Moving off in a car without creating a hazard while using the correct systems of the road, and your car’s driver controls properly, can take some getting used to, often taking hours to master with a driving instructor before you become fully confident.
However, it is an exercise you, as a learner driver will undergo frequently both in your lessons and during your test. As an area which often results in driving test failure, mastering it early is recommended.
With InTuition Driver Training we want to make the transformation from a provisional driver to an experienced and highly competent driver as smoothly as possible, here is our basic framework to moving off and stopping. A hand guide to read over before you reach this stage or for brushing up on a few tips as you learn:
Moving off - Prepare, Observe, Move
When moving off you must avoid causing anyone to change their speed or direction as this can be seen as a hazard. Moving off from the left is often seen as safer with UK cars being left hand drive; this also means that you won’t have to cut across oncoming traffic.
On your driving test it is likely you will be asked to ‘pull up somewhere on the left’ several times and move off again when clear to ensure that you know both how to drive off safely while keeping in full control of your vehicle.
The POM technique is a method of moving off that is used in all styles of moving off from a stopping position, whether from traffic lights, a kerb or when starting a manoeuvre.
Here, is when you get your vehicle ready to pull away, once you know the road is clear.
- Select first gear by putting full pressure on the clutch pedal
- Press your gas pedal down so that your speedometer reads between 1500 and 2000 revolutions per minute and engine is making a subtle humming noise.
- Bring the clutch pedal up until you find the biting point, the sound of the engine will drop slightly.
- Keep both feet still and balance.
This is the point whereby you check that it is completely safe to move off and will look around the car to observe any hazards in a SIX POINT CHECK.
- Look over your left shoulder
- Look in your left exterior mirror
- Check your centre mirror
- Check the road ahead
- Inspect your right exterior mirror
- Check your blind spot ( the area that can’t be seen through your exterior mirror and are pictured in the diagram)
- THEN signal
At the point where your path is completely clear and it is safe to do so, move off.
- Release your handbrake and move your hand back to your steering wheel so that both hands are on the wheel.
- Release your clutch pedal slowly by lifting your foot and contrast this by gently increasing the gas by placing pressure slowly on the accelerator pedal.
- Re-check your mirrors and blind spot then steer to your normal driving position
- Cancel your signal.
Moving off on an incline whether facing uphill or downhill can create a more challenging action , but a simple method of combating this is by understanding the use of the clutch pedal. Using the same POM method but altering your preparation and movement will help.
Moving off going Uphill
The steeper the incline the higher you will need to raise your clutch to avoid rolling back.
- Make sure that your handbrake is applied fully to secure your vehicle.
- Select first gear by putting full pressure on the clutch pedal.
- Apply your gas pedal until you hear the engine hum.
- Bring the clutch pedal up higher than normal until the sound of the engine drops slightly and balance.
- Apply the same rules of observation
- When moving give a clear signal
- Give more gas than usual as you release the handbrake and the clutch pedal slowly
- Keep your car in first gear for longer before changing to ensure that your car has the power to get up the hill.
Moving off going downhill
If you are moving off facing down a steep hill, you may be able to move off in second gear as you won’t always need the power.
- Keep your foot on the footbrake as you release the handbrake for maximum control
- Check your mirrors
- Keep looking over your right shoulder to cover blind spots and to ensure nothing comes speeding over the hill.
- Release foot brake, raise clutch pedal and give a little gas to build up speed slowly.
Alongside moving off, you will always need to stop. It is vital that you always stop somewhere that is safe, clear of hazards, legal and finally convenient. Some driving examiners will ask you to pull over and park, sometimes more often than once.
As stopping will require you to change speed and sometimes direction you will need to follow the Mirror-Signal-Manoeuvre technique and always be aware of traffic and vehicles behind you.
Before stopping it is vital to check all of our mirrors, including your central and right and left exterior mirrors to ensure that it is safe. If you can also check your blind spots to make sure that there isn’t a cyclist or motorcyclist riding near to the kerb.
If there are cars or other vehicles behind you at a safe distance then you should signal to make them aware of your attentions so that they can react and not have to change speed or direction which could create a hazard.
This is the point whereby you will want to steer parallel to the kerb that you are planning to stop near.
- Place gentle pressure on the brake pedal to begin slowing the car, applying more as appropriate but without being to sudden.
- Just before the car comes to a stop apply pressure to the clutch pedal ensuring it is fully down before the car stops bringing the car to a comfortable stop as you steer nearer to the kerb.
- When stopped, press firmly on the brake pedal to hold the car firmly still while you apply the handbrake.
- Place your gear stick into neutral, remove foot off clutch.
- Cancel your indicator signal if it was used.
- Release your foot off the brake pedal.
Road markings & signs
When considering stopping you will need to place close attention to road markings and road signs which may inhibit the places that you are legally and safely able to stop in.
Do you know the difference between waiting and stopping?
Waiting road markings – these allow you to stop to load or unload or pick up and drop passengers but have certain restrictions
Stopping road markings & signs – these indicate that there is no stopping at any time unless otherwise indicated for certain purposes by nearby signs.
Every individual progress with moving off and stopping at different time timescales, while some may pick it up quickly, others may struggle, but it is vital that your driving instructor encourages regular practice of this.
To book your driving lessons with InTuition Driver Training contact a member or the team today!