Forward Planning While Driving

Forward planning is a vital skill required for staying safe while driving. To correctly forward plan while driving (also known as ‘planning ahead’), there are other skills that must be learnt for this skill to be successfully carried out. These are concentration, observation, awareness and anticipation.

What is Forward Planning While Driving?

Forward planning while driving is about safety. Effectively, it requires you to create a virtual 360 degrees zone, or ‘safety bubble’ around your vehicle.

What is forward planning explained
Forward planning in driving involves the driver keeping a safety zone or ‘safety bubble’ around the car

For effective forward planning, maintain the safety bubble by constantly scanning ahead and to the sides for hazards and when you observe a potential hazard, plan a course action to prevent the potential hazard from becoming an actual hazard.

Frequent use of mirrors is essential, particularly before you make a change in speed or direction. If a following vehicle is driving too closely and is inside your safety bubble, increase your distance from the vehicle in front of you. This will allow you more time to slow down gradually, which in turn allows the hazardous vehicle behind you more time to slow down – making the situation safer.

How to Practice Forward Planning

Forward planning requires a combination of skills including:

As you’re driving, verbally make a note of each and every potential hazard that you observe. Saying what you see is called commentary driving and helps the driver to concentrate by reducing distractions. It’s a technique used by many professional drivers and is proven to be very effective.

The more you practice, the better you’ll become at observing hazards and effectively dealing with them in good time. The Learn Automatic learning to drive tutorials provide all the information you require, not only for learning to drive to test standard, but will help you identify the many hazards that are on our roads.

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