Having solid knowledge of the Highway Code is imperative. You should begin learning this before starting your driving lessons
Cockpit drills are those checks performed inside your car prior to starting your engine.
Vehicle safety checks
Vehicle safety checks encompass the Show Me, Tell Me questions and tasks that test your overall knowledge and comprehension of basic maintenance and safety operations.
You will be asked one Show Me and one Tell Me question before starting your practical driving test. If you incorrectly or fail to answer one or both of these questions, you accrue one minor fault against your overall score.
Control and Instuments
You must understand the functions of switches, dials and other controls within your car — especially those that pertain to safety. You must appropriately operate those switches and controls as well.
- Foot controls: These include the accelerator, foot brake and clutch.
- Hand controls: These include the parking brake, gear stick, indicators and the steering wheel.
You must also show appropriate operation of lights, indicators, demisters, heaters and windscreen wipers.
Use of these switches and controls must be natural or second-nature. You must use them with little or no hesitation or groping for switches, for your eyes are no longer on the road where they should be.
Do not forget about proper timing and operation of your hazard lights.
hazard lights – steering a car – clutch control – changing gear – using car mirrors
Moving Away and Stopping
Just as important as driving in traffic safely, you must know how to move away and stop safely and correctly — and not just on flat surfaces. You must demonstrate appropriate skill, keeping the vehicle under complete control, while both on a level surface and on a hill, facing either uphill, downhill or both.
In all manoeuvres, you will need to utilize the “MSM” and “PSL” techniques.
Mirror – Signal – Manoeuvre (MSM)
- Mirror: Check positions of traffic beside and behind you by properly using your mirrors.
- Signal: Notify others what you intend to do and notify others with good warning timing.
- Manoeuvre – Change your speed or position.
Position – Speed – Look (PSL)
- Position: Position your car within the lane and in the correct lane for the move you want to complete.
- Speed: Safely adjust your speed appropriately for that desired manoeuvre.
- Look: Take a good, final look at surrounding traffic to ensure your movement is save before initiating the manoeuvre.
Safe Road Positioning
Safe road positioning encompasses your lane posture on the road. It pertains to not only where you are in your lane but also the type of road on which you are driving but also the position of other vehicles of varying types that are sharing the road with you.
You must respond appropriately to motorcycles, buses and lorries, for example. You must also respond to their lane movements while following and maintaining lane positioning rules and discipline.
One facet of safe driving is regular use of your auto mobile’s mirrors. You must be aware of each vehicle around you and especially of your blind spots — those areas on each side not displayed in your mirrors.
You must use your mirrors early and often when signalling, changing direction or speed and always as part of the mirror-signal-manoeuvre procedure.
You should understand the differences between your mirrors and the views presented and know how and when to use them.
You should also comprehend blind spots and how to counter them.
You must know how to signal clearly to others and when to do so – early. You must also be able to respond appropriately to other drivers’ signals
Anticipation and Planning
You must know how to identify emerging and approaching hazards as well as how to appropriately respond to them. Keys to these aspects are constant searching and vigilant observation.
- Think and anticipate others’ action and plan in advance your own actions.
- properly identify hazards from clues, indications and possibilities, then respond safely.
- Easily recognise places, times and conditions that invoke higher risk possibilities.
- Maintain and consistently demonstrate safe attitudes as you approach and deal with vulnerable road users, including pedestrians, horse riders, cyclists and motorcyclists.
Safe Use of Speed
Safe use and control of speed encompasses reasonable progress on the road, considering the road, traffic and weather conditions, signs — including speed signs — and hazards.
You must know
- How weather conditions affect safe speeds.
- How different weather conditions impact your safe speeds.
- The actual stopping distances for your car under differing weather conditions.
- Safe following distances in different conditions and how to calculate them.
Interacting with Other Traffic
You must appropriately deal with other traffic, including meeting, overtaking and crossing other vehicles.
- Meeting traffic: You must know when to give way to oncoming traffic, such as when parked cars block your lane. You should be ready to use passing areas only when on narrow roads.
- Crossing traffic: You must position your car correctly both in the road and in your lane when turning right. Stay as close to the centre of the road without turning into the oncoming lane, you must give way to oncoming vehicles and turn without cutting the corner.
- Overtaking: You must understand and demonstrate as needed when it is both safe and legal to overtake a vehicle ahead of you. Check and assess the position of vehicles around you and approaching you.
Each above manoeuvres require the MSM/PSL patterned routines
You must recognise and identify each different road junctions and demonstrate proper, safe negotiation without delaying other drivers or road users without cause.
You must fully understand the rules that apply to approaching and safely negotiating roundabouts. You must also demonstrate your ability to navigate them safely and competently.
You must know the different procedures involved in negotiating both standard and mini-roundabouts as well.
Regardless of size or type, when approaching a roundabout, you must
- Demonstrate proper MSM/PSL procedures.
- Position your car correctly.
- Utilize the correct lane as you approach and travel around the roundabout.
- Utilize the correct procedure as you exit from it.
You must know all rules that apply to pedestrian crossings and the differences between the types.
You must safely negotiate all types and demonstrated
- Effective observation.
- The ability to recognize all types of pedestrian crossings.
- A comprehensive ability to use correct speed when approaching a pedestrian crossing.
- A full understanding of when to stop when pedestrian crossings are occupied
You must show competence and safety when driving on a dual carriageway. You must also demonstrate understanding and competence of the rules and methods of joining, using and exiting a dual carriageway.
You must perform the following special manoeuvres in a safe and controlled manner:
- A three-point turn in a road.
- Bay parking.
- Parallel parking.
- corner reversing.
Good control over and with a clutch is key to performing these manoeuvres correctly
You must safely execute an emergency stop while maintaining full control of your vehicle.
To safely stop your vehicle as quickly as possible and still maintain control, you must
- Know how to properly press the brake and clutch pedals, avoiding a skid if possible.
- Demonstrate keen observation skills and hazard recognition.
- Quickly weigh options and choose the correct action.
You need to demonstrate
- Proper coordination of the brake and clutch pedals.
- Knowledge of whether your car has ABS or not.
- Knowledge of the correlation between road and weather conditions and how to stop your vehicle.
- Control over a skid if one does occur.
- Knowledge and safe execution of movement away from an emergency stop.
You must understand how weather conditions do affect driving. Although some effects are rarer than others, the primary impact will be on your
- Stopping Distance
You must know
- The warning signs and signals that you may have to utilize.
- When to use your headlights and which lights to use in conditions of poor visibility.
- How to avoid or safely react to skidding or aquaplaning, should they occur.
Tyre skidding occurs most often when the road is not dry: It can be wet, snowy, icy or covered in loose debris. Under all circumstances, skidding is caused by poor driving. A car will skid only when driven at speeds inappropriate to road conditions or from aggressive steering, braking or even acceleration.
Four basic steps greatly aid avoiding skidding.
- Reduce your speed. Slowing down reduces your momentum and assists your tyres’ grip on the road.
- Increase your following distance, increasing your stopping distance. You have less cause for pressing the brake pedal hard enough to skid.
- Slow your speed before entering a bend. The reduced speed will help your vehicle maintain a safe posture and good positioning in the curve.
- Steer, brake and accelerate as gently as possible.
When the road is snowy or icy, you can skid much more easily than on dry tarmac. Always reduce your speed in those conditions. Avoid jerking the steering wheel and jamming the brakes. Handling each gently allows greater control as your car’s momentum adjusts to new directions and speeds more easily. Increase your following distance and stopping distance by up to 10 times what is appropriate in good driving conditions.
Ice forms easily on road surfaces near sundown and dawn, especially when skies are clear. Even if you don’t see it, drive as though ice is there in the winter or even late autumn. If frost is on windscreens and windows, ice is present on the roadway.
Ice forms on exposed roads and bridges more quickly and easily than it will on normal roads. Be aware and very cautious when travelling over or under them.
When temperatures are at or near freezing, rain can freeze in moments. Don’t discount the possibility of skidding simply because it’s not snow that is falling. Black ice is transparent: Black ice cannot easily be seen, but its effect can be deadly. You might catch a hint of glare from the road at the right angle, but even that is rare.
When you drive in icy conditions, be very aware of how your steering feels. It may seem unresponsive or very loose. Tyre noise may lessen as well. If so, you’re probably driving on ice even if you don’t know it. Do not press your brake pedal unless necessary. Simply ease off the accelerator to slow your vehicle. Shift gears to a higher one and drive gently if you need to proceed. Giving your engine more power in a lower gear can cause you to spin your tyres, and that’s never safe in winter driving.
Never accelerate hard or fast, for it causes skidding. When you accelerate too aggressively on a slick road, your tyres spin, but you have no forward traction or motion. Your wheels may spin anyway, but allow them to stop spinning, then engage a higher gear, accelerating very gently.
Hard braking when on a slippery road can easily cause your tyres to skid. Your wheels may lock, and your car slides with little or no control. When your wheels locked, you cannot steer the vehicle but just slide in the direction of your motion. If you do lock your tyres, release pressure on the brake pedal, then reapply gentle pressure when you have control again. However, if your car has an anti-lock brake system or ABS, your wheels will not lock. Do not repeatedly tap your brakes: It will cause a fault in the ABS system. ABS does not, however, remove all skidding problems on slippery roads.
Controlling your speed prior to entering a turn is imperative on slippery roads. Approach too quickly, and your car will probably skid. Brake fully before entering the turn. Doing so in the middle of the manoeuvre will likely cause them to skid as well.
If you steer to take a corner without your car following the motion, you are probably in the midst of a classic, front-wheel skid. Remove pressure on the accelerator. The weight of your car is forward, which helps your tyres grip the road. Do not brake. As you gain control of your steering, aim your tyres into the skid. For example, if the skid is toward your left, turn your wheels to the left. You will eventually regain control of your vehicle because you have reduced your speed and are progressing in line with your tyres.
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