That sixth sense vital to expect the unexpected

Traffic indicating at the last moment can confuse other drivers.

Traffic indicating at the last moment can confuse other drivers.

Driving uses all your senses, particularly sixth sense, says motoring editor Andy Russell.

When you drive all your senses come together.

Sight – looking at the road ahead, being aware of what’s around you.

Smell – petrol, leather, that new car smell or a warning smell of something out of the ordinary.

Hearing – another key way of knowing what is going on around you or, again, something that does not sound right on your car.


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Touch – the tactile feel of fabrics, trim and a deft touch on the throttle and brakes to boost economy.

Taste – not just choosing colours and trims but knowing my wife has sweets in the glovebox – don’t tell her I found them!

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But there’s also the sixth sense – to expect the unexpected – and it’s the one that can often save you getting into a tricky situation.

It’s when drivers just get that feeling that:

A vehicle is going to pull out of a junction because the driver has not seen you.

The car in front will suddenly brake... and then switch on the indicator to signal their intention.

Or leave signalling to take the slip road until the last moment just as you are on the nearside!

Has no idea you are there... or even where they are.

Is going to go straight on at the roundabout even though they are in the left-turn lane.

Or that cyclist is passing on your nearside despite you signalling to turn left.

And even if you have right of way the other vehicle may disagree.

Never assume – assess the situation and be prepared.

andy.russell@archant.co.uk

Twitter @andyrussellauto

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