Where should I be looking?

Roadcraft outlines the system of car control as information, position, speed, gear and acceleration.

Information refers to taking, using and giving information.

Taking information means looking. Look well ahead, to the sides and know what is behind you.

Use what you see to inform your decision making and planning. There is no point in seeing a potential danger and still doing nothing about it. For example, as you approach traffic lights which are changing from red to green for you to proceed you look into the junction and notice a car going too fast as they approach the lights opposing them just as they start to change to red. Are they going to stop? What are you going to do? Are you going to go through anyway as the lights change to green for you to proceed or hold back and watch what the other vehicle just in case they go through on a red? Are you going to be proactive and plan or be reactive as the other car goes through on a red light and you have to emergency brake?

Giving information can include making sure you signal in good time to other road users what you intend to do. Maybe coming off the gas as you start to slow on approach to a potential risk developing ahead and just touching your foot brake so your brake lights come on for the driver behind to give them an early warning.

Next time you are driving, practice looking further ahead and to the sides. Try to identify potential problems before they become a danger. Know what is behind you.

To give yourself more time and space to practice developing your observations drop further back from the vehicle in front of you. Rather than looking at the number plate of the vehicle in front, drop back and let the view open up. The more you can see the more effective your risk management will be.