“Why do I have to do a head check even when I know there are no cars around me?”
“Do I really have to do a headcheck after every blinker?”
I’ve had so many students ask me many questions, but the main one I keep getting are these two specific ones stated above and why are they needed? Well Even I myself went and did some research and I have found out some crucial information that could help you understand why a head check is so important and what it is really for. But FIRST! Let’s understand the difference between a ‘HEAD’ Check and a ‘TRAFFIC’ check (checking around you).
A ‘TRAFFIC’ check (or checking around you) is when you check for oncoming traffic, look in your mirrors, and check cross traffic. A ‘TRAFFIC’ check is what you have been taught at the early stage of your life (look both ways before crossing the road). A ‘HEAD’ check is a simple glance over your shoulder in the direction you are going to go. “Well isn’t a traffic check good enough?” my answer to that is NO! Although a traffic check is great and beneficial, there are areas of your vision that a traffic check cannot see and that is your blind spot.
a Blind Spot is a place that you cannot see either with your eyes, peripheral vision or your mirrors. The red area would be considered blind spots. It is common sense to check your blind spot when changing lanes, but what 99.65% of the entire World doesn’t know is that it is ALSO important when you are making a turn.
“Why” you ask? It’s simple…
It’s not only for cars, but also for pedestrians, bicyclists, and others who are not traveling in the form of a vehicle. Now I know what you’re thinking. “They’re too slow, I can make it, I saw no one there when I was driving up to the intersection”. Well here’s a perfect example from a student of mine and I’ll change his name to keep his identity private.
My friend “Jake”, after shopping at the local mall, was heading home. He had just pulled out of the parking lot and was making his way to the traffic light. As he pulled up to make a right turn, the light turned green for him and he started to go. Within a split second of making his turn, a man on a bicycle was on top of his hood with a broken leg, a messed up bike and now Jake’s windshield was smashed. He had hit a bicyclist and He was barely around the corner going 12 mph! Jake told me, “Man… there was no one there! That guy had come out of nowhere!” I asked him if he even checked his blind spot and this is what he told me, “When I was driving up to the light, no one was on the sidewalk so I figured I was clear”.
Here’s the thing people. If you believe that’s a good enough check? If you believe that can come “out of nowhere”? If that’s what you believe… You are WRONG! If you believe that no one is there, you will end up paying for it. I’m not saying it’ll happen every time, but you raise the chances of it happening every time you don’t do a Head Check! My student ended up paying for every medical bill, and a new bike and trust me when I say it wasn’t cheap!
So I’m going to say it plain and simple…
- Head checks are for cars, pedestrians, byciclists, children and even animals.
- It is a technical REQUIREMENT for the driving test.