How is Your Attention And Reaction Time?
Driving requires
dividing your attention
between multiple
activities and being
able to react quickly
to situations that
often arise without
warning.
Do you have
these symptoms
of decreased
attention and
reaction time?
You feel overwhelmed by all of the signs, signals, road markings, pedestrians and vehicles that you must pay attention to at intersections.
Gaps in traffic are harder to judge, making it more difficult to turn left at intersections or to merge with traffic when turning right.
You take medications that make you sleepy.
You often get lost or become confused.
You experience dizziness, seizures or loss of consciousness.
You aren't confident that you can handle the demands of high speeds or heavy traffic.
You are slow to see cars coming out of driveways and side streets or to realize that another car has slowed or stopped ahead of you.
What you can do
Plan your route. Drive where you are familiar with the road conditions and traffic patterns.
Drive during the day and avoid rush hours. Find alternative routes with less traffic.
Keep a safe distance between you and the car ahead. Find a marker ahead of you, such as a tree, sign or lamp post. When the car ahead of you passes this marker, count, "1001, 1002, 1003, 1004." Try to leave enough space so that you reach 1004 before you get to the same point.
When approaching intersections, remind yourself to look to the sides of the roads, as well as directly ahead.
Try to make left turns at intersections where green arrow signals provide protected turns. Sometimes you can completely avoid left turns by making a right turn at the next intersection. Two more right turns should put you on the street you need.
Scan far down the road continuously so that you can anticipate future problems and plan your actions. A passenger can serve as a "second pair of eyes." But don't get distracted in conversation!

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