CSM �� Cranswick School of Motoring Tel. 01377 240577 or 07889 292 855 incorporating www.online-driving-school.co.uk 8 Winterdale, Driffield. East Yorkshire. YO25 5FS

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Useful driving hints and techniques.

Listed here is a small selection of hints and techniques that should help you whether a novice or an experienced learner and an example of what is to be contained in the online-driving-school section!
I hope the contents will be of use to you and help improve your driving!

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So, read through the contents of this page and, if you are still unsure about anything, leave a message on the board and I'll do my best to explain it further!

If you find that you are continually stopping short of the 'give way' or 'stop line' at a junction, the cause is that you are looking forward too much and not enough to the sides of the mouth of the junction as you approach. Looking to the sides aids more accurate stopping and providing your braking is correct, prevents you from 'overshooting' the stop or give-away line!

If you find that you and your passenger are being thrown forward as you bring the car to rest...the answer is that you are not easing the pressure on the brake pedal as you bring the car to rest! Always brake in good time when stopping and, just before you stop, ease the pressure off the pedal. DON'T take your foot completely, otherwise you will overshoot and could cause danger to yourself and other road users!

When turning right from a main road to a side road, if your car swings towards the centre of the road into which you are turning...the cause is that you are most probably looking over the 'nose' of the vehicle, which is common mistake! Look into the junction through your offside side window and as your vehicle is at an angle of about 45 degrees,� glance over the front nearside edge of the vehicle to assess whether you will 'clip' the kerb (correcting if necessary) or whether your steering is accurate. You should then straighten the steering line of the vehicle bringing it into line with the nearside kerb!

When stopping, DON'T� 'change down' your gears unless you have to! You can stop in virtually any gear although it is best to refrain from stopping in any higher gear than third gear!� There are occasions where it is useful to do so, but generally, stopping in third or second gear aids the smoothness of the stop as both your mechanical brakes and your 'engine braking' means that the stop is more gentle! It places less wear on your brakes and what is the point of changing down to a stop? You aren't going anywhere until after you've stopped...so don't bother!

When approaching a main road from a side road where there is so little visibility or such a busy road that there is no chance of emerging by 'filtering out'; again don't bother to change down!!! Stop in the gear in which you are travelling and if you need to select 1st gear, do so as you are making your observations! It also lets you concentrate on getting your vehicle into the correct position! (particularly when turning left!).

If your vehicle 'shudders' to a stop...you are not 'de-clutching' early enough! Don't put you clutch in too early as you will lose you engine braking! This is a form of coasting and considered dangerous due to lack of control!

If you find you are continually 'mis-gearing' when changing down from 3rd to 2nd or 5th to 3rd, the usual problem is caused because you are not 'palming' the gears into position!!! Palming the gears is the traditional method of placing the hand on the gear-stick with a slight orientation so that the palm of your hand guides the gear-stick to the side of the gearbox in which your desired gear lies! Example: place your hand with your palm orientated towards the passenger seat when selecting 1st or 2nd gear and slightly toward you when selecting from 2nd to 3rd! Practice will help illiminate wrong gear changes!

When turning right or left from a main to side road, the highest gear you would normally use in this instance would be 2nd gear which assumes that it is clear and safe with no oncoming vehicles or pedestrians crossing the mouth of the junction into which you are turning! If on approach, you are travelling in say fourth gear, you do not usually need to go from 4th down to 3rd down to 2nd gear! You can just drop your gears say from 4th down to 2nd; missing out 3rd! This is quite normal and is usually called 'block changing'! You MUST however, have controlled and adjusted your speed such that when you select 2nd gear, the speed is correct for the gear!!!!
By selecting 2nd gear, you will find that the engine braking will hold you back as you negotiate the turn and, allow you to accelerate as you straighten p your vehicle!

Never accelerate while negotiating a (a left turn in particular) turn until you are straightening your vehicle up! By accelerating too early, the vehicle will swing out of your intended steering line and could cause serious danger!

If you find you are continually stalling the engine, the causes are usually: letting the clutch up too quickly just as you are moving off! Be very 'sparing' with the amount of clutch you give it! Don't drop your revs just as you move off! To move off smoothly, you should start by increasing the speed of the engine (slightly) and when you feel the clutch beginning to engage, the engine revs should begin to drop....at this point increase the revs a little more and increase the clutch very sparingly indeed! Always remember....lead with engine revs!!! A major and, the most common cause of stalling is due to the driver 'keeping their heel on the floor' when releasing the clutch! DO NOT keep your heel on the floor!!! By all means, keep your heel down low, but, you should have an air space between your heel and the floor of the vehicle! Your ankle was never intended to articulate in this manner!

Keep to the left in normal driving! If you find that your vehicle is always towards the centre of the road, it's usually because you are looking down the white line in the centre of the road! Never do this!!! Always look down the centre of your lane and judge your position from the left edge/kerb!

Never, ever, go past traffic lights on green unless you have checked that it is clear to do so!!! Green DOES NOT mean go!...it means proceed if it is safe to do so!!! Always look out for people failing to stop at a red light or look out for emergency vehicles which often go through opposing lights on red! Remember, red lights and white paint will not stop someone from killing you!

When waiting to turn onto a major road from a side road, never assume that the driver of a vehicle approaching from the right displaying a left indicator signal, will turn into the junction from which you are emerging! Always wait to make sure! They may have forgotten to cancel the indicator from a previous manoeuvre or, they may be stopping just after your junction! Remember, if you emerge and an accident occurs, you will be held responsible!

Often, when selecting reverse gear, it will not select! In this case, put the lever back to the 'neutral' position and, let the clutch up and the press down again...This usually solves the problem of gear selection!

When approaching a bus which has stopped to set down passengers, the bus stops are often blocked by thoughtless motorists! Often the bus will be parked 'nose in' toward the kerb! As you approach, look for the drivers 'offside' mirror...if you can't see it..then the chances are that the driver can't see you!!! This holds for all commercial vehicles!

When passing stationary vehicles or obstructions such as refuse skips! Allow at least the width of a fully open car door from the obstruction!

When manoeuvring, never have your clutch up and your brake on at the same time! If the brake is on then the clutch should be down and vice versa! If you have both the clutch driving the vehicle and your brake on at the same time, it is counter-productive as one is trying to stop the vehicle and the other is trying to make it go! It causes sudden surges of speed when the brake is released and it also causes sudden stops!

Never assume that the other driver will always do the right thing...always expect the unexpected! Remember, just because you have priority, it does not mean that the other driver will give you your priority! Be prepared to give way and stay alive!!!

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