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Preparing for your driving lessons in Stourbridge: the Cockpit drill

Driving for the first time can be a daunting experience, but don’t worry, you’ve come to the right place.

At Homers Driving School we have an excellent first-time pass rate. Our success is down to the best driving instructors in the business, coupled with our unique training methods. These methods include our online learning to drive syllabus which you can use to get ahead of the game and speed up the training process.

You can start preparing for your driving lessons in Stourbridge before your first lesson by familiarising yourself with the driving seat, or ‘cockpit’, of the car. As well as giving you a head start on your tuition, arming yourself with the basics will also give you some idea of what to expect from your first driving lesson, which in turn should help calm those nerves!

Vehicle basics for first time drivers

It can help to get into the front seat of a car before your first driving lesson. Don’t be tempted to start the engine; your driving instructor will do that with you on your first lesson. However, it can be beneficial to familiarise yourself with the feeling of being behind the wheel.

There are some vehicle basics that all drivers need to be aware of before they even think about starting the engine. We call it the ‘Cockpit Drill’.

  • Doors – The driver’s door should be shut with the left hand to prevent wind or turbulence from blowing it open. Check all doors are shut by looking in the side mirrors. Some cars have a dashboard light which will indicate if the doors or boot are not shut properly. The interior light should go off after a short time.
  • Safety checks (a tug and a wiggle) – Check the handbrake is firmly on to prevent the car from rolling as you and your passengers enter, by giving it a ‘tug’. Check the gear stick is in the neutral position to prevent the car from jumping when the engine is started by giving it a ‘wiggle’.
  • Seatbelt – Most learner drivers will have used a seatbelt before. You’ll just need to remember to make sure it has clicked firmly into the lock position and that there are no twists in it as this could cause further injury in the event of a collision. Check the seatbelt for comfort; the shoulder fixing point can usually be adjusted if it is cutting into you.
  • Seat – Your seat should be set so that you can fully depress the clutch pedal and have a slight bend in your knee. The back rest needs to be positioned to allow you to easily access the steering wheel without stretching or feeling too close. The head rest needs to be set correctly in order to reduce whiplash injuries in the event of a rear-end collision. Your driving instructor will help adjust the seat for you on first lesson.
  • Mirrors – You have three mirrors to set and use in the car. The interior rear-view mirror gives you a true vision of the distance, position and speed of following traffic. This will be set as a picture frame of the back window for maximum vision.

The two external door mirrors give a distorted view as the glass is convex and makes the image appear further away than it is. They should be set so the external door handle of the car is at the bottom of the inner corner of the mirror and the horizon appears central.

There are also many blind spots around the vehicle (well over 30 on most cars). These are areas not covered by checking the mirrors or by normal eye movement; you will have to physically move your head to see in them.

You can find useful information about all aspects of learning to drive in our online syllabus.

Homers offers some great deals for new drivers. Feel free to get in touch for more information on driving lessons Stourbridge and to get started on your journey to becoming a safe, confident and qualified driver.

 

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