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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Driving test tips!

My first piece of advice is DON'T APPLY for your driving test until you know full well you are ready! It wastes time and money and you'll have to take it over and over again until you are ready!

So assuming that you are ready, here are a few tips to help you!

Make sure that if attending the test centre in your own car that it has an accessory mirror for the examiner to see behind!

The car is roadworthy, correctly insured and has a current tax disc and that the 'L' plates are clearly displayed!

You must take with you, your licence (both parts if it is the new photo-licence) otherwise the old paper licence (correctly signed) and theory pass certificate where appropriate! If you only have an older 'paper' licence, you will also need to take with you, some form of� accepted 'photo identification' (passport or signed photo etc:).


Your EYESIGHT must meet the current requirements as stated in the Highway Code! If not, the examiner will terminate the test on the spot! Make sure that if you wear spectacles, you have them with you!

Allow a few minutes to arrive before the allotted time, to make sure that you find a suitable parking space! Note!! You MUST go into the waiting room a few minutes before your test!

You will be required by the examiner to sign a declaration, stating that your car is appropriately insured and then, after checking your eyesight, the examiner will will invite you to get into your vehicle!

The Driving Test!

When the examiner gets into your vehicle, he will inform you that unless he states anything to the contrary, you should follow the road ahead (as marked) or alternatively, straight ahead at say a crossroad! DON'T sit there like a dummy expecting him to tell you where to go in these situations! Just read the road markings (choosing the appropriate lane if necessary) and get on with it!

Other terms he might use!!
If he/she asks you to 'take the next available (right or left) turn, it's obvious that at least one road is inaccessible, (usually because it is a no-entry) or they might say, 'take the second on the (right or left) this being the first' This usually because the junctions are close together! LISTEN carefully and should you not understand, ASK!!!

Tip: make sure that when approaching a roundabout that you read the sign and note where each exit is so that if you are asked for example, to take the 'third' exit at the roundabout, you know which position to take up!

He is not expecting to sit alongside the world's best driver! He only wants to make sure that you are safe and and reasonably competent and will continue to be safe when driving unaccompanied!

Driving along!

Be in the correct position on the road, travelling at the correct speed, in the correct gear, have good observations and signal when and where necessary!

Keep well to the left in normal driving!

DON'T get too close to stationary vehicles or obstructions as you are passing them!!! Beware of pedestrians stepping out!!!

Don't look down at your gears when driving along...it's DANGEROUS!
Don't hang back in lower gears rather than change up and down again! If you can't do that, why are you taking a test?
If you change into a wrong gear (2nd instead of 4th for instance)
..CORRECT it IMMEDIATELY! Don't just sit there!!!

Don't drive too slowly...maintain the flow that a reasonable driver would be expected maintain (NEVER drive that 'bit more carefully' because the examiner is in with you! Always read the road and anticipate the situation in good time and keep within the speed limit! On open roads (ie: those road sections subject to the appropriate 'National Speed Limit', try and get up this if safe to do so!!

Do NOT stop at every junction unless it is necessary!! Read the road, particularly roundabouts and filter in if at all possible!
Stopping at every junction will not impress the examiner..it will only get you marks for 'hesitancy' Of course, where the signs tell you to 'stop', you must do so!!! Usually, it will normally be necessary to also apply the hand brake! Again, at 'Give Way' junctions, only apply it if you're going to be there for a while or you're on a hill for instance!
Occasionally, you can 'ride' the clutch on a slope for a few seconds, instead of applying the hand brake, (as long as it isn't a 'Stop' junction!)� but I suggest that you should only use this for 2-3 seconds after which you should apply the hand brake as it does accelerate wear on the vehicle clutch!

When emerging from junctions,
make sure your observations are correct! When turning left from a side road onto a main road, make sure you look at least, right-left-right and if in doubt..STOP!!!
When turning right onto a main road, you should keep looking all the time and ,again, make sure it is safe to continue!


Only indicate where it will help another road user! Obviously you should ALWAYS indicate when turning right, left and on entering a roundabout (when turning right or left)� or left indicate when leaving roundabouts ( on mini roundabouts it is not usual to indicate off as they tend to be so small as to affect your steering)!� You don't have to for instance, indicate every time you pass a parked car! Use your head and ask yourself, 'will indicating help another road user ,' if not, it's usually ok not to bother! DON'T CONFUSE OTHER ROAD USERS! However, I suggest that whenever you are overtaking a cyclist (particularly on an open road, you should always indicate as the driver of a vehicle may not be able to see that there is a cyclist on the road and by not indicating, the following driver may collide with the cyclist! Also, indicating in this situation, helps oncoming drivers note that you are moving out! However, if in doubt, hold back until it is safe to overtake!
When waiting to move off from the side of the road, normally you should not indicate until the drivers approaching from the rear have reached you! It can make them think that you are about to pull off!!! NEVER move off until it is completely safe to do so!!!

ALWAYS indicate correctly and in 'GOOD TIME'.

Stopping and Moving Off

During your test, you will be invited, several times, to pull in on the left by the examiner; the examiner has good reasons for doing so, although it might seem to you, that there was no reason for doing so!
First, (when stopping) the examiner is checking to see that you are using your mirrors correctly ie: you check you mirror before you slow down� and, you act upon what you see! (not just going through the motions). If it will help another road user (ie: following driver, cyclist, or pedestrian) then indicate otherwise, it is not usually necessary!

When you go to move off! Not only should you check your mirrors and indicate (if necessary) , but you should also look carefully around over your shoulder (into your blind spot!). Failure to to the latter will most certainly get you a minor fault mark!

Emergency Stop, Reversing etc:

During your test, you will be expected to carry out two of the three manoeuvres you should have practiced and you may also be asked to carry out an emergency stop! (one in three candidates are asked to carry out this exercise).
The best way to carry out this exercise is to practice it in both wet and dry conditions wherever possible! ( the wheels will almost certainly lock earlier in wet conditions).
If asked to carry out this exercise, the examiner will tell you that when for instance along the next stretch of road, he gives you his signal, (he will show you), he wants you to stop the car under emergency conditions! Don't slam on the brakes when you see/hear his/her signal! Instead, brake quite firmly and only just before you bring the car to rest, should you disengage the clutch! By keeping the clutch up until just before you come to rest, you will take advantage of the 'engine braking' as well as the mechanical brakes! The vehicle should come to rest much more quickly and with a reduced risk of locking the wheels!
Keep both hands firmly on the wheel until the car has come to rest! Apply the hand brake and await further instructions!
When you go to move off again, check all your mirrors and over both shoulders as, you will usually be further away from the kerb than in a normal move off!


Reversing and Reverse Parking and Turning in the road.

When carrying out these manoeuvres, don't mess around but certainly do not rush!!!!!

When reversing, which is usually carried out by reversing round a corner to the left (you will normally be asked to reverse round a 'right hand corner' if taking your test in a commercial vehicle), The examiner will stop you before the junction, point out the junction and invite you carry out the exercise!
Keep looking round for other road users� (particularly pedestrians) and keep reasonably close to the kerb! You don't have to be scraping the kerb, just be reasonable; however, be SAFE and keep a look out for other road users all the time!!!
If you have got half way round a corner and a driver comes up close behind you, pull forward and start again!
If you get nearly round the corner and your vehicle is heading for the kerb,
DON'T sit there like a dummy!!! Stop, pull forward somewhat, straighten up and then continue back if and when safe to do so!
NEVER continue reversing as another vehicle is passing!
Try not to use your mirrors more than necessary! Look mainly through the rear and side windows!

With reverse parking, the system is the same; the examiner will point out a vehicle and ask you to reverse behind the vehicle into a space of about two vehicle lengths! Yours takes up one so, end up with no more than a vehicle length between your vehicles' bonnet and the proximal point of the one which you reversed behind! Observations should be similar to reversing!!! Always be aware of what is happening around you!
Try and finish with your wheels straightened up!

Turning in the road (often called a 'three point turn'): You do not necessarily have to complete it in three movements but, try to do so! Again, always keep a look out for other road users, complete it at a reasonable pace and don't over-react if another vehicle come close to you when carrying out this manoeuvre! If you're in the middle of the road, the other vehicle usually can't get past until you've completed this part of the exercise so DO NOT panic! Continue on until you've got sufficiently close to the kerb and then see what happens! If they wait for you, get on with it, otherwise, wait until they drive past and then continue!
Often, the candidate will fail because of improper observation! Look behind you between the front seats when you are reversing and, as is often the case, the examiner will ask you to 'drive on' as you complete the third (or fifth) part of the exercise! Make sure before you drive on, that you check your mirrors before continuing!

Dealing with other road users!!

Remember, pedestrians have right of way at all times over any other type road user!!! They are the most vulnerable (together with cyclists).
Also, pedestrians may not be drivers so you must ALWAYS give priority to them! Watch out particularly for elderly and the young. These are the most unpredictable of all road users!
Give them lots of room and never expect, as with other drivers, that they will do the right thing!

Remember, cyclists and pedestrians move slowly but change direction very quickly!!!

When overtaking cyclists, be careful to give them clearance about the width of a modest car and don't follow too close to them! never follow more closely to them than you would another vehicle!

Try and anticipate the actions of other road users and think 'WHAT IF'!!! Most difficult situations are predictable!!!! Ignore the signs at your peril!

Use of Mirrors!

Use your mirrors well before you: change speed (speeding up or slowing down), stopping or moving off and before you change direction (overtaking or changing direction) and before you indicate!

NEVER change speed before checking your mirror(s): (someone may be following closely or overtaking you!)

Never overtake or change direction before checking your mirror(s)!

When turning right from a main road to a side road, always check finally before you turn as, someone may have begun to overtake and you may have to abort the right turn!

When turning left from a main road to a side road particularly in town, check your near side mirror just before you begin to turn as, there may be a cyclist coming up on your near side!

When leaving roundabouts, check your near side mirror before you move to your left as, another road user may be pulling alongside you! In this case you may have to abandon� your planned exit and go round again! It's safer than having an accident!

Tip: Normally, except in emergencies, you should never apply the brakes without having checked the mirrors first!!!

The above is an example of what is available to my students.

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