Anticipation and Planning

After learning the basics in driving, controlling the vehicle and learning the controls proficiently, anticipation and planning is the next skill that we need to possess to be an effective driver.

Anticipating potential traffic hazard effectively requires time to master. Being more observant of your surrounding. Meeting traffic safely includes being aware of the area around your vehicle constantly. Being aware of cars behind, in front and on your side and how far they are can help you dodge any potential hazards while in the road.

Defining Anticipation

Anticipation is defined in many dictionaries as “to anticipate or foresee what may happen beforehand”. When it comes to driving, “Anticipation” is observing your surrounding, making a mental note of this information and foreseeing any hazards beforehand. By anticipating the opposite traffics actions and planning the appropriate counter action to make to avoid danger while driving.

By using anticipation, there are lesser possibilities for the driver to be surprised and be more prepared for any approaching traffic, or pedestrians.  Being alert and having a keen observation are some of the characteristics a driver should posses in order to have a great anticipation skill.

Anticipation – Answering What if Questions

A major part of  anticipation in driving is asking yourself what if questions based on your surrounding and traffic conditions.  Below are a few samples of what if questions you might use when driving.


  • • What if a pedestrian suddenly cross path with my vehicle?
  • • What if another vehicle cuts across my path?
  • • What if  a parked car suddenly opens its door?
  • • What if the vehicle in front of me suddenly stopped?
  • • What if  the the vehicle opposite me suddenly turns?


By anticipating different situations, you can device the necessary plan to avoid unnecessary accidents. By asking different questions based on your current situation, your mind will automatically plan an action to deal with different hazards that may come your way.