Small lapse all it takes

No re­ward for be­ing the fastest and not com­plet­ing the trip

Central and North Burnett Times - - JUNIOR SPORT - WITH Nick Ben­nett Nick Ben­nett is a fa­cil­i­ta­tor, per­for­mance coach and part­ner of Minds Aligned: mind­

‘‘ We know that brain breaks are im­por­tant and that con­cen­trat­ing for long pe­ri­ods of time ac­tu­ally adds to fa­tigue...

HASN’T this first part of the year gone by quickly? Here we are and it’s nearly Easter al­ready and with that in mind many will be plan­ning a break, fam­ily hol­i­day or es­cape. That means, if you’re driv­ing, putting your­self and oth­ers at risk as our roads clog with cars, car­a­vans, campers and four-wheel drives, and drivers who all in­tend to be some­where other than where they are as the drive un­folds.

What’s the risk? When we think about load­ing up the car, the fam­ily and the camper trailer we get our­selves into a state of plan­ning and take a jour­ney into the fu­ture as we vi­su­alise what we need and why, pack­ing ac­cord­ingly and that’s fine – and nec­es­sary.

What hap­pens next though, is that we set out on our jour­ney and be­come com­fort­able in our metal co­coon rather than fo­cus on the driv­ing. We will, af­ter a time, be­come caught by the thought of what’s go­ing to hap­pen when we get there, the mood in the car, the traf­fic around us, our in­ter­nal thoughts and myr­iad other dis­trac­tions. Th­ese things take us away from the very se­ri­ous re­spon­si­bil­ity of con­trol­ling more than a ton of metal trav­el­ling at be­tween 80 and 110kmh.

It is nearly im­pos­si­ble not to do this.

We know that brain breaks are im­por­tant and that con­cen­trat­ing for long pe­ri­ods of time ac­tu­ally adds to fa­tigue and there­fore con­trib­utes to the risk. As a young policeman, I saw first-hand the dev­as­ta­tion that a lack of con­cen­tra­tion or a dis­trac­tion can do to the hu­man body. I have had to knock on the door to give the news that a beloved fam­ily mem­ber is never – never – com­ing home again. It is ter­ri­ble and I feel for those first re­spon­ders when­ever I hear of an­other life lost in the car­nage on our roads.

Per­son­ally, I have driven hun­dreds of thou­sands of kilo­me­tres across this coun­try and sev­eral oth­ers and it took me time to get it. I can’t beat the fa­tigue, or the dis­trac­tions and nei­ther can you. If you truly want to keep your loved ones and your­self safe this Easter and you are trav­el­ling then here’s a tip – for what it’s worth: Be here now. Wher­ever that is, be in the mo­ment, make the driv­ing it­self in­ter­est­ing, do the sweep across your line of sight ev­ery few sec­onds and look for anom­alies.

What that means is look from the road ahead of you (and ideally you are driv­ing about three to four ve­hi­cles in front not one car ahead). Sweep to the left rearview mir­ror, back across the wind­screen up to your rearview mir­ror across to your right mir­ror and re­peat. Check your speedo and drive to the con­di­tions. Pull over and take a break – there’s no re­ward for be­ing fastest on the road and not com­plet­ing the trip.

Travel safely with your loved ones and have a won­der­ful Easter break.


◗ Con­cen­trate on the road and de­liver your pre­cious cargo safely this Easter

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