August 17, 2013

Speed Secrets Saturday: Look at Nothing.

Keep in mind these are exercises meant to tune your on track ability and certainly do not take Master Ross's column this week as an encouragement to look at your smart phone while driving.   
Quite the opposite, the exercise is about your ability to think ahead,  see beyond the obvious and be aware of how you can use empty space.  Understand, grasshopper?

Look At Nothing

I've written in the past about the bad habits drivers develop on the street, so this one is about what to practice - and make into a good habit - on the street.

How many times have you heard the advice, "Look where you want to go"? A lot, I’ll bet. Great advice. But if you don't practice it and make it into a habit or a mental program you won't use it when you need it most... when a car is spinning in front of you on the track.

On the street, practice looking at nothing. Look for the opening, whether it's a gap in traffic, a parking stall, the area between reflectors on the highway, or whatever. As humans, our vision is attracted to things - any things, especially bright shiny objects like other cars. We spend so much time driving in traffic, looking at other vehicles that we build a habit of looking at them. And as you know, we go where we look. So, when a car spins in front of us on the track we look at it, and we can't help but steer towards it.

Consciously and deliberately, while driving on the street over the next month, look at nothing, look at the gaps between traffic, at the openings. Put a sticky note on your dash or steering wheel to remind yourself: "Look at nothing." Build a habit of looking for the opening.

Ross Bentley

For more of Ross' writing, along with articles by other famous and not-so-famous contributors, go to He can be reached at


  1. Isn't this bad advice for driving on the street? On the track, you pretty much know what every driver is doing. There are no red lights or side roads (traffic entering into your direction of travel) to worry about. On the street, you have to worry about some idiot slamming on the breaks for no reason.

  2. I think the point Ross is going for is practicing not fixating on any one thing but looking at everything by looking at nothing in particular. Om :)


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