Driving thoughts

Topics relating to Advanced Driving in cars
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Horse
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Re: Driving thoughts

Postby Horse » Sun May 02, 2021 9:56 am

Gareth wrote:I've said many times about my dislike for commentary if treated as a required part of driving, since I think it's a separate mostly unrelated skill. For me, commentary only makes sense out loud, and then mostly for the benefit of the listener, so it seems odd to be "saying" the same words in my head.


There is the multisensory aspect. If you go to the trouble of saying something out aloud then it's more difficult to ignore.

The Japanese bullet train drivers are a well-known example.

But 'for the benefit of others'? Motorcyclists manage perfectly well to do assessments without it.

Gareth wrote:As a useful adjunct, when I'm dog-tired and struggling to concentrate, I think it can help focus on the one thing at a time needed to keep it safe.


Yup.
Your 'standard' is how you drive alone, not how you drive during a test.

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jcochrane
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Re: Driving thoughts

Postby jcochrane » Sun May 02, 2021 12:17 pm

An interesting question you raised Gareth and has made me think about how I do things. I agree with you I am very opposed to spoken commentary or thoughts. The only time I think it is justified is when giving a training demonstration.

What I do is a mix of verbal and non verbal thoughts. Or more accurately use a verbal thought as a trigger to run an unconscious competence process.

For example when leaving a bend I verbalise, in my head, the trigger that "I am leaving a bend". This then triggers the unconscious competence to raise my eyes to the horizon. If I then spot a sharp bend ahead this is mentally verbalised that then runs the unconscious competence to raise concentration, awareness of time, distance and balance for the approach to the bend. This competence takes the information from the senses to adjust speed smoothly without any more conscious thought or verbalising. Just before steering I just say "hint early, limit point" to run the steering competence that works with the senses without conscious intervention unless the situation changes. Somewhat over simplified but I hope it makes sense.

I'd not thought about the process I use whilst driving until Gareth raised the matter and I now realise that I use triggers to run unconscious competencies all the time. But then I'm a lazy b....r and do as little as possible.

This also explains one of the reason why I am opposed to spoken commentaries as they can diminish/interfere with the use of unconscious competence.
Last edited by jcochrane on Sun May 02, 2021 12:47 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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exportmanuk
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Re: Driving thoughts

Postby exportmanuk » Sun May 02, 2021 12:38 pm

One of the things that's difficult for motorcycle observers/trainers is getting the associate/trainee to understand what you are looking at/for, especially when not using comms. I have heard it describe various ways, raise your vision, look further, take more in, eyes on main beam. Sometime you can stop in a good place to discuss it explain it and it clicks for the person but other times that's not possible. On a few occasions I have resorted to picking them up in my car spending 30 mins giving a commentary then asking them in the passenger seat to do the same, before swapping back again. There is no pressure on them for control of the vehicle so they can dedicate more brain power to the exercise. It seems to work and it is also surprising to me the number of road users who don't know what they should be looking for.
Andrew Melton
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Horse
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Re: Driving thoughts

Postby Horse » Sun May 02, 2021 1:26 pm

exportmanuk wrote:One of the things that's difficult for motorcycle observers/trainers is getting the associate/trainee to understand what you are looking at/for, especially when not using comms. I have heard it describe various ways, raise your vision, look further, take more in, eyes on main beam. Sometime you can stop in a good place to discuss it explain it and it clicks for the person.


This 'mirrors' my pet hate of [mirror] people who don't [mirror] tell you what they can see.

Also, there's the "don't look down" type advice, where the advice doesn't actually say what *should* be done ("look up to the top of the ladder"?).

And that could be where training sessions with specific learning intention and focus helps, in that part of the brief for the ride can include what to look for and what actions will be triggered by seeing it.

Something I've used for cornering is to ask the trainee to, as soon as they see it, to point (left arm up, pointing at head height) which way the bend goes. This showed me how earlier they had seen it and acted as that 'trigger' to start planning and responding.
Your 'standard' is how you drive alone, not how you drive during a test.

waremark
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Re: Driving thoughts

Postby waremark » Sun May 02, 2021 9:26 pm

I enjoy practising commentary but acknowledge that it is a skill distinct from driving. I also find it helpful to the driving in that it forces me to concentrate on the task in hand.

I use commentary both from time to time when an associate is driving and invariably when I am giving a demo. The content depends on the context. In terms of helping associates to look further up the road, rather than saying 'eyes on main beam' (or equivalent) isn't it more helpful to describe what you are looking at well ahead and how it affects the driving plan?

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exportmanuk
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Re: Driving thoughts

Postby exportmanuk » Sun May 02, 2021 9:46 pm

waremark wrote:I

I use commentary both from time to time when an associate is driving and invariably when I am giving a demo. The content depends on the context. In terms of helping associates to look further up the road, rather than saying 'eyes on main beam' (or equivalent) isn't it more helpful to describe what you are looking at well ahead and how it affects the driving plan?


Easy when your in a car and along side the associate not so easy when you are following on a separate machine.
Andrew Melton
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Jonquirk
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Re: Driving thoughts

Postby Jonquirk » Sun May 02, 2021 10:17 pm

“Eyes on main beam” is just meaningless jargon really. When I spent a day with Chris Gilbert he repeatedly rammed home the value of looking further ahead by telling me about approaching vehicles that I should have seen myself: “there’s a white van, followed by a red car just about to come into view”.


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