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GerardWon
Master Racer



Joined: May 10, 2011
Posts: 46
Location: NYC Area

PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2011 3:47 pm Reply with quote Back to top

The common misconception is that driving is easy. Why? Everyone drives, so it has to be easy. Right?

I tell you this: what “everyone” is doing is definitely not driving. The vast majority are simply passengers as they go on their merry way. It's a shame really.

They are passengers; there I said it again. Maybe there are soo many bad drivers because one of the fundamental cornerstones of new driver advice is this phrase: ‘Watch Where You Are Going’.

‘Watch where you are going’, has probably killed more innocent people than all the serial murders who have ever lived, combined. I’m serious!

Competent drivers (you can read that as racing drivers) do Not watch where they are going. Instead: we look where we want the car to go.

This might seem like a subtle difference at first blush but it’s not. It is perhaps The fundamental difference so let me say it again: we look where we want the car to go. We do not watch where we are going.

I’m going to leave this concept alone for now. Just to see (no pun) where you folks are on this. Then I will expand and clarify it, as need be.

On second thought, let me give you two simple practice exercises:

(1) The next time you are out there and you see a pot hole you want to avoid -- look at the spot on the road Next to that pothole. The exact spot you want your tires to go (obviously I'm referring to the front and rear tires on the side of the car that will pass near that pothole). Do Not Look at the pothole itself.

(2) The next time you are pulling your car up to the curb to park... same deal. Do Not look at the curb. Where are we going to look? That's right, we are going to look at the exact spot next to the curb where we want the tires to be.

Of course you should leave some room for error.

And of course I have a great trick for knowing Exactly where you put those tires. But for now I'm going to keep that to myself.

GerardWon
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myownworld
Site Admin
Site Admin



Joined: Jan 06, 2010
Posts: 485

PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2011 4:29 pm Reply with quote Back to top

lol loved this post. Ok, so we focus on the exact spot where we want the car to go, right?

So, now tell us what the trick to get your tires exact on spot too is? Am taking down notes as we go... Typing
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Misha
Site Owner



Joined: Aug 02, 2006
Posts: 705
Location: McLean, VA, USA

PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2011 4:31 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Umm, I think I am getting the difference, but I will wait for you to elaborate on this Smile
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Astraist
Master Driver



Joined: Mar 27, 2010
Posts: 209

PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2011 4:41 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Very Well Said! In Hebrew we have a distinction which can be translated into english as "riding" versus "driving." Most people don't drive their cars, they are riding in their car. They think driving is a trivial action, where in fact it isn't, because our natural habits in using our vision, as well as various cognitive abilities, are not adapted to driving.

Here I will expand, if you may, on proper vision. There is more to it than looking towards where you want to go. We need to distinct two kinds of vision: Peripheral and Foveal. Our Foveal vision is our small field of focus, which enables us to notice detail. The ability to notice detail is used for sake of planning. Our peripheral vision is the rest of our visual field, which is present as a "blurry" sight which can distinct colors, roughly gauge proximity of objects, and detect movement.

So, here we have a dichotomy: Our Foveal vision is in charge of planning ahead, while our peripheral vision is used to recheck and to execute the plan. Because our Foveal vision is used for planning we need to point it towards the point we wish to reach, which is as far ahead as practically possible (in a direct, unbroken line of sight). By looking this far ahead we can make plans as early as possible towards every oncoming hazard.

Our peripheral vision is now the one entrusted with the midrange between us and our remote point of focus, and also with the balance and timing: when the apply throttle and how much, when to steer and how sharply, when to brake and at which force, etc...

The system is especially important in corners on bendy roads and I will use it as an example: By looking far ahead we detect a right-hand bend within the next 400 meters. We use our foveal vision to asses it's radius, and decide on a certain "turn-in" and "apex." As we get close to our imaginary "turn-in" point we shift focus to our designated apex, and use our peripheral vision to decide on the exact moment to steer and on how much to steer.

Looking towards where you want to go also has impacts on vehicle's dynamics, although it's not the only criteria for success in such drills. It's a technique which is also applied in limit handling and emergency situations. For instance, most advanced driving tuitions held in Israel teach an avoidance braking drill, where you perform an emergency stop to avoid hitting an obstacle, but the stopping distance does not suffice and you need to steer and brake. In this drill, it takes discipline to divert your eyes from the obstacle towards the escape route, so that you can avoid it. Without shifting focus you will simply hit it.

Another example is during sliding. When the car understeers or oversteers respectivelly, the unskilled driver will look towards where the car is sliding (the outside or inside edge of the road, accordingly) and will steer away from it, either by steering more into the corner during understeer, or against the direction of the corner during oversteer, both of which are doomed to fail. Looking and steering towards the right direction is more accurate than steering away from the wrong direction.
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GerardWon
Master Racer



Joined: May 10, 2011
Posts: 46
Location: NYC Area

PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2011 10:35 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Misha wrote:
Umm, I think I am getting the difference, but I will wait for you to elaborate on this Smile


Hi ya Misha! Thanks for your efforts in putting up this forum. I appreciate and applaud you for this!

I will try in the very near future to explain the system as taught to me by the world's best racing instructor Bertil Roos and also his dedicated staff; over the years that I attended his courses and raced in his series...

... however it is not that easy to do in the written word. And if someone misunderstood what I wrote -- well driving is no joke.

It also entails a specific way to hold the steering wheel. I'm in the process of (planning stages) to post some vids on youtube. Which I'll link to here (if that's cool with you. I realize I just walked in the door as it were.).

fwiw my oldest kid is now 15 and bugging me to teach her to race. There's no way I want her racing cars! However it's about time that I expand for her what I started teaching her about eye technique since she was about 3 or 4 years old and would crash into the doorways on her peddle car in the house. I have also shown her it works on her bike and more recently on the tractor.

btw her younger sister just doesn't get it. Something that causes me endless grief as she is now 12 and I cringe when I hear running through the house... waiting for her to trip on her own feet.

This underlines the difference in people. Everyone has a their own way of taking in visual information, their own decision time, their own internal clock.

For me it's easy I just feel totally at home in a car. Always have. But I also have spent a fortune on seeking out the best racing instruction, the best racing psychology progam (and all the progressive relaxation training and visual exercises that were tailor made for me based on test results) and have dedicated a huge amount of time and effort into improving.

So if for example I say you have to "gaze fixedly" at the road (Do Not stare at the road, because when you stare you kill you peripheral vision); that is to say: as if you are "gazing at the star filled sky just drinking it all in". does that coined expression hit home? Does it mean something to you "to gaze fixedly"? Maybe it does maybe it doesn't -- to you personally. See what I'm getting at?

But moving onto the system anyway (I hate to wait Very Happy )... Let me ask you folks a question... when you are pulling up to a stop sign where do you look to judge the Precise moment you should start to apply the breaks? Answer this for me please and we can start a more accurate dialogue.
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GerardWon
Master Racer



Joined: May 10, 2011
Posts: 46
Location: NYC Area

PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2011 11:02 pm Reply with quote Back to top

myownworld wrote:
lol loved this post. Ok, so we focus on the exact spot where we want the car to go, right?

So, now tell us what the trick to get your tires exact on spot too is? Am taking down notes as we go... Typing


Hi. Thanks

The trick nah sorry too soon... But I'll give you something really close.

You need a practice road. A road that you will drive on so often and know soo well that you know every bump and surface imperfection. Something about 2 to 3 miles long intitally.

Keep in mind that the road is not the same in both directions. That is to say that when you turn around to go the other way -- it is indeed a totally different road. I'd suggest something with a posted speed limit of 45 mph and with curves on it. Not blind curves, you want to make it easy on youself. Not too many intersection or driveways either you don't want too many surprises. This road probably exists somewhere near you. Find it.

Ok so you have memorized the road -- pick out some indentations that are only about a tire's width apart and try to drive through them without touching either. Again look at the gap: Do Not look where you don't want to go go. It's also importatnt to sit in the same location in the car every time you drive it while your learning, as you get experienced this really won't matter much. But if you are sharing the car with someone else you have to make sure the seat is set the same distance and at the same angle every time you practice.

Oh and please, shut off the radio, and no beeping of radar detectors.
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myownworld
Site Admin
Site Admin



Joined: Jan 06, 2010
Posts: 485

PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2011 7:20 am Reply with quote Back to top

Ok... I did find a road in the neighborhood... and tried memorizing it. Wait, I think I already know it like the back of my hand since I'm stuck in traffic on it almost every other day.

I did even practice up and down it, till I saw some of the neighbors give me strange looks and I'd to call it a day! Surprised

And I thought the trick would be some kind of a secret magic formula!
Rolling Eyes Wink
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myownworld
Site Admin
Site Admin



Joined: Jan 06, 2010
Posts: 485

PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2011 7:23 am Reply with quote Back to top

Astraist wrote:
Very Well Said! In Hebrew we have a distinction which can be translated into english as "riding" versus "driving." Most people don't drive their cars, they are riding in their car. They think driving is a trivial action, where in fact it isn't, because our natural habits in using our vision, as well as various cognitive abilities, are not adapted to driving.

Here I will expand, if you may, on proper vision. There is more to it than looking towards where you want to go. We need to distinct two kinds of vision: Peripheral and Foveal. Our Foveal vision is our small field of focus, which enables us to notice detail. The ability to notice detail is used for sake of planning. Our peripheral vision is the rest of our visual field, which is present as a "blurry" sight which can distinct colors, roughly gauge proximity of objects, and detect movement.

So, here we have a dichotomy: Our Foveal vision is in charge of planning ahead, while our peripheral vision is used to recheck and to execute the plan. Because our Foveal vision is used for planning we need to point it towards the point we wish to reach, which is as far ahead as practically possible (in a direct, unbroken line of sight). By looking this far ahead we can make plans as early as possible towards every oncoming hazard.

Our peripheral vision is now the one entrusted with the midrange between us and our remote point of focus, and also with the balance and timing: when the apply throttle and how much, when to steer and how sharply, when to brake and at which force, etc...

The system is especially important in corners on bendy roads and I will use it as an example: By looking far ahead we detect a right-hand bend within the next 400 meters. We use our foveal vision to asses it's radius, and decide on a certain "turn-in" and "apex." As we get close to our imaginary "turn-in" point we shift focus to our designated apex, and use our peripheral vision to decide on the exact moment to steer and on how much to steer.

Looking towards where you want to go also has impacts on vehicle's dynamics, although it's not the only criteria for success in such drills. It's a technique which is also applied in limit handling and emergency situations. For instance, most advanced driving tuitions held in Israel teach an avoidance braking drill, where you perform an emergency stop to avoid hitting an obstacle, but the stopping distance does not suffice and you need to steer and brake. In this drill, it takes discipline to divert your eyes from the obstacle towards the escape route, so that you can avoid it. Without shifting focus you will simply hit it.

Another example is during sliding. When the car understeers or oversteers respectivelly, the unskilled driver will look towards where the car is sliding (the outside or inside edge of the road, accordingly) and will steer away from it, either by steering more into the corner during understeer, or against the direction of the corner during oversteer, both of which are doomed to fail. Looking and steering towards the right direction is more accurate than steering away from the wrong direction.



The last paragraph really hit home for me... thank you Smile
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Misha
Site Owner



Joined: Aug 02, 2006
Posts: 705
Location: McLean, VA, USA

PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 11:21 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Sure, you are welcome Gerard. To tell you the truth it were years of frustration until people like Astraist and yourself showed up. I really appreciate you guys joining the site and sharing your experience, and I am sure less experienced folks around do appreciate it a lot, too. Smile

I certainly can relate on teaching 15 yo to drive sensibly - my older one is almost 30 now, and drives since about 12 or so. No accident worth mentioning. And yeah, watching the kids you totally understand that people are different from birth, this I am with you, too. Smile

But 'gaze fixedly' did not mean much to me until you went to elaborate on it, and yes, I do agree. May be my English of course Smile
GerardWon wrote:
Misha wrote:
Umm, I think I am getting the difference, but I will wait for you to elaborate on this Smile


Hi ya Misha! Thanks for your efforts in putting up this forum. I appreciate and applaud you for this!

I will try in the very near future to explain the system as taught to me by the world's best racing instructor Bertil Roos and also his dedicated staff; over the years that I attended his courses and raced in his series...

... however it is not that easy to do in the written word. And if someone misunderstood what I wrote -- well driving is no joke.

It also entails a specific way to hold the steering wheel. I'm in the process of (planning stages) to post some vids on youtube. Which I'll link to here (if that's cool with you. I realize I just walked in the door as it were.).

fwiw my oldest kid is now 15 and bugging me to teach her to race. There's no way I want her racing cars! However it's about time that I expand for her what I started teaching her about eye technique since she was about 3 or 4 years old and would crash into the doorways on her peddle car in the house. I have also shown her it works on her bike and more recently on the tractor.

btw her younger sister just doesn't get it. Something that causes me endless grief as she is now 12 and I cringe when I hear running through the house... waiting for her to trip on her own feet.

This underlines the difference in people. Everyone has a their own way of taking in visual information, their own decision time, their own internal clock.

For me it's easy I just feel totally at home in a car. Always have. But I also have spent a fortune on seeking out the best racing instruction, the best racing psychology progam (and all the progressive relaxation training and visual exercises that were tailor made for me based on test results) and have dedicated a huge amount of time and effort into improving.

So if for example I say you have to "gaze fixedly" at the road (Do Not stare at the road, because when you stare you kill you peripheral vision); that is to say: as if you are "gazing at the star filled sky just drinking it all in". does that coined expression hit home? Does it mean something to you "to gaze fixedly"? Maybe it does maybe it doesn't -- to you personally. See what I'm getting at?

But moving onto the system anyway (I hate to wait Very Happy )... Let me ask you folks a question... when you are pulling up to a stop sign where do you look to judge the Precise moment you should start to apply the breaks? Answer this for me please and we can start a more accurate dialogue.
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GerardWon
Master Racer



Joined: May 10, 2011
Posts: 46
Location: NYC Area

PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 6:24 am Reply with quote Back to top

myownworld wrote:
Ok... I did find a road in the neighborhood... and tried memorizing it. Wait, I think I already know it like the back of my hand since I'm stuck in traffic on it almost every other day.

I did even practice up and down it, till I saw some of the neighbors give me strange looks and I'd to call it a day! Surprised

And I thought the trick would be some kind of a secret magic formula!
Rolling Eyes Wink


Bear with me, for a day or two and I'll give you a good response. Been pretty busy lately.

PS: only Coca Cola has a secret formula! Surprised
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GerardWon
Master Racer



Joined: May 10, 2011
Posts: 46
Location: NYC Area

PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 6:35 am Reply with quote Back to top

Misha wrote:
Sure, you are welcome Gerard. To tell you the truth it were years of frustration until people like Astraist and yourself showed up. I really appreciate you guys joining the site and sharing your experience, and I am sure less experienced folks around do appreciate it a lot, too. Smile

I certainly can relate on teaching 15 yo to drive sensibly - my older one is almost 30 now, and drives since about 12 or so. No accident worth mentioning. And yeah, watching the kids you totally understand that people are different from birth, this I am with you, too. Smile]


Thank you for your kind words.

I'm sure you speak English far better than I speak (insert Any other language here):

I hang out a lot in a webmasters forum (been almost 3 years now). Trying to learn SEO -- Whitehat and not so whitehat, also some other things I have an interest in. So yeah, I know from what I've read and seen it's not easy getting a forum up and running.

Have you ever considered making people join to get access to the majority of your forum? That's what this webmaster forum I hang at does; and it seems to work well for the owner.
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GerardWon
Master Racer



Joined: May 10, 2011
Posts: 46
Location: NYC Area

PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 8:26 pm Reply with quote Back to top

myownworld wrote:
Ok... I did find a road in the neighborhood... and tried memorizing it. Wait, I think I already know it like the back of my hand since I'm stuck in traffic on it almost every other day.

I did even practice up and down it, till I saw some of the neighbors give me strange looks and I'd to call it a day! Surprised

And I thought the trick would be some kind of a secret magic formula!
Rolling Eyes Wink


So you know the road. You know the pavement irreglarities? You know the camber in the corners? Or is it crowned in the middle? If your stuck in traffic on that road -- me thinks its not an ideal practice street.

But anyway... how effective have you been at missing the potholes, or cracks in the pavement that you can feel when the tire touches them -- when you use the technique of looking next to them to place your tire there and Not at them?

How close have you come based on a second pass down the road where you purposely try the hit the pothole or touch the irregularities?

See what I'm getting at here? If you know the road you can use it to your advantage in this basic eye technique training exercise.

Tempted to drop the real bomb here on how to see Exactly where you have put your car... hmmm.
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myownworld
Site Admin
Site Admin



Joined: Jan 06, 2010
Posts: 485

PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 11:54 am Reply with quote Back to top

lol so it isn't just coca cola after all - you have a secret formula too!

Basically, I get what you mean (in simple english!) i.e. familiarize yourself with the road - sort of anticipate where the pesky potholes are and just drive in a way that the tires do not go over them.

Which so far, involves a sudden jerky movement on my part... resulting in swerving the tires away and missing the damn hole by a hair's breath!

But I'm getting there.... s l o w l y... Confused
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GerardWon
Master Racer



Joined: May 10, 2011
Posts: 46
Location: NYC Area

PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 6:54 pm Reply with quote Back to top

myownworld wrote:
lol so it isn't just coca cola after all - you have a secret formula too!

Basically, I get what you mean (in simple english!) i.e. familiarize yourself with the road - sort of anticipate where the pesky potholes are and just drive in a way that the tires do not go over them.

Which so far, involves a sudden jerky movement on my part... resulting in swerving the tires away and missing the damn hole by a hair's breath!

But I'm getting there.... s l o w l y... Confused


A hair's breath -- very impressive!

Srsly though. Ok so you can put the car where you are looking. If you are jerky with the wheel it would appear you need a longer visual lead time.

According to Bertil Roos you need 'two full seconds of looking in a new direction before following after with the car'. Personally I think that can be shaved down to a shorter time interval -- but lets go with Bertil's advice on this ( Fer pete's sake this is Bertil freakin Roos afterall!).

So are you spoting these road imprefections soon enough to give your eyes enough time to plot a direction change?
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Misha
Site Owner



Joined: Aug 02, 2006
Posts: 705
Location: McLean, VA, USA

PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2011 7:16 pm Reply with quote Back to top

GerardWon wrote:
Misha wrote:
Sure, you are welcome Gerard. To tell you the truth it were years of frustration until people like Astraist and yourself showed up. I really appreciate you guys joining the site and sharing your experience, and I am sure less experienced folks around do appreciate it a lot, too. Smile

I certainly can relate on teaching 15 yo to drive sensibly - my older one is almost 30 now, and drives since about 12 or so. No accident worth mentioning. And yeah, watching the kids you totally understand that people are different from birth, this I am with you, too. Smile]


Thank you for your kind words.

I'm sure you speak English far better than I speak (insert Any other language here):

I hang out a lot in a webmasters forum (been almost 3 years now). Trying to learn SEO -- Whitehat and not so whitehat, also some other things I have an interest in. So yeah, I know from what I've read and seen it's not easy getting a forum up and running.

Have you ever considered making people join to get access to the majority of your forum? That's what this webmaster forum I hang at does; and it seems to work well for the owner.


Well, the problem with this approach is that the wast majority of people joining these forums are spammers or at best ethical defensive driving courses promoters. All they are really interested is to drop a link - and yes, I have a paid program for that Very Happy Webmasters forums are different in this regard as most people there join to gain some knowledge.

People who are genuinely interested in driving are far and between, and when they join - they tend to stay. That said, I am missing a couple of people that posted here before, but then left because they did not have anybody to talk...

Since MOW agreed to take care of the board though, things have turned in a brighter direction Smile
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