Proceedings of the

The 33rd European Safety and Reliability Conference (ESREL 2023)
3 – 8 September 2023, Southampton, UK

Commentary Driving: Exploring a Method for Operative Safety Reflections

Petter Helmersen Bogfjellmoa and Fred Størsethb

Road traffic division, Nord University, Norway.


Commentary Driving is a prevalent part of the toolbox in Norwegian driving instructor education. The fundamental idea being that a running commentary while operating the vehicle is a way to develop awareness of one's thinking, perceptions and assessments of road traffic scenarios. It is a method to develop understanding, driving skills, and teaching ability. Commentary Driving is applied to emphasize how traffic situations are interpreted and acted upon. It is used as a method for developing an analytical mindset in the operative, with stringent attention to the language and terminology used to describe concepts and phenomena. The premise for this paper is that although the method is widely applied, the learning potential of Commentary Driving is to an extent left unspecified. There is a need to further specify, describe, and apply the learning potential of Commentary Driving. The aim of this paper is to report our exploration and development of a bowtie-based approach that we name ‘Operative Safety Reflections:' a framework to systematically bring the safety potential into the practical and applied field of Commentary Driving.

Keywords: Bowtie approach, Commentary driving, Driving instructor training, Methodological development, Operative safety, Road traffic scenarios.

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