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Thursday, September 22, 2005

Specific Driving Test Techniques

We are going to continue our mini series on Driving Test Preparation with some important skills.

Handbrake……..The Handbrake is an important piece of your equipment and is poorly demonstrated by many Drivers. Ever see a row of cars at a set of Traffic lights all with their Brake Lights on? Well I am sure you have. These Drivers show by their lack of handbrake usage that they are mediocre by any standards.
There are a number of very good reasons for Handbrake usage.

(1) Firstly with the handbrake on you have secured the Car and it is not in any danger of rolling; either forwards or backwards. Rolling the car on a Driving Test will lose you a mark because it shows that you are (a) unskilled and (b) it also demonstrates that you probably have never been taught by a Professional.

(2) With the car secured and in no danger of rolling you can then release your right foot and either relax for the time you are stopped or get ready for your next manoeuvre which will be to move off again. Relaxation at every opportunity is vital in maintaining your stamina, particularly if you are doing a lot of driving in heavy traffic.

(3) Now we are starting to think about the reasons for handbrake usage it’s timely to introduce the little Duffers Guide to Handbrake Usage. We call it the Ten Second Rule. It goes like this…….If you are going to be stopped anywhere, anytime, for any purpose whatsoever for ten seconds or more you should employ the Handbrake. There are numerous every day instances of having to stop for ten seconds or more. See how many you can think of .The person who thinks of the most circumstances will win this week’s star prize. Just let me know!

(4) Using the handbrake at every suitable opportunity not only keeps you fresh and gives the hardworking feet a brief rest but it now enables you to get your Clutch set correctly to biting point and the your Gas set to the correct level for a more difficult manoeuvre. Moving off into faster flowing traffic or turning right up a hill requires perfect positioning of the feet on your clutch and Gas pedals and the brake pedal is redundant at this juncture. That’s why we have the handbrake. If you are holding the car on the footbrake while on a hill you can’t possibly set the gas pedal correctly with the same foot.

(5) Why is it so important to make a smooth and prompt getaway when turning left or right at a junction? Well in many instances there will be approaching traffic which will in often be exceeding the speed limit which makes the turn all the more hazardous. A painfully slow exit from the minor road will quite often entice a poor driver to overtake you immediately while you are still completing your turn. I think you need to work out for yourselves whether overtaking in the vicinity of a Junction is advisable or just plain stupid!

We will continue with specific Driving Techniques for the Test tomorrow.

Astral Driving School Limerick.

Astral Driving School Blog …. “Arrive Alive”…

Astral Wordpress Blog……… ”Motorvating” Driving in Ireland Forum


Blogger Editor said...

I just found your blog through Planet of the Blogs.
I can't tell whether it is of interest to me, as the design renders it unreadable.
May I suggest a different template may be in order?

22 September, 2005 09:27  
Anonymous Bernie Irish said...

I'm the guy in the BMW with the brake lights on at the intersections. I don't like using the handbrake for anything other than securing the car when the motor is switched off. That's the main usage of the handbrake as taught in the States. While the advantages you cite are admirable, they are extraneous when you know the friction point of your clutch.

22 September, 2005 09:50  
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08 October, 2005 10:27  

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