Improving visual scanning skills for teen drivers

What is visual scanning? Can you teach your teen drivers to visually scan the road while driving? Timothy Smith explains this and more in this great video.
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Improving visual scanning skills for teen drivers

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Have you ever watched a hawk search for prey while in flight or on a perch? they have some of the most amazing eyes in the animal kingdom. They're always scanning an immense area for prey. Their survival depends on it. Likewise, your teens' continued survival on the road depends in large part on developing god visual search and scanning skills. So your job is to help develop raptor vision. Raptors are hawks and eagles, that great eyesight. And there are a couple things you can do to help develop that raptor vision. The first thing you want to do is expand the way they look forward. Most teen drivers when they begin have kind of a tunnel vision. They look down the road just in front of their car. And oftentimes it's outside that narrow sphere of influence where most attention needs to be paid. So ask your teen where your eyes are typically on the road, and encourage them to look 2-3x farther down the road. Also widen their peripheral vision. All this is in service of processing more visual information more quickly, extending their visual range, so that they can like racers, anticipate what's coming up much more quickly and react accordingly. Like a hungry raptor, your teens head and neck and eyes should be constantly scanning, checking the mirrors, peripheral vision, forward vision, and it's that kind of practice that with time becomes instinctive. And before long you'll see your teen driving down the road with those improved scanning skills without even thinking about it.
TEEN, Responsibilities, Driving

What is visual scanning? Can you teach your teen drivers to visually scan the road while driving? Timothy Smith explains this and more in this great video.

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Timothy Smith

Author & Teen Driving Expert

Timothy Smith is a healthcare executive living in the Chicago area with his wife and three children.   He got involved with teen driving several years ago when a number of teenagers were killed in multiple crashes near his home, virtually all due to driver error.   His search for information to help his teens avoid car crashes yielded little of value, so he became a certified driving instructor, got trained and licensed to race cars, took defensive driving courses and ended up writing Crashproof Your Kids: Make Your Teen A Safer, Smarter Driver.  He is also Chairman of Aegis Mobility, a software company which has developed technology to manage and reduce cell phone use while driving. 

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