I have been considering the snow drop we experienced last week, which in my last post I discussed the value of being situationally aware can help you avoid problems. I thought there might be a little more to gain from discussing the skill of situational awareness.
One of my friends (with whom I work) also encountered the snow on the mountain, although it was a little after I turned around and returned home. He mentioned that he decided to risk it in his little car, and he ended up in a convoy behind several large trucks. He told me that the roads were slippery, scary, and he lost traction several times. When he finally made it on to the icy sections he told me he noticed in his rear view mirror that the cops went to the traffic coordinator (who was behind him) and appeared to shut down the road. This was backed up by my children’s school teacher, who couldn’t get through till after lunch when the roads re-opened.
This reminds me of the time when the rivers flooded in the Huonville area, causing the town of Huonville to be inundated with water. At the time the bridge was partially under water, and I was driving towards it (in the dark) and I had to make a decision. My intuition told me that it wasn’t safe, and my situational awareness gave me little information to assist me to make a decision. I decided to take the chance and drive. While I made it through, I realized part way over that the water was much deeper than I expected and I only just made it over without flooding my engine. So obviously there are times when all situational awareness and intuition in the world won’t save you when you have your mind set on a course of action.
So what is situational awareness? ITS Tactical posted a great article which breaks down the concept and provides advice on how to develop your situational awareness. I think it has some great ideas on how to develop the skill. Perhaps I might, some time in the future, go into some details on how I developed my situational awareness.