How to Drive a Car Swiftly and Safely
Driving a car for the very first time is both an exciting time and a nerve racking experience. It is the first step in having the capability to take yourself to places that have been out of reach to you. There is, however, an enormous amount of responsibility that goes with having so much power at your command. One mistake can be fatal to you and others, accordingly the law requires you to be able to drive a vehicle with a high degree of competency.
The information in this post is derived from the United Kingdom Driving Test process, together with videos from UK Driving schools.
In the UK, before you drive a vehicle for the very first time you will need to apply for a provisional driving licence. Also, as your have not got a full driving licence when driving a vehicle you must always be accompanied by a driver holding a full driving licence.
You may wish to commence your driving experience under the supervision of a family member or a friend or you may wish to pay a driving school to give you the required training. Either way, the person providing your training will need to have a means of determining how prepared you are to take the formal driving test. In my experience, the level of competency to drive is not well explained and that is a primary reason for this post.
Who ever, teaches you to drive they most probably will teach you by verbal instruction and demonstration. However, when you actually take the test, your examinar will have a check sheet which will comprise of all the required elements of a drving test that you must be at the required standard for your examinar to award you a driving licence. This post is constructed so that you start by reading the check list. To accompany the check list there is a high level explaination of each item in the check list. Then there is a detailed explanation of how each item shall be performed before, during and after the driving test.
A requirement of law is that a “learner” driver must display a letter L on the front and back of the vehicle he is driving to alert other road users to allow for the fact they need to give due allowance for a driver who may have very limited driving experience.
Before driving an vehicle the following questions need to be answered
- Can you see well enough to be safe.
- The Rules of the Road- Do you know them to be safe
- Do you understand how to keep your car running and safe
- Do you know what to do immediately before starting your car’s engine for safety
- What can you do, by law, with your mobile phone in your car for safety
- Can you reverse your car safely around a corner and keep it tight against the kerb
- How can you park your car safely between two other cars which are close together
- How do you turn your car around in a road safely and in three moves
- Can you stop your car rapidly and safely from speed and in a straight line.
- What do you know about driving in safety on Autopista ( Motorways)
- Can you safely handle coupling/ un-coupling and towing a trailer
- How do your controls all work to help you drive in safety
- How do you safely move away from a kerb
- What are your car mirrors used for safety at different locations
- What do the various safety signals mean alongside the road
- In a busy road with lots of parked cars what should you do for safety
- What action safety should you do when seeing traffic lights etc
- What is the maximum safe speed you should travel at
- What distance should you safely follow other vehicles
- What limits your progress and what should you do to safely improve progress
- What safety actions should you do when approaching junctions and roundabouts
- Where on the road should you position your car in normal running for safety
- What safety actions should you take to not harm pedestrians
- How do you leave your car, safely, when you have to see somebody
- Do you think planning ahead is a wise move, a safer move
- Do you know where all the controls are for heating, cooling, demisting etc
- How can you help to clean up the environment in a safe manner
- How should you handle your taxi in a safer manner
- How can you help people in wheelchairs more safely
Once you have fully understand the consequences of not being able to deliver the answers to the above questions you may wish to commence lessons from someone who can instruct you in driving a car safely.
As a guide the following check sheet is the typical check sheet that will be marked up by the EXAMINER and depending on his assessment you may be awarded a Driving Licence
The UK EXAMINERS CHECK SHEET and explanation notes