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Car Tips - Control.

Car Tips - Control.

We all suffer from nerves, it's normal. But when the day of your driving test arrives it's likely that you will feel a little bit more nervous, again it's ok to feel like that.

As you drive out the test centre you will be assessed on many criteria but that assessment will be made by the examiner. You don't need to worry about what the examiner is doing and don't try to second guess their thoughts - it's futile. All you need to focus on are these three aspects CONTROL, OBSERVATION and  ACCURACY.

In this short blog my intention is to give you some helpful tips on the first aspect of car control.

  • Lane position ''look to the edges of the lane to see where the white line is'' 

As traffic wears out the lines at junctions it can often be hard to spot where the lines both start and stop. Scan across the width of the road because there will be reduced wear and tear at the edges of the lane markings, this is where the paint lasts longer, and so makes it easier to see.

  • Junction position "put the white paint under the body of your mirrors'"

As you approach a junction assess if it's open  (can you see) or closed (you can't see) and try to place the junction markings, be it a Give Way or a STOP line, under the body of your wing mirror. This will mean that you stop inside the junction. Looking over the bonnet doesn't give a clear indication of where the front of the car actually is, especially with the design of modern cars which has the bonnet sloping away from the dashboard. Glancing underneath the driver's door mirror is a better way to judge where the kerb or junction line is.

  • Speed bumps "Place the white triangle painted on bump on your knee"

Cushion shaped speed bumps have a single white triangle painted on the approach side. Line up on the approach to the bump with the white triangle placed either in line with your gear stick (manual) or your left knee. The edges of the bump will then be in line with your wheels. The ideal approach speed is circa 10 - 12 mph.

Speed bumps that stretch across the whole width of the road will have two white diamonds painted. The white paint is there to help differentiate the bump from the road surface if the same colour tarmac has been used. Else the road will look entirely flat, the bump invisible and you will drive over it too fast. 

  • Reversing "when reversing, the back becomes the front so steer in the direction that you want to go behind you.'

New drivers often get confused about which way to steer while reversing and often steer the wrong way. It doesn't matter if you are going forward or backwards; LEFT still goes LEFT  and RIGHT still goes RIGHT.

  • WHiTE knuckle RiDES "Don't over grip the steering wheel"

Learners often over grip the wheel and hold on too tight. Sometimes due to anxiety. This can lead to fatigue, causes stress, tension up the arms, across the chest and into the neck. Fighting is tiring and heightens the potential to fall asleep at the wheel. Holding on too tight can also prevent a driver feeling the feedback from the car such as the angle of the wheels, loss of friction from the wheels - wheel spin makes the steering wheel judder.  Hold the wheel like you hold a box of eggs; not to lose that you drop them or too tight that the eggs are crushed.