The Importance of Using Good VisionUncategorized | February 23, 2016
It doesn’t matter if it’s a rally driving school, road racing school or a winter driving school, the one thing that is instilled is using good vision. In a nutshell, this means keeping your eyes up and looking where you want to go.
There are quite a few reasons why you want to look ahead and some are definitely more obvious than others. For those who have never done any sort of high performance driving, the concept of looking where you want to go is a universal skill that helps in nearly every sport on the planet. Sports that are very closely related are things like skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking and dirt biking. If you’ve ever participated in any of these, then you’ve probably noticed that wherever you look is where your body goes. The same is true with driving. At DirtFish, we notice that students who look a few feet in front of the car aren’t able to react quickly, causing them to lose control much easier. Once we start giving them focal points further in the distance, their hands and feet tend to naturally get them to that point. By training to constantly look as far ahead as possible, students end up being able to link multiple corners together, giving them cleaner and quicker runs through our course.
Keeping your eyes up and looking ahead also helps with awareness of changes in the road surface and upcoming conditions. We call this “reading the road”. A time that this really comes into play is in the winter: when the road you’re driving on may be dry and clear because it has been sitting in the sun, but then you get to a section that hasn’t seen much sun and is mostly shaded (in a canyon, valley or tree-lined road). These shaded sections may still have snow or ice on them, but if you’re looking far enough ahead you’re able to plan accordingly (slow down, avoid the obstacle or get ready to countersteer).
Also, with your eyes focused as far ahead as possible, you don’t have to solely rely on waiting to feel the car loosing traction or sliding sideways. Because your focal point is further in the distance, you have a heightened sense for small changes in what the car is doing. In turn, this will give you more time to react and give you the opportunity to make small corrections, rather than doing a lot more work to save yourself and the car before it’s too late.
While there are many valuable skills that DirtFish and other driving schools can teach you, without having the fundamental skill of looking ahead (or “looking where you want to go”), you won’t be able to fully utilize them. So, always remember this: look up and look where you want to go!
To get some experience working on your vision while driving a rally car, click here to check out our upcoming driving programs!
By: Trevor Wert (DirtFish)