Lesson Guide Lesson Guide
Our instructors create tailored lesson plans for every student to ensure they understand and apply all the basic rules, skills and manoeuvres, at a pace that suits them.
To become a safe and confident driver and to pass the theory and practical tests, the following areas need to be covered:
1. Cockpit drill
Ready for take-off? This is your checklist!
• Parking brake
• Seat position
• Head restraint
• Steering wheel position
• Interior and exterior mirrors
• Seat belt
• Fuel levels
Precautions before starting the engine:
• Parking brake again
• Gear lever in neutral position
2. Safety checks
Your car needs to be in good working order before you turn the key in the ignition. These are the things you need to check:
• Water, screenwash, coolant and brake fluid
3. Moving away and stopping
Always use the MSM (Mirror – Signal – Manoeuvre) and PSL (Position – Speed – Look) routines.
You need to:
• Give clear, timely signals
• Know the difference between fog lights, reversing lights, indicator light and brake lights
• Understand the signals from other motorists, including arm signals
• Respond safely to the signals other road users give
5. Position on the road and lane discipline
To make sure you always have a safe position on the road, you need to:
• Use the MSM (Mirror – Signal – Manoeuvre) and PSL (Position – Speed – Look) routines
• Understand how other road users such as cyclists and lorries position themselves on the road
• Plan ahead and make sure you move into the correct lane in time
• Understand how a wide or narrow road affects your position on the road
• Make sure you keep in the correct lane when driving around roundabouts and position on bends
• Take up the correct lane or position on one-way streets
• Leave enough clearance when passing stationary vehicles and obstructions.
6. Mirrors and blind spots
No matter how small the manoeuvre and how empty the roads, you should always check your mirrors before making a manoeuvre, such as:
• Changing lanes
• Turning right or left
• Changing speed
You should only turn around to look in the blind spot when you’re stationary, for example when:
• Moving off
• Opening your door
7. Junctions and roundabouts
Do you know the difference between a Y-junction and crossroads, or a roundabout and an unmarked junction?
When approaching a junction or roundabout, you’ve got to slow down in time so you won’t have to brake harshly if you need to stop.
Always watch out for the more vulnerable road users such as children and cyclists.
Can you deal safely with meeting, crossing and overtaking traffic?
Do you know when it’s illegal to overtake another vehicle?
What the appropriate speed is depends on:
• Official speed limit
• Condition of the road
• Presence of other road users such as pedestrians and cyclists
10. Emergency Stop
Hopefully, you won’t use this skill often because your eyes are always on the road and you can identify hazards long in advance. If you do need to brake quickly, it is important to keep both hands on the wheel and try to stop in a straight line.
If your car doesn’t have ABS brakes, you run the risk of skidding. If this starts to happen, release your brake pedal a bit. If the rear of your car is sliding sideways, you can make up for this by gently steering in the same direction.
11. Parallel parking
The internet is awash with videos and pictures of drivers making a fool of themselves while parking.
You need a lot of attention, precision, patience and practice to master this skill. Why not get in the right mood with our parking game?
12. Hazard awareness
The hazard perception test is part of your theory test, but you’ll need to be aware of potential dangers on the road even more than during your theory test. Have a look at this DVSA video. How many hazards can you find?
Your reverse checklist:
• Choose a safe, quiet side road or drive round a block of side streets
• Never reverse from a side road into a main road
• Use all of your mirrors before you start reversing
• Check the blind spot behind you for pedestrians, cyclists and other road users
• Look mainly through the rear window while reversing slowly
• Check the front of your car when turning, as it will swing out
• Be prepared to stop and wait for other road users or pedestrians
14. Turning your car
If you want to turn your car, you’ll have to choose between doing a U-turn, reversing into a side street or doing a 2 point turn.
• Keep checking your mirrors and blind spots during this manoeuvre
• Choose a safe and legal and spacious spot
• Check the road in both directions to make sure it is safe before you move across
• Move slowly and steer briskly
• Avoid dry steering: start to turn your wheels in the opposite direction just before you stop
• Don’t take ages – you don’t want to obstruct the road for too long
15. Planning and independent driving
Once you’re familiar with all the different manoeuvres, your instructor will give you the chance to experience what it will be like to drive after you have passed your test.
Here’s some tips:
• Look and plan well ahead
• Don’t panic or change direction suddenly if you take a wrong turning
• Pay attention to traffic signs and road markings
• Don’t forget to use the MSM and PSL routines
• Give signals in good time
• Use the correct lane
• Pay attention to other road users
Stories from Lesson Guide
Published 28th Feb 2017
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Published 14th Nov 2016
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Published 14th Jun 2016
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