Welcome to the second in a series of blogs catered towards beginners.
Once you have found the right instructor what should you expect? At Daleway we believe the early lessons are paramount in building a firm foundation to becoming a competent and safe driver. No matter what your previous experience your instructor should start off by teaching you the basics. Many instructors overlook them, which can result in time and money wasted!!
Always ensure the instructor explains the cockpit drill. This includes seat position, including headrest, mirrors, steering wheel position and mirrors. If you aren’t comfortable your drive will not be comfortable.
Next make sure you are made familiar with all the controls of the car including ancillary controls. These include Accelerator, Foot Brake, Clutch, Steering Wheel, Handbrake, Gears, indicators, windscreen wipers, headlights, fog lights and also the heating and demisting controls.
Mirror Signal Manoeuvre (MSM) is the procedure you must follow in everything you do when driving in order to be safe. So it is vitally important you grasp the concept from an early stage. A manoeuvre means any change of speed or direction. Essentially you must check your mirror, or mirrors, then signal correctly when necessary before any manoeuvre.
Moving off and stopping
This is basic but important and should be the first process to you learn by incorporating MSM. If you can’t move off safely and under control and can’t Park accurately at the edge of the road you aren’t going to pass your test. It’s not about going fast to begin with, get it right at slow speed first!
Acceleration and deceleration
Once you have got the hang of moving off and stopping its time to work on getting up to speed and changing gears. Making normal progress on the road and changing gears smoothly without losing road position is vitally important. This means you wont frustrate other road users! Also slowing down and practising changing down gears is just as important before you tackle your first junction.
A good instructor should identify early on if you are struggling with steering. If this is the case you should preferably use very quiet roundabouts to break you in gently or even go to a quiet car park to practice first before trying out junctions.
To be a good driver you need to develop the following qualities; Concentration, Anticipation, Confidence, Patience and Good Habits.