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
I hope the contents will be of use to
you and help improve your driving!
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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
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
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
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
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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