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Contents 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32.  

Cockpit Drill Foot Controls Hand Controls The Clutch Use of Mirrors Use of Signals Moving Off Safely Stopping Normally Steering Changing Gears MSPSGL Emergency Stop Approaching Junctions Emerging at Junctions Crossing Traffic Meeting Clearance & Traffic calming Keeping a Safe Space Crossroads Roundabouts Traffic Signals & Pedestrian Crossings Traffic Signals & Pedestrian Crossings Traffic Signals & Pedestrian Crossings Lane Discipline Dual Carriageways Reverse Parking Left Reverse Turn in the Road IPSGA IPSGA Brake Gear Overlap Show Me Tell Me Q&A Show Me Tell Me Q&A  

Cockpit Drill If you are sitting in the car and cannot comfortably reach and operate all the controls, you won’t be able to get the car moving properly. The Cockpit Drill is a sequence of actions that you should carry out each time you sit behind the steering wheel. It is easily remembered as ‘DSSSM’.

Seatbelt •

Fasten your seatbelt. It is a legal requirement. Make sure that your passengers fasten theirs. The driver is responsible for seatbelts wearing by children under 14 years of age.

The lap part of the seatbelt should be as low as possible over the hips and the diagonal part on the chest and over the shoulders.

Adjust height for the diagonal strap so that it lies in contact with the shoulder away from the neck.

The letters stand for:


Doors Make sure your door is closed; check that all other doors are closed.

Take special care if you are carrying children. Activate child locks if your car has them.

If you are in doubt get out and check.

Mirrors •

Check the state (cleanliness) and position of all three mirrors. Adjust them for maximum view.

With the left hand, adjust the interior mirror so that you can see as much as possible through the rear windscreen especially to the off side, without moving your head. Try not to touch the glass.

Door mirrors should show a slice of the car down the edge and be angled so you can see as far down the side as possible. They should not be pointing down at the road nor should they be pointing up at the sky.

Some cars have convex mirrors; these give a wider view but can make vehicles appear further away than they actually are.

Seat •

Position your seat so you can reach all the controls comfortably.

If your seat can be moved up and down adjust it until you have a good view of the road ahead.

Move your seat forwards or backwards so that you can fully depress the clutch pedal while not over stretching your left leg.

Steering •

Check that you are able to move your hands comfortably and freely around the steering wheel.

There should be a slight bend in the elbows when holding the wheel.

If you are too close or have to stretch, make adjustments to the backrest.


Check that your head restraint is as high as your eyes or top of your ears. This will reduce the risk of neck and spine injuries in the event of a collision.

Carry out the cockpit drill before every trip for the safety of yourself, your passengers and other road users.

© 2009 Tim Sheeran Learner Driving Tuition

Foot Controls When driving you use the pedals to control the speed and power of your vehicle, manual transmission vehicles have three pedals • • •

Accelerator Brake Clutch

Vehicles with automatic transmission have no clutch pedal. The function of the foot controls needs to be understood so that you can operate the vehicle properly while driving. The controls should be used smoothly and correctly.

The accelerator (gas pedal) • • • •

This is the pedal on the right. It is operated by the right foot. Rest your heel on the floor and use the ball of foot and toes. It is used to build up speed.

• • •

• •

The clutch • •

This is the pedal on the left. It is operated with the left foot.

Disconnects the link between the engine and the wheels. It is used for o Moving the car away o Changing gears o Stopping the car without stalling Press the clutch pedal fully down using a firm movement. Bring the pedal up slowly and smoothly. Release the clutch fully once you have moved off. Avoid resting your foot on the pedal, as this can cause unnecessary wear to the clutch.

• • • •

It is very sensitive, therefore needs smooth operation. The more you press the accelerator, the more fuel goes to the engine. When moving off you need just the right amount. Too little and the engine stalls. Too much, and the car can surge forward. Never press it fully to the floor.

It is used to slow down or stop the vehicle. Use it progressively. Start braking gently at first, and then gradually increase the pressure to reduce speed. Gently release the pressure as you reach your target speed (or just before the car stops). When the brake pedal is depressed brake lights come on at the rear. After you have stopped avoid keeping your foot on the brake pedal too long.

• •

The footbrake •

This is the middle pedal.

• • •

It is operated by the right foot. Operates on all four wheels.


© 2009 Tim Sheeran Learner Driving Tuition

Hand Controls Before you learn to drive you should familiarize yourself with all the controls. Whilst driving, you should not need to look for them. Your eyes should be on the road.

Gears •

• •

Normally to the left of the driving seat. Most cars have five forward gears and a reverse gear. Lower gears have more power and higher gears have more speed. Selecting the right gear for the right speed allows you to make efficient use of the engine power. Avoid ‘gripping’ the gear lever tightly. Use the ‘palming method’ when selecting gears. Avoid looking down at the gear lever. Your eyes should be on the road.

Parking brake (handbrake) •

• • • •

This is normally floor mounted just behind the gear lever. Use it to secure the car once it has stopped. Operates on the rear wheels. It should not be used when the car is moving. To apply, push the button in and pull up lever. To release, pull up slightly and push button in, lower lever to floor.

The indicators •

The steering wheel is used to turn the front wheels when changing direction. For best control place your hands in the, ‘ten to two’ or ‘quarter to three’ position.


The indicator switch is usually mounted on a stalk to the left or right of the steering wheel. Operate indicator switch by moving it the same direction as the steering wheel turns for the manoeuvre. The switch is designed for fingertip control.

Ignition (and starter) • •

Usually positioned on the steering column. Before operating the switch make sure that the parking brake is on and gear lever is in neutral. Turn the key to start the vehicle, and release it as soon as the engine starts.

Other controls The position of some of the other controls varies from vehicle to vehicle. Get familiar with these controls before driving. These include: •


Hold the steering wheel firmly, but not too tightly. Apply pressure with your palms and thumbs rather than gripping with your fingers. Feed the wheel toward the direction you want to turn (use ‘pull and push’ method). Avoid turning the steering wheel when the vehicle is stationary (dry steering).

Sidelights, headlights, fog lights, hazard warning lights, windscreen washers and wipers, horn, heated windscreen and rear window. Instrument panel and warning lights.

© 2009 Tim Sheeran Learner Driving Tuition

The Clutch In its simple form the clutch is made up of two plates. One is connected to the engine and the other to the gearbox. When you press the clutch pedal, the two plates are forced apart.

But remember, occasionally, you might stall the engine. Good clutch control comes with practice and is essential for safe and easy driving. Be patient if you cannot get it right straight away.

When in neutral, the plates are touching, but the wheels do not turn as no gear is engaged.

Don’t get frustrated it’s all part of the learning process.

The ‘biting point’

The point of engagement when the two plates make contact and meet is known as the ‘biting point’. Being able to judge the biting point is an important part of clutch control. The feel of the clutch varies with different vehicles. Also, as the clutch plates wear, the biting point changes.

Slipping the clutch To achieve clutch control • •

• • •

• •

Set the right amount of gas (some cars will move without gas). Lift the clutch pedal up to the ‘biting point’.

Hold pedals steady. Release the parking brake. If the vehicle starts to move press clutch down slightly – this will stop the movement (unless you are facing downhill). If the vehicle does not move lift the clutch up slightly. The movement of the clutch pedal should not be more than the thickness of a coin.

You will need a lot of practice. After which clutch control will come naturally.


© 2009 Tim Sheeran Learner Driving Tuition

Use of mirrors Function • • •

To give you a view of the road behind and to the sides. To provide an update of what’s around the vehicle. To help you make safe and sensible decisions.

Which mirror to use

Is the manoeuvre safe?

Useful tips • •

Use your mirrors well before your intended action. Getting into the habit of using the routine will help you to progress towards becoming a safe driver. Avoid staring at the mirrors; several quick glances will allow you to build up a picture of the traffic situation all around without distracting you from the road ahead. If your mirrors are correctly adjusted, you will be able them with minimal head movement.

Blind spots • •

Link the use of mirrors to the manoeuvre you intend to make. Use your mirrors in pairs, the centre mirror first and then the appropriate door mirror. This will give you a wider field of view. Use of exterior mirror will depend on the manoeuvre and the situation.

You cannot see everything in the mirrors. There are blind spots which you will need to check in addition to your mirrors. These are the areas between what you see as you look forward and what you see in your mirrors and areas obscured by the bodywork of the vehicle.

When to use your mirrors

Use your mirrors before doing anything that might affect other road users, such as: • • • • • • • • •

Moving off Signaling Changing speed Changing direction/lane Turning left or right Overtaking Opening your car door Approaching a hazard Stopping

As well as using your mirrors, always check your blind spots before you move off. When you are on the move, there may be occasions when you need to check your blind spots. A quick sideways glance should be sufficient.

After using mirrors

Assess the situation behind you and ask yourself: • • •

How close is the following traffic? How fast is it moving? What is it doing?


© 2009 Tim Sheeran Learner Driving Tuition

Use of signals Different ways to signal

Signals can be given in a variety of ways:

Purpose of signaling

The purpose of signaling is to: •

• •

• •

• •

Direction indicators – the most common way to signal your intentions. o Right indicator – to show that you intend to move out to the right or turn right o Left indicator – to show that you intend moving to the left or turning left Arm signals – when indicators fail or when emphasis is necessary.

Brake lights – to let others know that you are applying the brakes. Horn – to let others know of your presence. Don’t use between 11:30pm and 7:00am or while stationary at any time, unless a moving vehicle creates danger. Headlights – use in much the same way as the horn to warn other drivers of your presence. Reverse lights – to let others know that you are reversing or intend to reverse. Hazard warning lights – to warn following drivers on high speed roads in emergency situations where you have to slow down rapidly. Vehicle position Fog lights


• •

To let others know of your intention. Help other road users and pedestrians.

When to signal

Signal in good time before: • • •

Turning right or left Overtaking another vehicle Changing lanes

A signal should be properly timed. You should cancel your signal after use. Signaling too late or too early can cause confusion to other road users.

Unnecessary signals

A signal may not be necessary if there is no one to benefit from it. Make certain signal is necessary before: • • •

Moving off Pulling up Passing stationary vehicles, when you can position early

It is very important not to: • • •

Signal carelessly Wave pedestrians across the road Mislead other road users by giving the wrong signal

© 2009 Tim Sheeran Learner Driving Tuition

Moving off safely Starting the engine

Before starting the engine you should check that the handbrake is on and that the gear lever is in the neutral position. Turn the key to start the vehicle, and release it as soon as it starts (to avoid damaging the starter motor).

Look round again if necessary and keep an eye in your mirrors.

Moving off

Moving off is easy, as long as you follow a simple routine. Once you have, started the engine and prepared the car for moving you use the mirrors – signal - manoeuvre routine to move away. Use ‘prepare - observe - move’ to help you.

Prepare (get the car ready) •

Press the clutch pedal down

Move (manoeuvre) • •

• •

Select 1st gear (keep clutch pedal down). Set the gas to get a humming sound from the engine then hold it still. (This will ensure there is enough power to move).

Slowly and smoothly bring the clutch up until you can feel the ‘biting point’ and then keep both feet still.

• •

• • • •

When you are sure it is safe to move, release the handbrake. Using tight clutch control, release the clutch up a little more and gently move away steering slightly to the right to get into a safe driving position, about a metre from the kerb. Gradually press the gas pedal and let the clutch up smoothly. Bring the clutch up all the way and rest your foot by the pedal on the floor.

Check your mirrors as you start to move. Cancel signal if necessary. Gently press the gas pedal to pick up speed. Look well ahead.

Observe (mirrors, signal) • • • • •

Use your mirrors and look over your shoulders to check the blind spots. Decide if a signal is necessary Signal, if anyone will benefit and take your hand to the handbrake. The timing of the signal is important.


© 2009 Tim Sheeran Learner Driving Tuition

Stopping normally The routine for stopping is always the same, except in an emergency.

Stopping • • • • • •

• • • • • • • • •

Use mirror – signal – manoeuvre Check your mirrors to ensure it is safe. Look ahead to find a safe place to stop. Signal if necessary. Take your foot off the gas pedal to slow the engine down. Press the footbrake gently and progressively.

• •

• • •

Avoid parking opposite or within 10 metres of a junction, except in an authorised parking space. Do not block driveways. Keep both hands on the steering wheel, you can stop in the gear you are in. however your car should be in the right gear for the speed and conditions. Remember, double yellow lines mean ‘no waiting at any time’. Check ‘waiting permitted’ signs before parking on single yellow lines. Do not park at or near a bus stop.

Steer gently towards the kerb (looking well ahead as you do so). Get close to the kerb, but keep vehicle parallel. Ease off the footbrake to achieve a smooth stop. Press the clutch down just before the car stops. Keep your foot on the brake pedal. Finally, secure the car by applying the handbrake Select neutral Remove your feet from the pedals. Cancel the signal, if necessary.

Useful tips •

If the vehicle following you is too close, slow down more gradually so that you can avoid sudden braking. The amount of pressure you need to apply to the footbrake depends on your speed and how quickly you need to stop. It is better to stop a little short rather than overshoot. You can ease off the footbrake and allow the vehicle to run forward if required. If the road is narrow, avoid stopping opposite parked vehicles where there is a possibility of blocking the flow of traffic.


© 2009 Tim Sheeran Learner Driving Tuition

Steering accurately Steering a steady course

The important rule about steering which may not seem obvious is that you not only steer with your hands, but also with your eyes! Look well ahead, and not just under the bonnet. If you look at where you want to go, this tells your brain what to do with your hands, and helps you keep your road position. To maintain a steady course, hold the steering wheel at ten-to-two or quarter-to-three position and turn as necessary. Turn smoothly and never make sudden or jerky movements. You should scan the road ahead by keeping your eyes moving in order to make sure that no one else is aiming for the same space as you. Scanning the road will also help your brain with positioning and give you early warning of hazards that might be ahead.

Pull - push method

Avoid crossing your hands when turning the steering wheel; this can reduce your control. However, in some situations, such as manoeuvring at slow speeds, it is acceptable to use the ‘hand-over-hand’ method. Use the pull-push technique. This method ensures that you keep both hands in contact with the wheel. It will give you maximum control.

Useful tips • • • •

Avoid resting your arm on the door Grip the wheel firmly, but not tightly. Keep both hands on the wheel, unless you are operating another control. Avoid turning the wheel when the vehicle is stationary (dry steering). It can cause damage to the tyres and the steering mechanism. Try not to allow the wheel to spin back.

Never take both hands off the steering wheel whilst driving.

When turning feed the rim of the wheel through your hands. Feed the wheel back to straighten up after the turn. Vary your hand movement according to how much you want to turn. Look well ahead to help you avoid straightening up late.

Power assisted steering (PAS)

Most modern vehicles have power-assistedsteering. It is very useful at slow speeds such as manoeuvring. PAS makes it easier to steer. Be careful you don’t over turn, especially if you are used to driving a vehicle which is not fitted with PAS.


© 2009 Tim Sheeran Learner Driving Tuition

Changing gears Changing gears allows the driver to move the vehicle and build up speed. Working through the appropriate gears smoothly and easily is essential to good driving. Gear changing is a skill which requires good coordination between the hands, feet, eyes and ears. Take your time to assess the situation, and act accordingly.


The skills to learn are to know:


• • •

How to change gear. When to change gear. Which gear to select.

The layout of different gear levers may vary. In most vehicles the first 4 gears form the letter ‘H’ on the gear lever. Neutral is in the middle line in the ‘H’ formation. First • •

The gear giving the greatest power but the slowest speed. For moving off, manoeuvring and for creeping slowly forward in traffic and at junctions.

• •

Used for high speed cruising on dual carriageways, motorways, and other such open roads. Gives better fuel economy. Lowest power, highest speed.

A high powered gear used for driving backwards.

Neutral •

Disengages the engine from the wheels.

Useful tips • • •

Learn various positions of the gear lever. Use a light but firm touch when changing gears. Use the ‘palming method’ for selecting the correct gear (thumb down for 1 and 2, thumb up for 3 and 4).

Second • •

Used for slow speed situations such as roundabouts and junctions. For moving off down very steep hills, building up speed after moving off.

Third • • •

Used to build up speed when you need more power for climbing hills. Increases control when going down steep hills and dealing with some bends. Used where a greater degree of power is required than fourth will allow.

• • • • •

Never rush the gear changes. Keep your eyes on the road. Block change where appropriate. Vehicle should not be coasting in neutral. Gear lever should not be held longer than necessary.

Fourth •

For most driving situations generally at 30mph or higher, where there are no hazards to confront. Has low power but the greatest speed range.


© 2009 Tim Sheeran Learner Driving Tuition


(Hazard Drill / MSM Routine) The MSM routine is a system of driving to help deal safely with hazards. A hazard can be anything that will or may require you to change speed or position.

Mirrors • • • • •

Check mirrors as soon as you identify a hazard. Always check mirrors in pairs. Assess what you can see behind and to the sides. Check blind spots if necessary. Check as many times as may be necessary to help with any decision making.

Signal • • •

• •

Is a signal necessary. What type of signal is required. Will anyone benefit from a signal or will the signal mislead anyone, including pedestrians. Time the signal correctly. Remember to cancel the signal.

Gear • •

Always consider a gear change, although it may not be required. Make sure that the gear matches the speed of the car and the conditions of the road. Try to avoid changing gear whilst braking or negotiating hazards. (BGOL)

Look •

Keep observing and scan for information constantly during the MSM routine to ensure that it is safe to complete the manoeuvre. Always make a final check of mirrors and any necessary blind spots before turning, changing position or altering speed.

Position • •

What if any, position change is required. Position your vehicle for safety and to give you a better view in relation to the hazard. Is it safe to move position, and is the space you are aiming for empty.

Speed • • • •

Is there a need to alter speed in relation to the hazard. Assess what a safe speed would be. Use the brakes or accelerator smoothly and progressively Try to avoid braking or accelerating on bends or whilst negotiating hazards.


© 2009 Tim Sheeran Learner Driving Tuition

Emergency Stop In normal conditions, a good driver would always be on the lookout for hazards, so rarely have to stop in an emergency. However, a situation may arise that could not have been anticipated and as a result your only course of action might be to stop suddenly. Under these circumstances, you should be able to stop quickly under control. This is a very important skill which needs to be learnt, before moving on to busy traffic situations. The exercise should help you to discover your limitations and of your vehicle.

Stopping in an emergency •

Keep both hands on the steering wheel. When stopping quickly, all the weight is thrown forwards; this means that you need a firm grip on the steering wheel to maintain direction or correct skids.

Press the brake pedal before the clutch, to gain maximum stability. Use progressive braking and push the pedal harder as the vehicle slows down. Secure the vehicle after stopping by applying the handbrake and selecting neutral. Look all round before moving, not forgetting the MSM routine.

• •

steer, or the vehicle could start skidding in the opposite direction.


If your vehicle is fitted with ABS brakes, the system activates automatically under conditions of harsh braking. You will feel a pumping sensation through the brake pedal. Do not reduce the pressure on the brake pedal. Reducing the pressure or pumping the brake pedal will reduce the effectiveness of the system. Maintain brake pressure until you have safely avoided the hazard. Remember! ABS will help you stop safely. It should not be an excuse for driving carelessly. Even with ABS, there is a possibility of skidding because of surface water or loose road surface.


There is a possibility of skidding in this situation. The cause for this could be harsh use of the footbrake. If your vehicle is not fitted with ABS (anti-lock brake systems), and starts to skid, regain control by pumping (quickly releasing and then reapplying) the footbrake. If the car skids sideways, turn the steering wheel in the direction of the skid. Try not to over


© 2009 Tim Sheeran Learner Driving Tuition

are big enough to allow you to cross safely.

Approaching junctions Turning right or left Priority

Look for road signs and markings. Never assume priority if there are no signs or road markings. When turning left you have priority over oncoming vehicles turning right into the side road. When turning right oncoming traffic has priority over you. You must give way to any pedestrian crossing at the junction.


Mirrors: check your interior mirror and side mirror early to make sure it is safe to slow down and turn. Signal: signal in good time for other road users to recognize your intentions. Be careful not to give misleading signals.

Look: before turning you must make sure that it is safe. Look all around and make a final check in your mirrors.

Useful tips • • • • • •

Watch out for other vehicles, particularly motorcycles. Watch out for pedestrians and cyclists. Avoid BGOL (brake, gear overlap) whenever possible. After you have made the turn, check your mirrors, before you speed up. Make sure your signal has cancelled. Accelerate smoothly.

Position: for left turns you will normally maintain your safe driving position as close to the left as is safe to do so. For right turns you would normally position the vehicle just left of the centre of the road. If there is an area marked for turning right, position in that area making sure you are leaving space foe oncoming vehicles to pass safely. Speed & Gear: adjust your speed and select an appropriate gear to match the speed and power you need. Make sure that the gear is selected before you start to turn. If in doubt, continue to reduce speed until you are sure that you can safely negotiate the turn; then at that point select the gear that matches your speed. Ensure that you do not stop too far forwards when turning right otherwise you will not enough space to steer. Once you have stopped the gap needed will be bigger, therefore you should try to time your move to coincide with any oncoming gaps that



As your driving control skills develop, you can approach junctions using the advanced system of safe driving, IPSGA:

Information Observe & take – Use to plan – Give (signal as appropriate)

Position – Speed – Gear - Acceleration © 2009 Tim Sheeran Learner Driving Tuition

Junctions emerging Turning left and right The approach routine for emerging from a side road onto a major road is the same as when you want to turn into a side road. Early observation on approach is critical to determine whether you can emerge without stopping. •

An open junction is one where you have a clear view into the new road. A closed junction is one where your view is restricted.


(what you can see from your vehicle). It is determined by: o Buildings & hedges o Bends in the road o Moving and parked vehicles o Available light and the weather After you have made the turn: o Check your mirrors so you know what’s following you. o Speed up as you leave the junction (if it is safe to do so) o Make sure your signal has cancelled o Keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front

Useful tips

Look for road signs and markings. Vehicles on the major road have priority over you therefore you may need to slow down or stop to allow them to pass before you emerge. You must give way to any pedestrians crossing at the junction.

Use the MSPSGL routine

• • • • •

Look in the appropriate mirrors to see what’s behind. Signal in good time. Position vehicle correctly and in good time. Reduce speed. Be prepared to stop and give way to traffic on a major road. About a car length from the junction, depress the clutch fully down and select the correct gear to emerge on to the major road. Look in all directions at the earliest point from which you can see clearly. Keep looking as you slow down or stop if necessary, until you are sure it’s safe to enter the major road. Scanning the junction will help maintain your position on approach. Remember, the decision to wait or go depends largely on your zone of vision


If there is a vehicle approaching from your right, signaling to turn into the side road from which you are emerging, make sure that it is turning. The signal may have been left on by mistake. Watch for motorcycles that may be overtaking the vehicle turning left Always look for motorcycles and cyclists. Never assume priority if there are no road signs or markings. Take extra care – the other driver might assume they have priority.


As your driving control skills develop, you can emerge from junctions using the advanced system of safe driving, IPSGA:

© 2009 Tim Sheeran Learner Driving Tuition

Crossing traffic Situations that may involve crossing traffic include, turning right from a main road into a side road, emerging from a side road turning right on to a new road, going straight ahead at a crossroads and crossing dual carriageways. Your decision to proceed when crossing will depend on the size of the gap and the speed of the oncoming vehicle.

Useful tips • •

Never speed up to beat oncoming traffic. Use the ‘walk across’ rule as a guide. If you could safely walk across, then it is probably safe to drive across. If you are not sure – wait!

Use the MSPSGL routine on approach. • • •

• • •

• • • •

Look in the mirrors to check what’s behind. Signal in good time. Position of vehicle o Take up correct position early (it helps other drivers) o Position as close to the centre of the road as is safe, so that vehicles can pass on your left if there is room o Keep to the right hand side of the road in a one way street Slow down sufficiently and approach at a safe speed. Select the correct gear. Look, and watch out for oncoming vehicles, particularly motorcycles, cycles overtaking vehicles and vehicles wanting to emerge from the junction. Stop before you turn if in doubt about been able to cross the path of oncoming vehicles safely. Do not cross the centre line until you are sure you can enter the junction safely. Give way to pedestrians already crossing when you turn – they have priority. Steer sufficiently. Make sure you don’t cut the corner. After you have made the turn: o Check your mirrors o Speed up if it’s safe to do so o Make sure your signal has been cancelled


© 2009 Tim Sheeran Learner Driving Tuition

Meeting, clearance and traffic calming ‘Meeting traffic’ is a situation where the road is not wide enough for two vehicles to pass safely at their normal speed. The road could be narrow for a number of reasons. For example, parked cars, road works, narrow bridges, single track roads and traffic calming. As you approach a ‘meeting’ situation, your first job is to check your mirrors and reduce speed. Look well ahead for oncoming vehicles. Decide who has priority.

Normally, give way if the obstruction is on your side of the road. If the obstruction is on the other side, don’t assume you have priority. Be prepared to slow down or stop. Where possible, try to time your approach by slowing down so that you reach the narrow area when it is clear. However, if there are vehicles already in the narrow area, you will need to decide whether there is enough room to carry on, or if it would be better to stop. It may not be easy to make this decision. If you are not sure, keep slowing down and aim to stop. You should normally keep a distance of at least a metre from obstacles, if you reduce the gap – reduce the speed.

After giving way, check your mirrors, blind spot and look ahead. If someone flashes their headlights, make your own decision before proceeding. When you have entered the narrow area, proceed carefully. Notice any gaps in the parked cars, or any passing places on the left where you can pull in if needed. Do not hesitate unduly.

Narrow roads with passing places

Look well ahead and be prepared to stop. If you see an oncoming vehicle, pull into a passing place if it is on the left; wait opposite if passing place is on the right.

Take extra care if view ahead is restricted. If another driver wants to overtake, pull into or stop opposite a passing place.

Traffic calming

In housing estates it is becoming more common to find various types of traffic calming measures. The most common one is referred to as the ‘sleeping policeman’. This is simply a hump in the road. Normally the speed limit in such an area would be 20 mph or less. You may also find other types of traffic calming measures such as extended causeways. These can be treated in much the same way as a parked car.

When giving way, try to position your vehicle nearer to the centre of the road and leave plenty of space between yourself and the obstruction, usually 2-3 car lengths. (This is known as the ‘hold back’ position). This will help drivers behind to realise that you are waiting to give way and not parking. It will also give you a good view of the road ahead and make it easier to proceed when there is a gap. Continuously monitor the situation all around.


© 2009 Tim Sheeran Learner Driving Tuition

Keeping a safe space Keeping a safe space around your vehicle will give you time to react when things take you by surprise. Ideally, you should leave a door’s width either side of your vehicle. This will give you time to react if someone suddenly opens a door or steps out from behind a parked car.

Other people need space around them in the same way that you need space around your vehicle

If the road is narrow and it is still practical to get through by leaving less than a car doors width, slow down. If you are not sure, stop and give way.

Respect the needs of others – everyone has a different perception of safe space You need to keep space to the sides to avoid: • • • • • •

Pedestrians Cyclists Horses Dogs Oncoming vehicles Other road hazards

You can control the space by constantly watching the road ahead and to the sides – a visual scan.

Leave plenty of space when passing cyclists, pedestrians or animals – these road users are vulnerable. Hold back behind cyclists until you can allow at least as much space as you would a car. Never commit yourself to a narrow gap unless you are absolutely certain that there is enough ‘room for error’ – the other driver may not judge the gap as well as you do. If there are children playing on the nearside footpath, check your mirrors and move out as far as is practical (or slow down in order to control the space to the left).


Some believe that they are immortal while others are clearly over-cautious

Space around your car gives you time to look, to think, to identify the risk and to react

It is better to have stopped when you could have gone, than to go when you should have stopped

© 2009 Tim Sheeran Learner Driving Tuition

Crossroads A crossroads is any location where one road crosses another. Crossroads can be marked or unmarked. The procedure is much the same as at any other junction. Assess the crossroads on approach, look well ahead and check for road signs and markings which might indicate priority.

Driving on the major road • • •

Look for road signs and markings. Check mirrors and adjust speed on approach. Watch for emerging traffic. Be careful of vehicles trying to cut across gaps.

Turning right • •

Get correct speed and position Look out for traffic on the major road you are joining as well as the road you are leaving. Check mirrors before you turn especially if you have had to wait.

Turning right if oncoming vehicle is also turning right

Approaching on a minor road If minor road opposite is clear: •

Treat as you would a T-junction.

If another vehicle is approaching from the minor road opposite:

• •

Determine the layout of the crossroads and road markings Assess what course the other driver decides to take by trying to get eye contact. Decide method (offside to offside or nearside to nearside).

Unmarked crossroads •

If you are turning left or going straight on. Proceed with caution making sure no vehicle from opposite is going to cross your path. If you are turning right and the other vehicle is turning left or going ahead, you should normally wait for the other vehicle to clear the junction before making your turn. If you are turning right and the other vehicle is turning right, try to make eye contact with the other driver to establish who should proceed as neither of you have priority.


• • •

Treat with extreme caution – never assume you have priority. Proceed only when you are sure it is safe to do so. Make your normal safety checks and including observation of the road ahead.

© 2009 Tim Sheeran Learner Driving Tuition

Roundabouts Priorities at roundabouts •

Normally, give priority to traffic approaching from your right. Keep moving if way is clear. In some cases traffic on the roundabout has to give way if directed by signs, road markings or traffic lights Check whether road markings allow you to enter the roundabout without giving way, if so proceed, but still look to the right before joining.

Approaching a roundabout

Take notice and act on, information such as traffic signs and lane markings. You should

• • • • • •

• • •

Remember there is less space to manoeuvre and less time to signal. No exit signal is normally required at mini roundabouts Beware of vehicles making U-turns

Double mini roundabouts

Treat each roundabout separately and give way to traffic from the right.

Multiple roundabouts

At some complex junctions there may be a series of mini-roundabouts at the intersections. Treat each mini-roundabout separately and follow the normal rules.

Use MSPSGL routine Decide early on exit you intend to take Give appropriate signal, and time signal correctly Get into the correct lane Adjust your speed and position to fit in with traffic Be aware of the speed and position of traffic around you

Exiting a roundabout • • • •

Check mirrors and blind spots before signaling to leave roundabout Signal as you pass the last exit before the one you intend to take Make sure it is safe to change position before exiting Re-check mirrors and blind spots before exiting, look for cycles and motorcycles before exiting

Mini roundabouts •

Approach in the same way as normal roundabouts. All vehicles must pass around the central markings except large vehicles physically incapable of doing so.


© 2009 Tim Sheeran Learner Driving Tuition

Traffic Signals & Pedestrian Crossings As you drive around you will encounter a range of pedestrian crossing, traffic light controlled junctions and other traffic flow control measures that use the traffic light system. All of the signals follow the same pattern of meaning.

Traffic Lights

Traffic lights have three lights which change in a set cycle. • • • • •

Red Red and Amber Green Amber Red

Green filter arrow

A green arrow in a traffic light means you can filter in the direction the arrow is pointing, even if the main light is not showing green.

Advance stop lines

At some traffic lights there are advance stop lines to allow cyclists to position themselves ahead of other traffic. Stop at the first white line. Do not encroach on the marked area, which is reserved for cyclists only. Allow cyclists time and space to move off when the lights change to green.

Box junction markings

Yellow criss-cross lines mark a box junction. Their purpose is to keep the junction clear by preventing traffic from stopping in the path of

What the colours mean. Red- stop and wait at the stop line. Red & Amber- stop and wait, don’t go until green shows. Green- proceed if safe to do so. Amber- stop, unless- you have already crossed the line or you’re so close to it that pulling up might cause an accident.

Approaching traffic lights

Approach green traffic lights as you would any other junction, keep your speed down and anticipate that the lights may change on approach. Don’t speed up to ‘beat the lights’. Be ready to stop, especially if the lights have been green for some time. This sign is often used on the approach to traffic lights. If you see it, be prepared for possible traffic queues ahead. Pay attention to lane markings and get into the correct lane in good time. Be ready to stop. You must always obey the signals, even if the lights are only temporary, for example, at roadworks. Even though you may have a green light indicating that you can proceed this does not change priorities with regards to oncoming vehicles.


crossing traffic. You must not enter a box junction unless your exit road is clear but you can enter the box when turning right and you are only prevented from doing so by oncoming traffic. If there’s a vehicle already on the junction waiting to turn right, you’re free to enter behind it and wait – providing that you won’t block any oncoming traffic wanting to turn right. If there are a number of vehicles waiting to turn, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to proceed before the traffic signals change.

If traffic lights fail

If traffic lights fail, proceed with caution. Treat the situation as you would an unmarked junction.

Level crossings

when red lights flash alternately, you must stop to give way to trains or emergency vehicles emerging from their depot. The amber light warns you that the red lights are about to show.

© 2009 Tim Sheeran Learner Driving Tuition

Traffic Signals & Pedestrian Crossings Pedestrian crossings

There are various types of pedestrian crossings giving people on foot certain rights of way, these crossings are safe only if drivers stick to the rules.

Types of crossings • • • • • •

Zebra crossings Pelican crossings Puffin Crossings Toucan Crossings Equestrian crossings Traffic light controlled crossings

Zigzag markings

The zigzag lines at crossings act as a warning that there is a pedestrian crossing ahead and mark an area where you must not park or overtake.

• •

Give yourself more time to stop if the road is wet or icy. Keep the crossing clear when queuing in traffic, stop before the crossing if you can see that you won’t be able to clear it.

Take extra care where the view of either side of the crossing is blocked by queuing traffic. Pedestrians may be crossing.

Always allow pedestrians plenty of time to cross, especially if they are elderly or disabled, and do not harass them by revving your engine or edging forward.

Watch for pedestrians who try to rush across at the last minute.

Never wave or gesture pedestrians to cross.

One or two crossings

Pelican crossings Straight - A pelican crossing that goes straight across the road is one crossing.

The driver and crossings

Some rules and advice apply to all types of crossing. •

You must not park: o On the crossing; this blocks the way for pedestrians. o Within the area marked by the zigzag lines; this obstructs both the pedestrians view of approaching vehicles and the approaching drivers view of the crossing.

You must not overtake: o The moving motor vehicle nearest the crossing. o The leading vehicle which has stopped.

Even if there are no zigzag lines, never overtake just before a crossing.


Staggered – if the crossings on each side of the central refuge are not in line, the crossings are separate. Zebra crossings The zebra crossing can be treated as two separate crossings when it is divided by a central refuge island.

© 2009 Tim Sheeran Learner Driving Tuition

Traffic Signals & Pedestrian Crossings cont.. Zebra crossings

Zebra crossings are identified by flashing yellow beacons on both sides of the road and black and white stripes on the crossing. Always anticipate the arrival of pedestrians at the crossing and be prepared to stop. Take particular care with children, elderly and the disabled.

crossings there is a bleeping sound to indicate to blind or partially-sighted people when the steady green figure is showing.

Puffin crossings

Puffin crossings have sensors that determine when the crossing is clear. The signal to change from red, to red/amber, and then to green is automatically triggered as the crossing becomes clear.

Where pedestrians are waiting on the pavement at a zebra crossing and obviously want to cross, slow down and stop to let them cross.

Toucan crossings

Toucan crossings work in exactly the same way as Pelican crossings except that they are also designed to be used by cyclists and there is no flashing amber phase. Cyclists are allowed to ride across these crossings. You should stop if you can do so safely, especially • •

If anyone is waiting on the pavement with a pram or pushchair If children or the elderly are hesitating to cross because of heavy traffic

You must give way to anyone who • •

is already on the crossing has stepped onto the crossing

Pelican crossings

Pelican crossings are light controlled, where the pedestrian uses push-button controls to control the traffic. Unlike other pedestrian crossings, Pelican crossings have a flashing amber phase which requires you to give way to pedestrians on the crossing. However, if the crossing is clear you can proceed. At some pelican


Traffic light controlled crossings

A pedestrian crossing can be incorporated into a normal set of traffic lights. It is still operated by a push button and the crossing area is clearly marked by two rows of. When the lights change to green you must watch carefully for pedestrians still using both crossings before you proceed.

Equestrian crossings

equestrian crossings are for horse riders and may be alongside those for pedestrians and cyclists.

School crossing patrol

The flashing lights on the warning sign inform drivers that a school crossing patrol is ahead. Keep your speed down so you’re ready to slow down or stop, if necessary. © 2009 Tim Sheeran Learner Driving Tuition

Lane discipline Always follow road markings because they • •

Make the best possible use of road space They guide traffic

Position yourself in good time

Position your vehicle according to whether you intend to go straight, turn left or turn right: • • •

To turn left, keep to the left hand lane. To turn right, keep to the right hand lane unless there are obstructions. To go straight ahead, get guidance from signs and road markings. If there are no markings, select appropriate position, normally left in good time. If you find yourself in the wrong lane, don’t cut across other drivers at the last minute. Check your mirrors and signal in good time before changing lanes.

Driving ahead • •

Keep to the left hand lane where possible Don’t use the right hand lane just because you are travelling at speed

Bus and cycle lanes • •

These are separate lanes shown by signs or road markings Do not enter these unless permitted by signs

Changing lanes

Follow road markings and get into the correct lane as soon as possible. Watch out for other vehicles changing lanes suddenly. • • • •

Never weave from lane to lane. Never straddle two lanes. Never change lanes at the last minute. Stay in the middle of your lane until you need to change.

In heavy and slow moving traffic – don’t • • • • •

Change lanes suddenly Keep changing lanes Straddle lanes or lane markings Weave in and out Obstruct ‘KEEP CLEAR’ markings

Allow for • • • •

Pedestrian crossings Cyclists moving up the nearside Large vehicles needing to straddle lanes before turning Doors opening


© 2009 Tim Sheeran Learner Driving Tuition

Dual carriageways Emerging onto a dual carriageway

To turn left, if there is a slip road - use MSPSGL. Glance sideways to verify the position of other vehicles and try to avoid stopping at the end of the slip road unless there are queues.

After joining • • • •

Check mirrors Cancel signal Drive in the left hand lane Safely speed up to match new road

Turning from a dual carriageway Turning left - if there is a slip road – use MSPSGL. • • • • •

Signal your intention to join Make sure you can be seen Assess the speed of traffic on the carriageway Don’t force your way in Never drive along the hard shoulder

• • •

You will need to be in the left hand lane to move into the slip road Get into the left hand lane in plenty of time Plan well ahead, particularly on three or four lane carriageways

Turning left - if there is no slip road – use the same procedure you would for turning left into a side road.

To turn left - if there is no slip road – emerge as you would to turn left onto a major road. To turn right – you need to cross the first carriageway before you can join the carriageway you want.

Turning right – the central reservation sometimes has gaps for turning right. Take care when crossing the path of traffic in two or more lanes. • • • •

• • • •

Use MSPSGL and get into right-hand lane early Signal much earlier than you would on an ordinary road Observe lane markings Reduce speed in good time

Assess the central reservation to see if it is wide enough to protect your vehicle If it is wide enough, cross the first carriageway and wait If it is not wide enough, don’t begin to cross until both directions are clear Don’t emerge unless you are sure


© 2009 Tim Sheeran Learner Driving Tuition

Reverse Parking You will find that it is better to reverse into a parking bay; as opposed to driving in. it will be easier and safer to drive out forwards rather than reverse out.

Reversing into a bay • •

• •

Stop at right angles to the bay, about 12 metres from the end of the white lines. Line up one of the white lines with the door mirror (or steering wheel), observe all round, move back slowly and steer fully to the left. Turning from this point should bring your vehicle into the third bay. Keep reversing slowly and when the vehicle is parallel to the white lines, steer to the right to straighten up the wheels. When the front wheels are inside the bay, stop. Remember to keep observing all round during the manoeuvre and especially before you turn the wheel.

• •

• •

• •

Prepare to move off in reverse. Apply handbrake (if necessary). Observe all round and make sure it’s safe.

Move off in reverse looking over left shoulder. Begin steering one full circle to the left from the point the two vehicles are approximately level. When nearside door mirror is in line with corner of stationary vehicle, turn steering one turn right to straighten wheels. When the rear of the car is approximately 0.5 metres from kerb, turn full lock to the right whilst having a quick look over your right shoulder. Once your vehicle is parallel to the kerb, straighten up wheels. Finish reasonably close to the kerb with wheels straight.

Parallel parking

For this manoeuvre you will be expected to reverse and park behind a parked vehicle. The space you are allowed to use is 1.5 to 2 car lengths. •

Stop parallel and about 1metre away from the parked vehicle you wish to reverse behind. Pull up level with or slightly further ahead than the stationary vehicle.


© 2009 Tim Sheeran Learner Driving Tuition

Left Reverse Before you carry out this manoeuvre the examiner will ask you to stop just before the junction you are going to reverse into. Do your normal safety checks before moving off. You will then drive the turning, stop, and reverse around the corner. • •

• •

• • •

Move off safely As you drive past the junction, check to see that it is safe to carry out the manoeuvre. Using the mSM routine stop on the left when you are about 2-3 car lengths past the junction. Position the vehicle so you are approximately 12” (35cm) away and parallel to the kerb with the wheels straight. Look all round checking both blind spots, and when it is safe to move off, look over your left shoulder and note where the kerb crosses the rear window. Move off by reversing in a straight line towards the junction taking regular looks all round. Pause and look round before turning the steering left to follow the kerb around the corner. Half way round the corner look all round again. As the kerb comes back on the same point on the rear window as it was when you moved off, steer right keeping the kerb in that position. Reverse in a straight line, taking regular looks all round. Stop when you are approximately 3-4 car lengths into the junction. Try not to stop across a driveway.

any steering adjustments you may need to take. Avoid over using door mirrors whilst reversing.

Look out for and be prepared to wait for pedestrians crossing the road behind you

Watch for vehicles approaching from any direction and be prepared to wait

Notes: • •

Never reverse from a side road onto a main road. Be prepared to drive forward back to the start position if a vehicle comes up close behind you whilst reversing into the side road. Keep your speed slow to allow plenty of time for observations and to help with


Assess the manoeuvre before starting, hills, road camber, width of road, angle of corner

© 2009 Tim Sheeran Learner Driving Tuition

Turn in the road The examiner will stop you at the side of the road and ask you to turn the car around to face the opposite direction. You will do this using forward and reverse gears in as fewer moves as possible, normally three, but five is acceptable on narrower roads. • • • •

• •

• •

• • •

Stop on the left avoiding any trees or lamp posts near the kerb. Look all round before moving. When safe, slowly move off steering fully to the right. When front wheels are about 1 metre from the kerb, steer to the left and stop about 30cm from the kerb. Apply the handbrake and prepare to move off in reverse. Look all round and move off looking over your left shoulder completing any left steering. When you are at the centre of the road, look over your right shoulder. When rear wheels are about 1metre from the kerb, steer to the right and stop about 30cm from the kerb. Apply the handbrake and prepare to move off in 1st gear. Look all round and if road is clear move off completing the right steering. Steer to the left to straighten up and take up normal driving position while checking mirrors.


Notes: • •

• • •

Keep watching for approaching traffic. When vehicles approach, make eye contact and decide what the other driver intends to do. Never wave other drivers to pass. Keep the vehicle moving slowly, steer quickly. Avoid turning the steering when the vehicle is not moving (dry steering). Be prepared to complete the manoeuvre in five rather than strike the kerb attempting to complete in three.

© 2009 Tim Sheeran Learner Driving Tuition

IPSGA System of car control

the driver can identify the tightest one and concentrate more on that one in order to negotiate them all successfully and safely.

What is the System of Car Control?

By bringing the observations from far to near, students can plan how to deal with hazards more systematically, rather than simply moving from one to the next and so on.

The System as it is more commonly known is the Holy Grail of Advanced Driving. It is what everyone should strive to perfect in their own manner and style. Of course, there is no such thing as the perfect driver, but the better someone can use the system, the better a driver they will be. In short, the system is described by IPSGA. And, is described in detail in ‘Roadcraft, The Essential Police Driver's Handbook’. There are a number of guidelines about Advanced Driving, but IPSGA is recognised as the best and is outlined below.

IPSGA - The System of car control Or just “The System” – this is the accepted way to drive not just accepted by LetsLearn2drive or Drive2StayAlive this is the way the police train their drivers. For pursuit they have a few extra adaptations but we’re not going to be looking at that.

Try this: Instead of looking ten yards in front of your car, ask yourself: • • •

Don’t just concentrate on the road ahead. Look to your left and right. Try and assess where the road is going and what type of hazard you may come across. Next time you are driving on the open road: • •

This is a set way of handling hazards and consists of five sections; • • • • •

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Information Position Speed Gear Acceleration

In order to avoid and negotiate hazards, drivers always need to be: • •

What hazards lie in the far distance? What hazards lie in the middle distance? What hazards lie immediately around you?

As you approach a bend, look beyond the bend to see if there are any hazards on the road. Look for houses which must have a junction; tighter bends; bridges or tunnels which are narrow and cause vehicles to be in the middle of the road - don’t just drive or ride blindly into the bend. Plan your drive beyond the bend and give yourself time to react - you will react much quicker to an event that you have anticipated.

You may not notice a difference every time, but one day it may just give you a glimpse of something that you have to avoid.

seeking information in order to plan their driving Providing information whenever other road users could benefit from it.

Observe the road ahead, anticipate any hazards on that road, order the hazards in importance and decide how to deal with the situation ahead. By looking at the furthest point along a road, the driver can identify all the hazards and prioritise them. For example, in a series of bends,


© 2009 Tim Sheeran Learner Driving Tuition

IPSGA Information

This is the part of the system that should constantly be assessed throughout the entire process of car control. Advanced driving involves taking, using and giving information quickly and effectively; without information the system of car control will not work! Take Information: Checking the mirrors, looking ahead and to the side. Look for: • • • • • •

Road & weather conditions Road signs & markings Other vehicles Pedestrians Vulnerable road users Hazards

Use information: Deciding an action plan and anticipating risks. Use: • • •

Knowledge of road procedures. Previous experience. Knowledge of Highway Code, regulations and the law.


Use of accelerator and brake to ensure your speed is appropriate to any hazards you encounter. You will notice this stage of the system overlaps with gears – used to avoid skidding by effective use of engine braking. • •

Slow down in plenty of time Use smooth progressive braking and acceleration


Matching the correct gear to your speed, taking account of gradient, engine power and emerging situation. • • •

Avoid changing gear whilst turning. Select the gear just before you need to apply the gas. Try to avoid overlapping the brake and the gear change (BGOL)


Once a hazard has been passed make sure you are ready to accelerate to maintain progress, focusing on good acceleration sense.

Give Information: After anticipating, decide who needs to see your intentions and manoeuvres. • • • • •

Is any signal necessary Who would benefit Could a signal mislead others What type of signal When should signal be applied


Make sure you position yourself effectively to pass hazards and acquire an optimum view of a situation. • •

Position as early as possible Is it safe to alter position


© 2009 Tim Sheeran Learner Driving Tuition

Brake/Gear Overlap (BGOL) Some think that if they press the clutch whilst braking they are either guilty of BGOL and /or COASTING. This difficulty arises when approaching hazards requiring a significant drop in speed such as at roundabouts or junctions. This can lead to a ragged approach to the hazard because the engine complains as the road speed drops. Let’s be clear that this is neither good for the vehicle nor the safety of the drive. Use of the System (of car control) is not meant to be overly pedantic; some amount of theoretical BGOL is acceptable. Drivers should press the clutch when the engine tells the student it is needed even if they are braking. A practical interpretation of the System (of car control) would be; not to avoid depressing the clutch but to avoid changing gear while braking. Obviously you judge the approaching hazard and once you have slowed, change down into the relevant gear required to get you through the hazard. Changing down from 4th automatically to say 3rd would be deemed to be in contravention of the System and inevitably picked up by an Examiner. To clarify matters further coasting as defined in the Highway Code does indeed mean travelling in neutral or with the clutch pressed down. Referring to the DSA Official Theory Test for car drivers however confirms that

will allow you to just take the ‘edge’ off the clutch rather than fully disengaging it as you slow, so further reducing the point where the car would otherwise surge and complain: the clutch is still partially engaged so you are not coasting. If you use a sustained rev gear change, which is an art in itself, then there are usually no problems - if for no other reason than your right foot has to come off the brake and be placed on the accelerator. This means you change gear only after you have finished braking i.e. no BGOL. Why does proper use of the System require you to minimise or avoid BGOL? Well it allows you to keep both hands on the wheel while slowing down with improved steering control. It allows you to have the right foot available for the accelerator to match engine speed to road speed before re-engaging the drive in the new gear. It also lets you complete your braking early with an extra margin of safety and simplifies the use of the controls so you are not doing too many things at once. To carry it out efficiently it requires you to hone your observation and planning skills which can only be a good thing. For the L test it's not important but if you are having Advanced Driving tuition then avoiding brake/gear overlap (or BGOL as it's known) is essential.

“You’ll coast a little every time you change gear. This can’t be avoided, but it should be kept to a minimum”. So as long as you minimise the time the clutch is depressed (i.e. ensure you time the depression of the clutch to the point the vehicle requires it rather than doing it too soon) this action is fine. Most cars will happily take 4th gear down to almost single mph figures with accurate attention to clutch control. Only when almost or actually stopping should you need to dip the clutch right to the floor. Skilful clutch control


© 2009 Tim Sheeran Learner Driving Tuition

Show me tell me questions Show Me Q: Show me how you switch your headlight from dipped to main beam and explain how you would know the main beam is on whilst inside the car

A: Operate switch (with ignition or engine on if necessary), check with main beam warning light ___________________________________________________________________ Q: Show me how you would check that the direction indicators are working.

A: Applying the indicators or hazard warning switch

and check functioning of all indicators. (may need to switch ignition on, prompt not to start engine) ___________________________________________________________________

Q: Show me how you would check that the brake

lights are working on this car. (I can assist you, if you need to switch the ignition on, please don't start the engine)

A: Operate brake pedal, make use of reflections in

windows, garage doors, etc, or ask someone to help. (may need to switch ignition on, prompt not to start engine) ___________________________________________________________________

Q: Show me / explain how you would check that the power assisted steering is working before starting a journey.

A: If the steering becomes heavy the system may not

Q: Show me how you would check that the horn is working (off road only).

A: Check is carried out by using control (turn on

ignition if necessary). ___________________________________________________________________

Q: Show me how you would clean the windscreen using the windscreen washer and wipers

A: Operate control to wash and wipe windscreen

(turn ignition on if necessary. ___________________________________________________________________

Q: Show me how you would set the demister controls

to clear all the windows effectively, this should include both front and rear screens

A: Set all relevant controls including; fan,

temperature, air direction / source and heated screen to clear windscreen and windows. Engine does not have to be started for this demonstration ___________________________________________________________________

Q: Show me how you would switch on the rear fog

light(s) and explain when you would use it/them. (No need to exit vehicle)

A: Operate switch (turn on dipped headlights and ignition if necessary). Check warning light is on.

Explain use. Only use when visibility is seriously reduced ___________________________________________________________________

be working properly. Before starting a journey two simple checks can be made.

1: Gentle pressure on the steering wheel, maintained while the engine is started, should result in a slight but noticeable movement as the system begins to operate. 2: Alternatively turning the steering wheel just after moving off will give an immediate indication that the power assistance is functioning. ___________________________________________________________________

Q: Show me how you would check the parking brake (handbrake) for excessive wear, make sure you keep safe control of the vehicle

A: Apply footbrake firmly. Demonstrate by applying

parking brake (handbrake) so that when it is fully applied it secures itself, and is not at the end of the working travel. ___________________________________________________________________


© 2009 Tim Sheeran Learner Driving Tuition

Show me tell me questions….cont Tell me

Open Bonnet & Identify

Q: Tell me how you would check that the brakes are working before starting a journey.

Q: Identify where the windscreen washer reservoir is and tell me how you would check the windscreen washer level.

A: Brakes should not feel spongy or slack. Brakes should be tested as you set off. Vehicle should not pull to one side. ___________________________________________________________________ Q: Tell me where you would find the information for

the recommended tyre pressures for this car and how tyre pressures should be checked.

A: Manufacturer’s guide, use a reliable pressure gauge,

check and adjust pressures when tyres are cold, don’t forget spare tyre, remember to refit valve caps. ___________________________________________________________________

Q: Tell me how you make sure your head restraint is

correctly adjusted so it provides the best protection in the event of a crash

A: The head restraint should be adjusted so the rigid

A: Identify reservoir and explain how to check level.


Q: Open the bonnet, identify where you would check the engine oil level and tell me how you would check that the engine has sufficient oil. A: Identify dipstick / oil level indicator, describe check

of oil level against the minimum/maximum markers. ___________________________________________________________________

Q: Open the bonnet, identify where you would check the engine coolant level and tell me how you would check that the engine has the correct level. A: Identify high/low level markings on header tank

where fitted or radiator filler cap, and describe how to top up to correct level. ___________________________________________________________________

part of the head restraint is at least as high as the eye or top of the ears, and as close to the back of the head as is comfortable. N.B. Some restraints might not be adjustable. ___________________________________________________________________

Q: Open the bonnet, identify where the brake fluid reservoir is and tell me how you would check that you have a safe level of hydraulic brake fluid.

Q: Tell me how you would check the tyres to ensure

A: Identify reservoir, check level against high/low

that they have sufficient tread depth and that their general condition is safe to use on the road.

markings. ___________________________________________________________________

A: No cuts and bulges, 1.6mm of tread depth across

the central ¾ of the breadth of the tyre and around the entire outer circumference. ___________________________________________________________________

Q: Tell me how you would check that the headlights & tail lights are working. (No need to exit vehicle)

A: Explanation: Operate switch (turn on ignition if

necessary), then walk round vehicle. (As this is a "Tell Me" question, there is no need to physically check the lights.) ___________________________________________________________________

Q: Tell me how you would know if there was a problem with your anti lock braking system

A: Warning light should illuminate if there is a fault

with the anti lock braking system. ___________________________________________________________________


© 2009 Tim Sheeran Learner Driving Tuition

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