The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration once stated that “If drivers involved in crashes had one additional second prior to the crash, 80% of the crashes could have been reduced in severity, or avoided.” How much would a family that lost a loved one in a crash be willing to pay to change the course of events during that last critical second? I am sure that having one additional second to detect the speeding car in time to make it a near miss, rather than a t-boned fatality of three, would be priceless. One additional second to detect a texting driver coming head-on over the yellow line would be worth millions to the family of the father of three who was killed in the impact. One additional second to control the off-road recovery to prevent the rollover that sent all passengers in the car crashing into each other, leaving the daughter paralyzed from the neck down, was a high price to pay for failure to control one critical second. Drivers need training on how to control the critical seconds –– and control of the critical second involves the mind, not the hands and feet.
Driving is a Deadly Social Activity
Driving is our most deadly social activity. In no other daily activity are we unknowingly confronted with life-ending or quality-of-life-altering situations where –– in one critical second, in the blink of an eye or less –– the actions of others could lead to disaster!
I haven’t posted to this blog in a while; let me explain why. Based on the enormous and devastating cost that crashes inflict upon society, it became indisputably clear that it was necessary to do more than just write about the power of the mind. Therefore, I and NIDB have worked diligently to develop a new model for driver education that places emphasis on providing drivers with an opportunity to acquire attitudes that value space-management behavior. With the correct attitude housing the desire to eliminate crashes, mental skills can cultivate space-management behavior into habit to control the critical seconds.
The need for drivers to learn how to control critical seconds was tragically brought to the public attention on July 14, 2015, when a teen behind the wheel of a driver ed car in NY attempted to make a left turn and failed to control the critical second needed to enter and clear the intersection. A tractor truck impacted the rear quarter of the driver ed car, resulting in the deaths of three teens in the back seat. One additional second and there would have been no crash. I can’t even begin to describe the suffering and pain that so many will have to endure for the remainder of their lives: the family and friends of the three lost teens; the teen driver; the instructor; the truck driver; the owner of the driving school –– all their lives changed forever because of one critical second. And, as tragic as that crash was, it was not an isolated event that had never happened before and won’t happen again.
Motor Vehicle Crashes are Not Only a Teen Problem
As a matter of fact, every day, even on that very same day of July 14, there are most likely, according to statistics, some 9,000 or more intersection crashes –– some fatalities, some resulting in permanently disabling injuries, some only property damage –– all because drivers never learned how to find, solve, and control the critical seconds that are there during every minute of driving. And, these crashes are not all caused by teen drivers. More than ninety percent of all crashes are caused by adult drivers, not teens.
We know what skills are needed to meet driver licensing standards, and we know that more than 99.9 percent of all drivers involved in crashes have met those standards. So, what skills are really needed to drive crash-free? The answer: mental training to control the “critical second!”
Bad Habits are “Caught”
Rather than focus solely on teaching teens how to physically operate a vehicle, we need to focus on finding the best way for them to learn space-management behavior so it can be cultivated into life-long habits. We all know that bad habits are caught by chance; do something once or twice without any repercussions, and soon, it becomes a habit. Good habits, whether they’re eating habits, sleep habits, study habits, or driving habits, are usually good only if they’ve been deliberately and repeatedly practiced – and valued. A driver education program structured in a hierarchy of experiential learning activities is capable of measuring the good habit development taking place to assure that bad habits are not being caught while GDL practice takes place.
Driver Education is Essential
Driver education is the only formal opportunity a person has to learn how to acquire habits that act as safeguards against the millions upon millions of ways that crashes can and do occur. Traditionally, driver education is seen as a path to driver licensing. Driver education teachers need a new set of skills: skills for how to become “Driver Mind Coaches” with the ability to evaluate, cue, and coach the formation of space-management habits. The new NIDB model of driver education can provide such necessary training for adults, for driver education teachers, and for teens, by providing a new format of experiential learning activities that move beyond the academic structure miring the driver education classroom into mediocrity.
NIDB’s new learning model for drivers takes advantage of the plasticity of the youthful brain and the power of building strong neuron networks for spontaneous and correct performance. Lack of brain development should no longer be used as an excuse for the high frequency of teen car crashes, nor should “lack of experience” remain a factor in those crashes. The majority of teen crashes are caused by the same space management errors that cause “experienced” drivers to crash, and they can be avoided. How good are the experienced drivers at controlling their critical seconds? Not very good; they account for more than ninety percent of all crashes. The reason teen crash rates are so high is, quite frankly, that young drivers’ minds have not been trained to acquire situational awareness essential for space management.
NIDB’s New Learning Model
The new learning model is structured for Experiential Learning, where teens are able to learn by doing, not by listening to lectures or watching movies. More than 1,000 space-management “experiences” are gained by participating in e-learning mobile-ready activities that can be acquired from online challenges and then transferred to structured in-car deliberate practice activities. Experiential learning activities mentally prepare the teen for each driving maneuver before in-vehicle performance occurs. Teachers in the classroom are able to evaluate the effectiveness of teen and parent practice sessions. We can and must enhance the training process that currently takes place for novice drivers. If we don’t, how can we ensure that good habits necessary to control the “critical seconds” are formed?
Acquire the power of “Experiential Learning”
Here is where I want to sell you not one, but millions of critical seconds that can place you in total control of driving situations. Merely reading about how to control the critical second is not going to give you the opportunity to discover the power of experiential learning activities essential to master skills that control the critical seconds. However, if you learn how to use the Selective Attention Matrix, just one technique for training the mind, it will increase your awareness of the power of your mind to control critical seconds. Your cost: The desire to achieve Zero Crashes. Click the link to experience use of the Selective Attention Matrix.
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