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Driving pleasure

Published:Sunday | March 28, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Driving should be seen as an enjoyable and stimulating task.

"It is essentially an activity of the mind. And, our body is important, in that, it translates the impulses of our thoughts as we meet and attempt to solve the challenges of the road," says Dr Marianne Scarlett of the University of the West Indies.

"If the driver is physically and mentally able to fulfil his end of the partnership, the motor vehicle, will in turn give its best effort," she continues.

According to Dr Scarlett, the key to entire operation of driving is the driver.

Driving includes all skilled actions a person takes to control the motor car. These actions must be based on sound judgments and correct decisions. And, requires physical, mental and social skills.

A social task, driving requires skills in interacting and cooperating with people. Courtesy is a vital part of the social task. Courteous drivers obey traffic laws and are thoughtful of other road users.

"Since the brain controls driving, safe driving is mainly a mental decision-making task" says Dr Scarlett. The physical skills of turning a wheel or pushing a brake or accelerator pedal are of little use if done at the wrong time. Deciding where to steer and when to brake and accelerate is important to being a safe conscious driver. Only after you master the thinking skills of driving can you become a defensive and skillful driver.

- Paul Messam