Moving Off, Normal Driving Position & Stopping
This is a core subject when it comes to driving and you should give yourself plenty of time to master this area, if you think about how many times you will need to move away or stop whilst in your car not just from the kerb but junction’s, queuing traffic etc.
There are several key routines to learn:
POM (Prepare, Observe & Move)
Preparing the car to move away consist of;
Pressing the clutch down
Selecting First Gear
Find the biting point with the clutch – bring the clutch up to about half way by raising it about the thickness of a £1 coin to the count of 4.
Setting the gas to have power to move off – normally a gently humming noise from the engine and around 1000 revs on the counter will do it, this may vary dependant on the gradient of the road.
It is essential that you are aware of all road users and pedestrians’ making sure it is safe you to move and assessing whether a indicator is necessary.
We generally advise a 360 degree observation starting in your central mirror anticipating a suitable gap in the traffic then a quick look over your left and right shoulders checking all blind spots and a final look in your right door mirror.
Releasing the hand brake and applying the signal if necessary.
Again to the count of 4 the thickness of a £1 each time raising the clutch until fully up. An increase in gas may not always be needed it depends on gradients and traffic levels and of course the desired speed required.
Normal Driving Position
You should take up a normal driving position which dependant on the width of the road should be no less than a drains width so you don’t bump down the and the maximum of 1 metre allowing other traffic to pass if required.
You will be given reference points on the car to line up with edge of the kerb to make an easy judgment.
Any other hazardous situations where more or less than these distances are required will be covered by your instructor.
Most gear changes should be done between 2000 & 3000 revs.
To change the gear without looking down place your hand on the gear stick so you are prepared to change. Back off the gas pedal at the same time press the clutch fully down, select your new gear and slowly bring the clutch back up, as the clutch reaches about half way introduce a little gas to some out the change.
There are 2 routines involved in this MSM & SCALP:
Before stopping you should carefully decide your parking location, take your time looking. When your instructor asks you to select somewhere to park this has not got to be done immediately they would much rather you choose a suitable place even if this takes a minute or so to find.
What to look for:
Safe, Convenient And Legal Position or SCALP for short.
You should not park within 10 metres of a Junction including traffic lights, roundabouts and any other junction type.
Not park on a bend or the crest of a hill as you may force other road users on the wrong side of the road and you could block the view ahead of what is coming towards them.
Outside Schools, Emergency Service Stations and some areas of a Hospital are a no as well for obvious reasons and the one place most people never notice is a Fire Hydrant!
Choose a parking space that is convenient for you for where you are going.
Having said that consideration is key for other peoples convenience, places to avoid:
Drives except your own
Lampposts, Telegraph Pole, Road Signs, Telephone Box & Post Box
Double parking (parking opposite another vehicle)
There are various reasons from your passenger being able to open their door without damaging it to obstructing the road by double parking and not leaving enough room for a wide vehicle such as a Fire Engine to get through.
There are all sorts of Illegal Parking issues from Road Markings to Road Signs and Private Land.
Places to avoid are:
Double Yellow or Red Lines
Zig Zag Lines
Single Yellow or Red Lines have restrictions on them see the road signs near by for the details.
There are many other illegal places that your instructor will cover with you.
Remember this is for private land only and not the roads where the Law applies!
When you look at different situations you can start to notice plenty more than the examples above that you should avoid.
Mirror Signal Manoeuvre or MSM
MSM is involved in about 98% of driving and this is the main foundation skill you need to master. Start from pulling up through to motorways.
After selecting your suitable parking position, check your mirrors remember always start with the central interior mirror then the door mirror in the direction you are going to be steering too.
If any other road user or pedestrian will benefit signal with your indicator.
Gently start braking.
Line the kerb on your parking reference point.
Just as you are about to stop push the clutch down so you don’t stall and partially lift up on the brake about the thickness of a £1 coin to avoid any jerking.
Once you have stopped keep both clutch and brake pressed down until you have secured the car by applying the handbrake and changing the gear back to neutral.