It’s important to do more than just mentally practice. In order to get a motorcycle endorsement on your driver’s license, you have to master an emergency swerve maneuver, and in that part of the riding test, if you don’t get up to speed, you lose points. In the practice runs, the instructor will signal which way you have to swerve, and as the students progress, the instructor delays the signal more and more, eventually making students wait until they are almost upon the imaginary object before they know which way they have to swerve.
Why don’t we do the same thing in order to get a driver’s license for a car? Why don’t we practice reacting to different scenarios? Driving schools should have simulators students can use to practice emergency maneuvers.
I will add, though, that in truck driving school, we were told (not really trained, just told), that if we had a choice of hitting a deer, and swerving, that we should hit the deer. The reasoning was that it would minimize damage, and prevent the situation from becoming more danger than necessary. It’s better to have $2,000 in body damage than total a $100,000 truck, the trailer, and its payload. Does the same hold true in a car though? If you are in a small car, or on a motorcycle, couldn’t hitting a large animal, like a fully grown deer or a moose present more danger than swerving and rolling a car on a grassy median, or laying down and totaling a motorcycle and sliding to a stop? At what point do you stop caring about minimizing the damage, and only consider what you need to do to save your life?
Other truck drivers warned me that if I hit a deer, I should strap the deer carcass to the truck’s cat walk and take it with me as proof that I didn’t make up the part about the deer.