Driving Lessons - Moving Off And Stopping

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In your 1st driving lesson you will begin with Moving Off and Stopping. This is the basics in car control, and where you will start to get into place the procedures required throughout your learning.

You will be taken to a quiet road. One which has few parked cars, little traffic, and if you are lucky, a wide road. You will talk about the P.O.M procedure which stands for Prepare, Observe, Move.

Prepare, requires you to get the car to a state where if you were to release the handbrake the car would start to move off. To do this you will need to put the clutch down and select 1st gear. (It is important to keep the clutch down at this point or the car will stall. The higher the clutch comes up the more the car wants to move forward, and with the handbrake up it would not be able to. So, as a safety mechanism, the cars stalls). Next you need to Set The Gas. This means revving the engine to a good level allowing the car to move off smoothly. As a guide, if you look at the rev counter you would want it to be pointing to about 15,000 revs per minute.

Next you slowly bring the clutch to the biting point. The biting point is when the gears start to engage and you feel the car lift a little. This is because power is starting to reach the wheels and the car wants to move. Only to be stopped by the handbrake. (If the car does start to move slightly, you have the clutch too high and need to press down on it a few millimeters).The car is now in its prepared state.

Next, before moving off, you need to do your 6 point check to ensure it is safe to do so. Firstly you check over your left shoulder and look out the back passenger window which is your left blind spot. Then your left mirror, followed by the rearview mirror, right mirror, then a good look over your right shoulder which is your right blind spot, and finally ahead of you out the front windscreen. Then if it is clear, release the handbrake and you'll start to move off. Indicating if necessary. As you move off keep your feet dead still until you have moved a metre or two, and then you can slowly come off the clutch all the way and apply a little gas. Once your foot is off the clutch, rest it on the foot rest to the left of the clutch pedal.

You will not travel far until you will be asked to pull over on the left hand side. Now, whenever you need to make a significant movement to the left or right, you need to check your mirrors and indicate before doing so. This is the MSM procedure (Mirror, Signal, Manoeuvre). We always check our mirrors in twos, so when moving to the left we check the rear view mirror first to see if there is anyone behind us and where they are (if they are too close then you would adjust your braking to slow down earlier and slower), and then the left mirror to make sure you are not being passed on that side. And vise versa for a right movement. Once checked, you would indicate to the left and gradually move over to the kerb.

Once almost in position next to the kerb (5cm to 30cm out), clutch all the way down in one nice motion, and then gentle braking to bring the car to a stop. Keep you feet still and on the pedals, handbrake up, gear into neutral, and then rest your feet and indicator off. And you're done! You will probably complete this a number of times, progressing slightly by using 2nd gear.

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Jason Vines Vines Driving School Dedicated to Professionalism and Improving Road Safety Driving Lessons in Sutton Driving Lessons in Guildford


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