SMITH System

Written by Rebecca Saunders



The Smith System is a system of key guidelines designed to provide motorists with the knowledge and skills to drive safely and defensively.

These guidelines include the following:

Aim High - Drivers must look well ahead of the vehicle as they drive. As a general rule, it's important to look 20-30 seconds ahead of them. Staying alert of the dangers and traffic ahead not only helps to avoid rear-end collisions, but it also alerts other motorists behind the vehicle to slow down. (The driver should also steer and focus their attention "high" enabling them to view the road as a whole.)

Get The Big Picture - While scanning ahead, it's principle for motorists to do the following: Check the side and rear mirrors, stay alert for changes on or near the roadway, maintain the correct following distance, and also be aware of the surroundings at all times.

Keep Your Eyes Moving - Focusing on any object for too long decreases your peripheral vision; drivers must scan all intersections before entering them. Consistent eye movement prevents the driver from getting fatigued and going into a hypnotic state; keeping them alert to every driving condition ahead.

Leave Yourself A Way Out - Drivers must leave themselves a path of escape to avoid a collision. This means that they need to ensure that other drivers do not close them in while selecting their lanes, that they avoid following other vehicles too closely, and always anticipate what choices other drivers make. 

Make Sure Others See You: It is crucial that drivers communicate with fellow road users. This can be done using indicators, brake lights, and hand signals. it prevents accidents by making assumptions behind the wheel, as a driver make sure the other driver can see you and expect your next move. 

The Smith System for driving is relative to reducing collisions, preventing injuries, and saving lives. These five principles are the key focus of driver safety, are implemented in training globally, and can reduce the risk of major accidents on both highways and roads.
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