Are You A SMARRT DRIVER? Part I

Posted on December 19, 2013 by - Also by this author

JIM & JEFF LUFF DRIVING TIP: [Note: This is the first in a series of weekly driving tips from LCT contributing editor and operator Jim Luff and his son, Jeff Luff, who works for Jim's limousine company in Bakersfield, Calif.]:

What does it mean to be SMARRT behind the wheel? Search to the Horizon, Maintain Space & Visibility, Always Move your Eyes, Recognize & Respond, and Take control - be seen!

Search to the Horizon: When you're driving, practice using the following three-zones:

  • Red: Reactive (0 to 5 seconds ahead)
  • Yellow: Active (5 to 30 seconds ahead)
  • Green: Proactive (30+ seconds ahead)

When focusing on the red zone, you must be extremely aware of your surroundings and potential hazards, and must remain in a "reactive" state-of-mind. When focusing on the yellow zone, you will have time to adjust your speed, and you are more aware of potential hazards ahead. When focusing on the green zone, you are able to spot potential hazards with plenty of time to react as you are "searching to the horizon." You should always be aware of potential hazards in the green zone. Always plan and anticipate necessary adjustments that you may have to make. Set an imaginary target 15-seconds ahead of you (yellow zone), directly in the center of the lane in which you are traveling. This will help you avoid drifting into the next lane. Always look at oncoming traffic to prepare for oncoming vehicles that may drift into your lane.

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