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Archive for December 2014

Moving Off (P.O.M.)

When moving off or pulling away from the kerb we use a set Routine known as P.O.M. (Prepare, Observe and Maneuver.

Prepare – You will need to start your engine, place the car in 1st gear and find the biting point, you can also set some gas if required.

Observe – It is important that you do not endanger anyone else when you move off so we check all around before moving.

5 checks; Moving off from the left.
Look Ahead, Rear View
(Centre Mirror),  Nearside (Left Mirror), Offside (Right Mirror), Blind Spot Right, Signal if Necessary.

This can be reversed if moving off from the right.

Maneuver – When you are happy it is clear, remove the handbrake and move your left hand to the steering wheel (if there is anyone around put your right signal on) and bring the clutch up to move away while adding gas.

Stopping (SCALP)

You will be asked to pull up in a safe location many times , again this must be done in a set manor. To help us chose somewhere to stop we use SCALP which stands for Safe, Convenient and Legal Place.

When we pull over to the left, we Must check our Rear View then left Mirror and signal to the left if anyone is around to benefit.

The Highway Code gives the following guidance

DO NOT stop or park
Near a school entrance or anywhere you would prevent access for Emergency Services
At or near a bus or tram stop or taxi rank
On the approach to a level crossing/tramway crossing
Opposite or within 10 metres (32 feet) of a junction, except in an authorized parking space
Near the brow of a hill or hump bridge
Opposite a traffic island or (if this would cause an obstruction) another parked vehicle
Where you would force other traffic to enter a tram lane
Where the kerb has been lowered to help wheelchair users and powered mobility vehicles
In front of an entrance to a property
On a bend where you would obstruct cyclists’ use of cycle facilities except when forced to do so by stationary traffic.
The carriageway or the hard shoulder of a motorway except in an emergency
A pedestrian crossing, including the area marked by the zig-zag lines
Taxi bays as indicated by upright signs and markings
An Urban Clearway within its hours of operation, except to pick up or set down passengers
A road marked with double white lines, even when a broken white line is on your side of the road, except to pick up or set down passengers, or to load or unload goods
A tram, or cycle lane during its period of operation cycle track
Red lines, in the case of specially designated ‘red routes’, unless otherwise indicated by signs.

You MUST NOT park in parking spaces reserved for specific users, such as Blue Badge holders, residents or motorcycles, unless entitled to do so.

You MUST NOT leave your vehicle or trailer in a dangerous position or where it causes any unnecessary obstruction of the road.

Handbrake (Parking Brake) used to secure the vehicle when stopped. Remember that on most cars this only operates the rear wheel brakes and does not display brake lights, it must not be used while moving. To operate the handbrake press the button in and lift to put on lift slightly and then press the button in and lower to take off. There are only 2 positions – ON/OFF.

Gear Lever(Gear Selector) This is used to select the gear you require for Speed.

Indicators (Turn Signals) used to inform other drivers of your turning intentions, on most cars they are on the left of the steering wheel and to indicate left you push down and to indicate right you push up until it clicks. The indicator will turn off automatically when the wheel is returned to the straight ahead position. Beware of slight bends in the road before a turn.
Instruments these include a speedometer for telling you the road speed of the car, a rev counter which gives the speed of the engine and can be used as a guide to gear changes and engine condition dials such as temperature and fuel levels.

Windscreen Wiper Control Used to operate the windscreen wipers front and rear, your instructor will explain these to you, however most have 3 positions – Intermittent, On and Full.

Mirror Control found in various places normally on the drivers door side of the car, this can be used like a play station joystick to control the mirror settings.

Light Control used to set the lights, turn to the right to go to sidelights then dip beam. Pull towards you 1 click for front fog lights and 2 clicks for rear fog lights. When the dip lights are on if you pull the Indicator lever towards you full beam will be selected and a blue light will illuminate on the dashboard.

Steering Wheel / Horn Used to steer the car and warn others of your presence. Press the steering wheel firmly in the centre to activate horn. Some cars have a horn on the indicator stick.

Clutch Pedal this is explained in more detail in later guides, however is used to disconnect the engine from the gearbox and wheels. When the clutch is lifted the engine and gearbox are connected (at the biting point) and as lifting id continued the car will move forward. For more details click here. The clutch must only be operated with the left foot.

Brake Pedal is used to slow the vehicle by applying braking to all 4 wheels, this works in a similar way to a bicycle if you put the brakes on hard you will cause danger to cars behind, unless an emergency you must gently apply the brake and gradually add pressure as required. Your right foot is used to operate the brake pedal.

Accelerator / Throttle / Gas Pedal normally instructors will refer to this as the gas pedal as it is the quickest to say so more useful in instruction. The gas pedal controls the amount of fuel going to the engine and therefore the speed of the engine. The pedal is sensitive and your instructor will guide you how to use it correctly. It must be used with your right foot.

Heater Controls The speed control sets how much air is blown out, the temp changes between hot and cold and the direction means you can select which area gets the air. You also have air conditioning.

DOORS

HANDBRAKE

SEAT

MIRRORS

SEAT BELT

The cockpit drill is the first thing you will practice on your first lesson, the idea is to explain and demonstrate how to prepare the car before starting to drive. It is important to do your drill in the correct order.

DOORS

You should Close your door with your left hand not your normal right, this will give you more control over the door should a gust of wind blow it from a passing vehicle.

You next need to check your door and the passenger doors are closed correctly. Use your wing mirrors to check they are flush with the bodywork of the car.

The interior light and a dash warning light may stay on on some cars if the door is not closed correctly.

HANDBRAKE

It is important to check the handbrake is fully on as a weight change in the car could cause the car to move. Just pull the handbrake up to check.

SEAT ADJUSTMENT

You can adjust your seat in 3 ways; height, backwards/forwards and tilt. We start with height and using the leaver line your eyes with half way up the windscreen.

Next place your left foot on the left clutch pedal and press it to the floor. Hold the steering wheel with your right hand and lift the lever under the seat with your left hand. Pull forward until you have a slight bend in your knee when the clutch pedal is fully down.

The tilt is adjusted by placing your wrists on top of the steering wheel and adjusting your seat until it is touching the top of your back. When you drop your hands to the steering wheel you will have a perfect bend.

Next is the head rest, this is very important as it can help prevent injury in an accident. This must be adjusted correctly.

MIRRORS

3 mirrors to check and start with the inside interior mirror. This mirror has flat glass and so gives a true view of distance behind. Set this without touching the glass so that you have a frame of the back window.

The two door mirrors can be adjusted using a mirror control button or by hand depending on the model of car. It is important to know these have convex glass and so make objects appear further away than they are.

SEAT BELT

Most people have used a seat belt before, just check it is not twisted and is securely fastened.

BLIND SPOTS

It is important to remember that even when checking in your mirrors certain areas near you will not be covered

.

STARTING THE ENGINE

RE-CHECK HANDBRAKE

CLUTCH DOWN

GEAR LEVER NEUTRAL

RELEASE STEERING LOCK  (WIGGLE STEERING WHEEL WHILE TURNING IGNITION KEY ONE CLICK)

START ENGINE (TURN IGNITION KEY)

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