What Is the Smith System?

The Smith System is a system for driving to enable drivers to learn how to avoid collisions through mastering driver behavior and through intense hands-on training. The system was developed in 1952 by Harold Smith when Smith developed the Smith System Driver Improvement Institute.

The institute was the first professional driver training company in the United States. The reasoning behind the institute was that if drivers were able to learn about how to drive responsibly yet be aware of the irresponsible signs of bad driving from other drivers, then the drivers would be able to avoid collisions and other accidents. Millions of drivers have since been through the program.

The Smith Institute has five principles for safe driving. The first is to aim high when it comes to paying attention, with a focus on the road as a whole and not on the part of the road that is a few feet in front of the driver. The second is to be aware of all surroundings and “the big picture” rather than being distracted. The third is to keep the eyes alert using consistent eye movement. The fourth is to always have a way out by not following vehicles too closely and not being boxed in when driving in a lane highway. The fifth is to make no assumptions.

The Smith System is taught in 98 countries and in 17 different languages throughout the world. The Smith System can be taught in person through road training, which is always the most recommended, but there is also E-learning and fleet monitoring available. The Smith System also has a DVD library with training videos and driver advice. The Smith System is based in Arlington, Texas, with an additional office in London, England. However, there are training consultants located around the world.