Whether you are driving on the highways or the byways one thing you must bear in mind is never to get distracted by what is happening beyond the road. You must remain focused on the road because moving traffic is a river where the situation changes by the second.
There is so much happening every second on a road as you drive along it that it is indeed a full-time job keeping track of all the developments so as not to get involved in an accident or make a move that might prove to be costly. There is hardly time to take in that old house being demolished, that hoarding advertising a new perfume or the billboard announcing a sale at a mall.
The focus or attention of a driver should always be on four essential things.
What is happening right in front of you?
Of course that’s the most important area to watch out for. Is a driver trying to enter your lane ahead of you? Is he giving a signal or is trying to push his way in? Is a pedestrian taking his chance at running across the road even as your vehicle is approaching him? Is an old person or a child or a group of children crossing the road leisurely, oblivious of the traffic? Is a cat or a dog trying to find its way to the other side of the road on a ill-lit bylane or a road? Is an obstruction in the shape of a cardboard box [which may have fallen off from some pick-up or might be just empty and flung out by a careless driver] blocking the road necessitating you to slow down? Is the signal going to change its colour? A driver has to keen all these things in mind as he cruises along.
What is happening behind you?
Keep a constant eye on the rear-view mirror and try to figure out the ‘body language’ of the driver. Is he in speed and wants you to get out of the way? Is he blinking headlights? Is he trying to change the lane?
What is happening to your right if you are in the fast lane and what is happening to your right AND left if you are in the middle lane and what is happening to your left if you are in the slow or right lane. For these you have to keep an eye on the left and right rear-view mirrors as well.
If you are in the middle of keeping watch on four fronts as you drive along that leaves little time to take your eyes off the road and look beyond in the constantly-changing scenario.
And you definitely must not slow down ‘out of curiosity’ on seeing an accident on the road when traffic police and medics are busy with their work. That could be the prelude to an accident if the driver behind you is equally careless. If you mean to help then you must come to a halt, park properly in the nearest possible location, leave your seat and go for the rescue.