The Skill of Commentary Driving

“During my 30 years of police service, I’ve attended many traffic collisions. When I asked the drivers what had happened, I often heard the word ‘suddenly’ – ‘the car pulled out suddenly’, ‘the car in front stopped suddenly’.

But in fact almost nothing on the road happens ‘suddenly’. Driving situations are readable and predictable. The links and clues are there for the driver who is paying attention and using their eyes. Using commentary driving for hazard perception is what my DVDs and advanced driving tuition is all about.

Most drivers don’t use their eyes properly when they’re driving, especially if they’re tired, bored or distracted.

In police driver training we tackle this problem by training the driver to make a running commentary on what they can see, what they’re thinking and what they plan to do. Using your eyes on main beam rather than dipped gives you a high visual horizon, with more information and more time to assess hazards.

Add lateral vision and the mirror and you have the 360°awareness that allows you to predict what’s likely to happen next.

Watch my DVD commentary on YouTube to see how it works

Visual scanning at this level doesn’t come naturally to most of us. We tend not to look ahead and end up reacting to events rather than anticipating them. That’s why some drivers think things happen ‘suddenly’.

Ultimate Driving Craft DVD shows you how to apply commentary skills to your own driving. Commentary sharpens your observation skills so that using your eyes properly becomes a natural part of your driving. Starting with basics, building to police advanced level, the DVD also covers safe use of speed, cornering, town city and motorway driving, and a commentary on a police 999 run.”

Tips for using Ultimate Driving Craft DVD

Practice doing a commentary in your armchair. Choose one of the drives on the DVD and listen to the commentary. Then turn the sound down, replay the drive and try doing a commentary of your own.

You don’t need to learn commentary skills to benefit from the DVD. Customers have told us that just comparing their own observation with the observation in this DVD has helped to improve their vision scans and hazard perception and helped them pass the advanced driving test.

Remember to switch your eyes on to main beam