Local Driving School
THE SMITH SYSTEM
The Smith System describes principles that will help you apply SIPDE and drive both safely and defensively.
1. Life up your eyes and look well ahead of you. Don’t just look at the road in front of you. Lift your vision and look down the road 20-30 seconds.
2. Keep your eyes moving. Beware of getting “tunnel vision.” Don’t just stare directly ahead, but search everything. Look on and off the road ahead to see if anything might get in your way.
3. Get the big picture. Try to see everything going on at a scene. If you’re coming up to an intersection, look at everything going on around it. In the movies you see Secret Agents doing this all the time. They’re looking all around to see what’s going on. You should do the same thing…within reason of course.
4. Make sure others see you. You need to make eye contact with other drivers and pedestrians before assuming they see you. Communicate with other drivers. Use your signals and make your intentions clear.
5. Leave yourself a way out or a margin of safety. Always make sure you have a way to escape a potential situation. Never allow yourself to get trapped. Drive so that you always have some space around your vehicle that you could move to if need be. For example, if you’re on a two lane road and you see an oncoming bus in the opposite lane and some bicyclists on the side of your lane, drive so that you pass each of them one at time. Don’t drive so that you pass both at once.