Home » Mind Driving by Stephen Haley – New Skills for Staying Alive on the Road

Mind Driving by Stephen Haley – New Skills for Staying Alive on the Road


Mind Driving by Stephen Haley

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Mind Driving is a new approach to driving skill, designed to significantly reduce crash risk.

Mind Driving is also a unique breakthrough in how we relate to driving skill. As the name suggests, it is fully centred on how drivers think. So it is far more about the “eyes-and-brain” skills than the more conventional and physical “hands-and-feet” ones.

These are the skills that really make driving safe – by giving us far better control over danger.

Expert drivers intuitively use these skills, but they have not been explained before – especially in a way that is so easy to pick up. They are certainly not in the Driving Standards Agency L-test, which leaves new drivers to find and develop the skills themselves as best they can. Some do and some don’t, of course.

The Mind Driving approach also overturns the view that driving “skill” is mainly about the physical actions that operate the vehicle. It recognises at the core that safe driving is actually in how we think and decide what to do – which comes well before we take action. Before anyone “loses control of the vehicle”, they have first “lost control of the situation”.

So on public roads, the “thinking” skills should come first and prevent the need for extreme “car control” skill. Even new drivers generally have adequate car control skills for road driving. The skills in the head is what gives the problem.

Mind Driving defines a set of eight skills, and then describes each in detail:

  1. Beliefs
  2. Sense of Danger
  3. Rules and Regulations
  4. Learning from Experience
  5. Fitness Check
  6. Observation
  7. Risk Assessment and Control
  8. Car Control

They all work together – and notice that only the last one is about the physical actions.

By far the most space is devoted to Risk Assessment and Control, which is packed with practical insights and information on how to keep risk low – especially when the danger is caused by someone else.

The broad driving training industry see this as long overdue in explaining the vital but untaught skills, and have given it an outstanding welcome.

Overall, Mind Driving is about gaining a far better understanding of danger and how to control it. Which in turn leads to making better decisions about what actions to take. It works well alongside Roadcraft which focuses more on the execution of our decisions with the System of Car Control.