Category: News | Tags: car, turning, vehicle
Posted on 18-07-2011 by Bridget McAuliffe
When turning the steering wheel avoid crossing your hands. Feed the rim of the wheel through your hands. Vary your hand movements according to the amount of lock you want.
This is called the pull and push technique:
To turn left:
- Slide your left and up the wheel bu not beyond 12 o’clock.
- Pull the wheel downward with your left hand. At the same time, slide your right hand down the wheel against the direction the wheel is turning.
- Grip and push up with your right hand while you slide your left hand up the wheel.
- Repeat the second and third steps as necessary.
To turn right:
- Move your right hand up the wheel but not beyond 12 o’clock.
- Pull the wheel downwards with your right hand. At the same time, slide your left hand down the wheel against the direction the wheel is turning.
- Grip and push up with your left hand while you slide your right hand up the wheel.
- Repeat the second and third steps as necessary.
To straighten up after you turn:
Feed the wheel back through your hands in the opposite direction. Try not to allow the wheel to spin back uncontrolled. On the open road hold the wheel at ten to two or quarter to three, and turn as necessary to maintain a steady course.
When you are manoeuvring, try to avoid turning the steering wheel when the vehicle is stationery.
This is known as “dry steering” and may cause
- Damage to the tyres
- Excess wear in the steering mechanism
This applies whether you have power-assisted steering or not.
Category: News | Tags: conditions, driving, weather
Posted on 30-06-2011 by Bridget McAuliffe
Visibility can be made worse because at higher speeds vehicles, especially large ones, throw up more spray.
- Use lead lights to help other drivers see you. Don’t use rear fog lights unless visibility is less than 100 metres.
- Always reduce your speed when conditions are poor. Driving is safer at lower speeds.
- Adjust your speed to suit the conditions and leave larger separation distances, at least double the normal.
Ice or Frost:
Best advice don’t drive unless absolutely necessary.
The presence of ice or frost can seriously affect four handling of the vehicle. Try to anticipate the road surface conditions. If your steering is light, it is an indication that there may be frost or ice. A very gentle touch of your brakes to see their response could help you judge the road surface conditions.
- Allow up to ten times the distance for braking.
If there is fog you must be able to stop within the distance you can see to be clear.
- Use dipped head lights.
- Check your mirrors and slow down, fog affects both visibility and judgement of speed and distance.
- Check your speedometer and leave plenty of space between your vehicle and the vehicle ahead.
Unfortunately, multiple pile ups are all too common in foggy conditions. They don’t just happen. They are caused by drivers who are:
- Travelling too fast.
- Driving too close to the vehicle in front.
- Assuming there’s nothing in the fog ahead.
- Ignoring the obvious.
Do switch on fog lamps if visibility drops below 100 metres.
Category: News | Tags: driving, hazards
Posted on 22-06-2011 by Bridget McAuliffe
What is a Hazard?
A hazard is any situation which could involve adjusting your speed or changing course.
To identify a hazard you must look well ahead for clues such as:
Roadsigns, parked vehicles, changes in road conditions, junctions, cyclists, motorcyclists, pedestrians, horse riders, animals, roadworks, roundabouts.
Observing What’s Ahead:
A skillful driver constantly watches and interprets what’s happening ahead.
Remember as soon as you’ve recognised a hazard, you must use the mirrors to assess:
- How your actions will affect following traffic.
Allowing time and space:
Always leave yourself enough time and space to cope with what’s ahead:
- Keep your eyes moving
- Look well ahead
- Check regularly on what’s following you
- Watch for clues about what’s going to happen next
A parked car could spell danger if the driver is sitting in it. If you can see vapour from the exhaust in cold weather, this could indicate:
- A door might open suddenly
- A car might pull out without warning
Always drive at such a speed that you can stop safely within the distance you can see to be clear.
A good driver will constantly scan the road ahead and to the side and by frequent use of the mirrors, to be aware of the situation behind.
Drive beyond your limits of vision.
Approaching a bend, ask yourself:
- Can I see the full picture?
- How sharp is it?
- Am I in the right position?
- Is my speed right?
- What might I meet?
- Could I stop if I had to?
Approaching a junction, ask yourself:
- Have I seen the whole junction?
- Can other drivers see me?
Category: News | Tags: emergency, stopping, stopping distance
Posted on 01-06-2011 by Bridget McAuliffe
In normal conditions a good driver should not need to brake really hard. However, emergencies can happen – for instance, when a child runs out in the street in front of you- so you must know how to stop quickly under control. Stopping in an emergency increases the risk of skidding, follow the rule of progressive braking- pushing the brake pedal harder as the vehicle slows down.
A quick reaction is crucial in an emergency. The sooner you start braking the sooner you should stop.
Practise the following routine:
- Keep both hands on the steering wheel, you need as much control as possible.
- Avoid braking so hard that you lock any wheels. A skid sideways or a wheel sliding may cause serious loss of control.
- Don’t touch the clutch pedal until just before you stop. This helps with your braking and stability.
- Don’t touch the parking brake. Most parking brakes work on the back wheels only. Extra braking here can cause skidding.
Practise braking to judge the correct pressure and remember to take into account road and weather conditions. If the road is dry, you should apply firm pressure, but on a wet road of loose surface you should avoid using too much. This means that you will need to reduce speed and increase your separation distance from vehicle in front.
When braking in an emergency:
- Don’t signal – You need both hands on the wheel to control the steering.
- Don’t make a special point of looking in the mirror – you should know what’s behind anyway.
- Stop as quickly as possible and safely as possible, keeping your vehicle under full control.
- Look all round before moving off again.
Note! If you are not moving off straight away, put your parking brake on and the gear level in neutral.
Defensive Driving – Try to avoid the emergency arising
- Look well ahead.
- Watch for children playing.
- Remember school times.
- Look out for pedestrians
- Look for clues, such as reflections.
Always drive at such a speed that you can stop safely in the distance you can see to be clear. If it is not clear Slow Down. Prepare for the unexpected.
This is a safe driving technique which:
- Allows other drivers time to react.
- Prevents locked wheels.
- Prevents skidding.
- Saves wear and tear on brakes, tyres and suspension.
- Saves fuel.
- Is more comfortable for your passengers.
To Brake Progressively:
- Put light pressure on the brakes.
- Gradually increase the pressure required to stop the vehicle.
- When the vehicle has almost stopped, ease off the pressure so that the vehicle stops smoothly. There should be little or no pressure as the vehicle actually stops.
Choose a particular point at which you would like to stop. See how near to it you can get.
It’s better to stop short of the mark rather than overshoot it. You can always ease off the brakes and run forward a bit more. Stopping at a kerb needs practise too. Aim to stop reasonably close to the kerb without hitting it.
Both hands should be on the steering wheel.
Category: News | Tags: driving, speed, stopping, stopping distance
Posted on by Bridget McAuliffe
Stopping distances can be found in your Rues of the Road Book. For dry conditions on page 95 and page 96 for driving in wet conditions.
A god way to judge a safe distance behind another car or vehicle on the road is to apply the two second rule.
Two Second Rule:
In good dry conditions an alert driver who is driving a car with first class tyres and brakes, needs to be at least two seconds behind the vehicle in front. In bad conditions, double the safety gap to at least four seconds or even more.
How to Measure:
Choose an obvious stationery reference point ahead, such as a bridge, a tree or a road sign. When the vehicle ahead passes the object say to yourself “only a fool breaks the two second rule”. If you read the object before you finish saying it, you are too close to the car in front of you. In bad conditions say it twice before reach the object.
Remember multiple collisions often happen because the drivers involved were:
- driving too close
- unable to break in time
* You can avoid such accidents by looking well ahead and keeping your distance. Give yourself time to react.
When the vehicle behind is driving too close to you, ease off gradually and increase the gap between you and the vehicle in front. This will give you more time to react if the driver ahead should slow down or stop suddenly.