Controls

It’s all about control

A safe driver knows how slow to drive and is always in control of the vehicle. This also means always being in the correct place and in the correct gear.
First you will need to learn how to use and coordinate your hands and feet. This will be a new skill for most pupils. Both hands and feet have to work in ways that you probably haven’t used them before.

Foot Controls

Driving Lessons foot controls

Accelerator (Gas) –

What:

Use this pedal to speed up and slow down

Why:

You should always aim to be at the appropriate speed at all times.

How:

1. Try to read the road well ahead and imagine you don’t have any brakes.

2. Ease off the gas to assess when you see someone or something that is going to make you slow down or stop (e.g. traffic lights) Driving Lessons Gas

3. Look to keep the car moving as much as possible rather than stop and start as other motorists do.

4. Remember, your average speed is likely to be around 13 – 17 mph until normal driving conditions.

5. Imagine there is a glass of water on the dashboard, don’t spill it.

Brake –

What:

Use your right foot on this pedal to slow and stop on flat roads and going down hill

Why:

1. You need minimal use of the brake to ensure you make reasonable progress.

2. It is not possible to stop the car when going downhill just using engine braking.

3. You will need the brake sometimes to ensure the vehicle is always under your control.

How:

1. Move your right foot from the gas to cover the brake and press gently.

2. Then progressively increase the pressure to reduce speed.

3. Aim to reduce the speed to under 10 mph.

4. Imagine you are stopping 1 -2 car lengths before the actual stopping point.

5. Ease off the brake and come to a gentle stop whilst preparing the car to move off again.

Clutch –

What:

Use this pedal to connect the engine to the wheels. Also, disconnect the engine from the wheels when changing up and down through the gears and when stopping.

Why:

1. You must push the clutch down in order to select first gear.

2. You need to use fine clutch control (ease and squeeze) to manoeuvre the car in tight situations. Driving Lessons Clutch

3. When stopping you have to press the clutch down to prevent the engine from stalling.

How:

1. Press the clutch pedal down with your left foot.

2. Slowly bring your foot up to the point where you hear the engine tone change.

3. Lift your left foot up about the thickness of a pound coin and hold for a second.

4. Lift your foot up completely, count to one then

5. Place your foot on the foot rest on the left. Cover, don’t push the clutch down as you approach roundabouts. Do the same at junctions (major into minor) to maintain control of the speed.

Handbrake –

What: 

This is used to secure the car only when it is stationery and it simply operates up or down.

Why:

The vehicle will move when stationery if the car is in neutral and you are on a hill. Driving Lessons Handbrake

How:

When it’s up, pull up, button in and hold. Then push the handbrake down fully.

When it’s down, push the button, hold it in, pull the handbrake up. Release the button and let go of the handbrake.

Gears –

What:

Use the gears to increase the speed of the car using the speed range of the engine.

Why:

You need to change up through the gears to make progress. Block change down (e.g. 4 to 1) when slowing down such as when you are stopping, moving off again and manoeuvering such as at roundabouts and junctions.Driving Lessons Gears

How:

Always use the palming technique on the sides of the gear stick not the top. In normal driving a guide to the use of the gears would be: 1. 0 – 15 mph 2. 10- 25 mph 3. 20 -35 mph 4. 30 – 45 mph.

Use more gas and delay the gear change when going uphill, there are more people in the car and when there is a need to increase speed by more than 20 mph.

Indicators –

What: 

Use these to tell other road users what you are doing (moving off/stopping) and also when you intend to change direction.

Why:

You need to tell pedestrians, cyclists and other motorists you are moving off, turning left or right and changing direction and stopping. You may also occasionally Drving Lessons Indicatorsneed to indicate to let others know you are manoeuvring the car.

How:

Always check your mirrors and be aware of who is around, if anyone, before signalling. You may just extend your index finger whilst still holding the wheel, alternatively, take your hand off the wheel and hold the stalk.

Lights --

What:

When driving at night or during poor visibility (fog) you should switch on your dipped headlights.

Why:

European Legislation requires all new cars to have running lights on when the car is being driven to improve visibility. When driving at night or during poor visibility (fog) you need to see and be seen. Driving Lessons Light Stalk

It is a legal requirement that all lights (including rear number plate) are working at all times, if not the car is not road legal.

How:

To operate both the side lights and the dipped headlights twist the switch on the dashboard or the end of the left hand stalk.

Normally, the main beam can be selected by either pulling back (twice) the indicator stalk or pushing forward (on) and pulling back (off) the indicator stalk.

Wiper Blades –

What: 

You need to be able to use the wiper blades and wash the windows on the move.

Why:

You MUST have clear visibility through all of your windows when moving ahead and backwards so you can always drive safely. Driving Lessons Wiper Stalk

How:

To operate the front wiper blades extend your index finger and push up or down. To wash the front windscreen, pull the stalk back and hold.

To operate the read wiper you would normally twist the end of the stalk and to wash the screen twist further and hold.

Heater Controls –

What:

You need to demist the windows and control the temperature inside the car.Driving Lessons Heating Controls

Why:

You MUST have clear visibility through all of your windows when moving ahead and backwards so you can always drive safely.

How:

To demist the windows you usually turn all of the dials as far to the right as possible. Some cars will have touch buttons you operate to change the temperature and direction of the air. You often get air conditioning in cars and this is operated by pressing the a/c button and you must switch the fan on.

Driving Lessons App

Download the app which will support you with your driving lessons and reinforce what your driving instructor has been teaching you.

Driving Lessons app

Download The Lite Version Of The App Here

 

The driving lessons app is designed to act as a reminder of what you have been covering during your driving lessons, and also be there as a reference once you have passed your driving test.

RELAX - we know that learning to drive can be stressful, but the best way to approach it is by relaxing.

If you need a little help to relax naturally then have a look at this site where you can learn some valuable techniques.

What To Expect On Your Driving Test

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