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Smith System Five Keys
I was first introduced to the Smith System when I was hired by J. B. Hunt. I had actually been taught most of it during trucking school and at previous trucking jobs. Some of what I learned in the Smith System are things I have heard all my years driving.
Most people that get to take this class are truck drivers, but what is taught is good for all drivers. Don’t be surprised that you have heard some or most of what I’m about to write here.
If the chance for you to take this course ever comes your way, do not pass it up. Besides this teaching you to be a safer driver, the methods of driving also help cut down on the wear and tear of your vehicle. Saving you money. Everyone should like saving money.
This is a two day class and should be experienced with others. Part of the class has a group of about five or six people riding around in a van with an instructor. This part of the class can get a bit hilarious. It is especially fun while someone else is driving and you want to really pick on them. Being observant is what this class helps teach and the more observant you are, the more you can pick up on to razz the driver.
Harold Smith established the Smith System Driver Improvement Institute in 1952. He realized that most accidents and collisions are preventable if the proper driving habits are consistently applied.
Through interviewing over 50 drivers without any moving violations or collisions, for over 20 years, he came up with the following five keys.
1.Aim high in steering
2.Get the big picture
3.Keep your eyes moving
4.Leave yourself an out
5.Make sure they see you
When I first heard these, I already knew of at least three of them and when they were explained I understood the rest quite easily. In class you can spend just the first day getting these five keys explained. These five keys may sound simple, but learning how to work each key isn’t.
After using the Smith System to drive safely for over 6 years, I was asked what I considered the most important aspect in driving safe was. The answer to me was simple. Have patience. By taking this course and applying it to my every day driving I came to realized that all of the Smith System really was, was patience. Most accidents and other problems while driving are caused by not taking your time to clearly understand your driving situation.
It may all boil down to just Patience, but by taking this course you will learn how to be productively patient while driving. I have found this to be a major factor in my still being around to keep on driving.
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