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Using Your Other Senses (Besides Sight) While Driving

Using Your Other Senses While Driving | 911 Driving School

Out of all five senses, sight is the most relied on while you are behind the wheel of a car. It’s important to see where you are going, but the other senses are all very important too.

Using the ability to hear, smell, and touch increase your abilities while operating a vehicle. Here are just some of the ways that these all impact your driving every time you get in the driver’s seat.

The Sense of Hearing

Using your ears is just as important as using your eyes when driving. It is very important if you are trying to listen to directions on your GPS, but that’s not all. There are so many sounds on the road that give you clues to what is happening around you that you might not see.

For example, many drivers can hear sirens on emergency vehicles before they ever see them. Once you hear them, staying alert to know when you should pull off the road and out of the way is important. Other important sounds are:

  • Honking horns- to warn or communicate
  • Train whistles and train crossing alerts
  • Braking squeals to warn of nearby accidents, hazards, or potential situations

Other sounds can come from the car that alerts you to mechanical issues. These are all reasons that driver’s education teachers try to teach students that playing your music too loud can impair your driving abilities.

The Sense of Smell

The largest thing smell helps with is letting you know that there is a problem in your car. Any unusual smells coming from under the hood like an overheated engine, exhaust fumes in your car, or burning brakes are all indications you should take your car to a mechanic.

The Sense of Touch

Hands are obviously important when driving a car. However, they do more than just steer. If you pay attention to the tension in your arms and the way the car feels, you can learn a lot.

For instance, if your tires are low on air, or improperly aligned, it’s usually felt in your steering ability. You will find it harder to drive straight because the car will pull to one side. It’s important to pay attention to the feel of your vehicle.

Another way that touch enhances driving is that it helps you pay attention to the road while accomplishing other tasks with one of your hands.

Once you become very familiar with a car, you can tell where buttons are by touch. Instead of having to try to find where everything is, you learn by feel to find the windshield wipers, blinkers, and headlights.

Using Your Senses

Being a safe driver, you will need to use all your senses. People can drive without one of these senses, but if you know how to rely on these abilities, driving is easier because the experience is enhanced.

When you use these other senses to stay alert to different dangers on the road, you are much more likely to get to your destination safely.


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