunately, with all the additional refresher driving lessons I took, I was prepared for this. It does cause me to ponder where someone who has not had additional training might be and how they might react.
I can’t be angry at this point as the adrenalin is coursing through me, I give a shocked look at the boy and get a scowl back as they turn their backs on me, I move off checking around me as I teach all my pupils to do after an emergency stop that I hope none will ever have to do, then it hits me!
As I pull up at the side of the road the full impact of what has just happened hits home. I ask questions of myself, could I have seen him sooner? What if I had hit him?
Now a couple of hours after I am able to reflect on this with a clearer head, it still frightens me when I think about it though.
At Beeline Driver Training the emphasis is on safety, progress and using the ‘system’ IPSGA (Information, Position, Speed, Gear, Acceleration) in all aspects of driving, although it’s an advanced technique I believe we all can use it once we’ve mastered the basics in a car, I also believe that my ability to use this system helped my reaction this morning, where I saved a life, which is what learning to drive is about, having the skill to save a life!
As I approached the lights I was off the gas so the car was not building speed, I was looking ahead scanning the road for potential hazards, not just looking at one place, remember that a green light means you can go if it is clear and safe to do so, being prepared to stop is the key.
Had the road surface been wet or damp the outcome could have been less favourable, stopping in an emergency downhill can take longer, in the wet it would be even further up to double the distance.
I have learned a lesson from this that I will be passing on to all who train with Beeline Driver Training with refresher driving lessons and that is to expect the unexpected, I trained that prior to this but I now have a personal experience to share with my pupils which will better enhance their training for the road.
The moral to this I think is to treat every road as though you have never driven it before, from the time you start your engine to the time you turn it off, hopefully safely at the end of another successful journey.
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