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Moving a car off safely - Preparation Observation Manoeuvre - POM.
Stopping / Parking a car safely - Mirrors Signal Manoeuvre - MSM.
Moving off and stopping safely
If you are new to driving then read over this page before your first driving school lesson.
Think of how long you would need to be parked at the side of the road in order to discuss these details. Wouldn't you rather read before your lesson, gain some understanding, then enable your actual driving of the car to start sooner.
You don't need to understand all the details. As your driving instructor I will always assist in your understanding of driving.
Never attempt to move a car off without knowing how to stop the car.
For the following details, to keep in line with 'The Highway Code; Rule 239', the left roadside is used for parking.
Eco-safe driving tips are included.
The details on this page are designed to help those who are intending to take/are taking driving lessons with an ADI.
Improve your driving, read what you will be taught on your driving school lessons.
Details for moving off from the roadside - POM - Preparation Observation Manoeuvre
I really enjoyed learning to drive with Glencor. David has to be one of the best instructors around. He has great teaching techniques and I felt very calm and relaxed during my lessons. So good that I recommend a lot of my friends to him. I had a very enjoyable experience and had a good laugh as well. Thanks to David for everything.
Moving off from the roadside
The following box contains the description of how to move off from the roadside. Read the notes below the box to gain an understanding of the controls used.
- Push the clutch pedal fully down.
- Select 1st gear.
- Raise the clutch pedal to the bite point.
- Observe as for moving off from the roadside.
- If it is safe to move off, signal right if necessary, release the parking brake and at the same time press sufficiently on the gas pedal.
- As the car starts to move off, steer away from the kerb.
- Ease the clutch pedal through the bite allowing the car to pick up more speed.
- When you have moved out into your lane, cancel the signal if it was used.
Clutch - operated by the left foot.
The 'key' to moving off a car is knowing how to control the clutch and you don't need to be a mechanic to understand this.
The clutch is made up of two flat plates that are brought together as the clutch pedal is raised. With the car stationary and the engine running, one plate is turning while the other isn't. As the clutch is raised (with the car in gear) the two plates are brought towards each other until they meet face on, this is known as the 'clutch bite'. Now the turning plate will try to cause the non-turning one to start turning (this can be thought of as the wheels of the car trying to start turning). The clutch pedal should only be raised enough to start the wheels turning. As the car picks up speed the clutch pedal can be raised a little further (forcing the plates tighter together thus helping to turn the wheels faster) and when the car reaches approximately two-three miles per hour the clutch plates should now be fully engaged (turning at the same speed) and the clutch pedal can be brought fully up.
- With practise, the control of the clutch pedal from floor to bite, then through the bite to fully up (engaged) will take only a second or two when moving off for most situations.
- Don't simply throw the clutch pedal up when trying to move off, this will only cause the car engine to struggle or stall.
- Eco-safe driving - easing the clutch pedal correctly through the bite (i.e. not too fast) will cause the car to move off smoothly thereby causing less engine wear and reducing fuel consumption.
Gears - operated by the left hand.
Your driving school instructor will teach you the 'Palming Method' for gear changing. This method makes gear changing easy. As a general guide for your Glencor Driving School car: -
- 1st gear should be used for moving off and at very low speeds e.g. 5mph or slower.
- 2nd gear should be changed into at 10-15mph.
- 3rd gear should be changed into at 20-25mph.
- 4th gear should be changed into at 35-40mph.
- 5th gear should be changed into at 45-55mph.
- Eco-safe driving - changing up into the next gear within the ranges indicated will help to produce smooth gear changes and prevent 'over revving' of the engine. Both of these will help to reduce fuel consumption. Remember - sometimes it will be necessary to delay your gear change until a higher speed is reached e.g. up hill.
Dave is very good at explaining all the required manoeuvres and his exceptional patience is an asset which undoubtedly helped me to a first time pass. His lessons were always a pleasure and I have no hesitation in recommending Glencor to anyone of a nervous disposition.
Observations - operated by the eyes (sorry, I couldn't resist that one).
Before moving off, you MUST ensure that it is safe to do so. You should observe as follows and in that order.
- Front window - be aware of any other road users (or anything) blocking the front of your car or the immediate path you will be taking with your car.
- Left mirror - be aware of any other road users on your left and pedestrians, they could move/step out in front of your car just as you attempt to move off.
- Main mirror - be aware of any other road users behind you who my move out to pass you.
- Right mirror - be aware of any other road users who might already have moved out to pass you.
- Right shoulder blind spot - be aware of any other road users who might be moving off from the other side of the road or pedestrians who might be crossing.
- Front window - again, be aware of any other road users (or anything) blocking the front of your car or the immediate path you will be taking with your car.
Parking Brake (Handbrake) - operated by the left hand.
To release the parking brake, pull slightly up on the parking brake lever then immediately press and hold the 'release button'. Now push the lever fully down (until you feel it hit the bottom) then release the button.
- Eco-safe driving - make sure that the parking brake is fully disengaged (all the way down) before releasing the button thereby preventing you from moving off with the parking brake not fully released. This will help prevent unnecessary wear/damage of the parking brake. Your Glencor driving school car warns you by sounding 'beeps' if the parking brake has not been released properly.
Gas or Accelerator (the term Gas is used while teaching) - operated by the right foot (the brake pedal is also operated by the right foot).
How far down you press the gas pedal is determined by what you are trying to do i.e. how slow or how fast you are trying to move.
- Eco-safe driving - only use sufficient gas to move off safely. Too much gas and all you'll be doing is using up more fuel and causing increased wear of the engine. Remember - if it is necessary to move quickly then more gas should be used, safety always comes before eco-safe driving.
Steering Wheel - operated by both hands.
The most commonly taught method of steering is known as 'The Push Pull Method', but other methods are acceptable as long as you remain in safe control. You will be encouraged to use the method that suits you most or, as most people do, use a combination of methods.
Signal indicator - operated by the left hand.
When moving off from the roadside, the right signal indicator does not always need to be used, but, it MUST be used if it WOULD help other road users.
Note: When attempting to move off, do not have your right signal indicator on while you wait for an approaching vehicle to pass from behind you. Your signal could cause the vehicle to slow if the driver thinks you are going to pull out in front of them.
Details for stopping at the roadside - MSM - Mirrors Signal Manoeuvre
I would recommend Glencor Driving School due to the fact that on my first lesson I was made to feel at ease (due to being nervous) which was great, which then made the learning easier. Nothing was a bother (even when you clip a kerb). It was an enjoyable experience which it should be and would recommend them.
Dave is a great driving instructor. He is very patient and encouraging and I always felt that under his tutelage my driving was improving week on week. I am happy to say I passed my test first time and I put that down to Dave. His lessons not only improve your driving skills they also build your confidence behind the wheel. I wouldn't hesitate in recommending him.
Stopping at the roadside
The following box contains the description of how to stop at the roadside. Read the notes below the box to gain an understanding of the controls used.
- Observe as for stopping at the roadside.
- Signal left if necessary.
- Press on the brake pedal to start slowing the car.
- Increase the pressure on the brake pedal to that which is sufficient to slow the car appropriately.
- As the car slows, steer towards the roadside.
- Just before the car is going too slow for the gear it is in, press the clutch pedal fully down and keep it down.
- Just before the car stops, adjust the brake pedal to bring the car to a comfortable stop and approximately 6inches from the kerb.
- When stopped, press firmly on the brake pedal to hold the car still while you apply the parking brake.
- Select neutral gear, cancel the signal if it was used, then release both the brake pedal and the clutch pedal.
Observations - again, operated by the eyes (boy am I easily amused!).
Before beginning to slow, you MUST ensure that it is safe to do so. You should observe as follows and in that order.
- Main mirror - be aware of any other road users behind you who might move left as you attempt to do so.
- Left mirror - be aware of any other road users already to your left who might attempt to undertake you (pass on your left side).
- Front window - be aware of where it would be safe to move over and to park.
Signal indicator - operated by the left hand (for your Glencor Driving School car) but can be the right hand in other cars.
When stopping at the roadside, the left signal indicator does not always need to be used, but, it MUST be used if it WOULD help other road users. Before applying your signal indicator always make sure that your signal will not be mis-leading e.g. if pulling up after a junction on the left then do not signal before the junction.
Foot Brake - operated by the right foot (the gas pedal is also operated by the right foot).
When using the brake pedal to slow the car, you should first gently press on the brake pedal then continue to increase the pressure on the brake pedal to the point that the car is slowing sufficiently. Just before the car comes to a stop, you should ease off the brake pedal (but not fully off) so as to bring the car to a comfortable stop. If you don't ease off the brake pedal then the car will come to an abrupt stop, which is uncomfortable for you and your passengers. As soon as the car comes to a stop, press firmly on the brake pedal until you have applied the parking brake (this will prevent the car from moving between the time that the car stops and the time at which the parking brake is applied).
The amount of pressure applied to the brake pedal is determined by how quickly you need to slow down the car.
Clutch - operated by the left foot.
When stopping a car, there comes a point when, due to the reduced speed of the car, the clutch pedal must be pressed fully down and remain down. This is determined by the gear the car is in at the time. From the gear's description above, you can see that you should normally change into 3rd gear at 15-20mph. Therefore, if you are travelling in 3rd gear and at say 30mph then when you start slowing you don't need to put the clutch down until the car reaches approximately 15mph, at this point the clutch must now be pressed fully down (and kept down) while you continue to slow to a stop. When stopped, do not bring your foot off the clutch pedal until you have selected neutral gear, to do so could cause the car to lurch forward or cause the car engine to stall.
- Eco-safe driving - the clutch pedal should not be pressed down too early because while the clutch pedal is up (and the car is in gear) the engine uses less fuel (sometimes none) when you take your foot off the gas pedal and allow the engine to start slowing the car. This is known as 'Engine Braking', but, don't be too late with the clutch or the engine will start to struggle or stall.
Parking Brake (Handbrake) - operated by the left hand.
Do not use the parking brake until the car has come to a complete stop. To apply the parking brake, press and hold the 'release button', pull the parking brake lever sufficiently up, then release the button. The parking brake only uses friction to hold the car therefore the steeper the hill that you park your car on the more pressure you need to apply to the parking brake lever. Too little pressure and the car could move (roll).
- Eco-safe driving - never use the parking brake before the car has come to a complete stop, doing so will cause unnecessary wear on the parking brake or damage it. Anytime the car is moving, use the footbrake to bring the car to a complete stop, then, apply the parking brake. The parking brake can be applied without pressing the 'release button' but if the 'release button' is pressed while pulling the parking lever up then this reduces wear on the parking brake ratchet system.
Gears - operated by the left hand.
When slowing the car to pull up at the side of the road there is no need to change down through the gears as the car slows. Only change gear if it is needed e.g. you have slowed a little too soon and need to pull forward slightly before stopping.
- Eco-safe driving - you will produce less 'wear and tear' of the gearbox by not changing down through the gears while slowing to a stop.