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Driver Awareness

Awareness has two crucial components — self-awareness (insight) and knowledge.

To take up new ideas, skills and knowledge, drivers need to be aware of their capabilities and their limitations — the existing gaps in their capability. Additionally learners must be aware of the inner self, that is, having a sense of one’s internal states, being able to observe and reflect on the various experiences encountered in life.

Being able to internalise driving experience is a crucial safety skill.

Effective drivers monitor their emotions and reflect constructively on incidents with other road users even those that may violate their rights. This is a skill that can be learned and fits with the notion of assertiveness. Assertive drivers make headway without violating others and they accommodate the errors of other road users in the knowledge that they also make errors — they are self-aware. Drivers lacking this ability tend to externalise situations and incidents often blaming other drivers, pedestrians or even the vehicle instead of recognising their contribution to the situation.

The other important aspect of awareness relates to knowledge of the road environment, having an awareness of hazards and risks, knowing what is happening to the vehicle and knowing the road law.