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What does 'Look' assess?

Look requires you to maintain awareness of surrounding traffic and conditions so you are able to interact safely with other vehicles. Look is one part of a procedure competent driver's use. You are required to do mirror and head checks at appropriate and regular times.

Undertaking appropriate mirror and head checks should be automatic. During the assessment assessors often check this item when driving becomes more challenging Performing well in these conditions indicates that your observations meet the standard.

When is 'Look' assessed?

Competent drivers look as part of their regular routine to avoid colliding with other vehicles travelling in the same direction. For example, they do it when they;

  • slow down
  • turn
  • diverge (such as when they change lanes, merge or leave and return to the kerb).

Look is checked more frequently by the Driving Assessor when you are performing complex driving tasks. This helps the assessor find out whether you can use look without having to think about it consciously.


What does 'Signal' assess?

Signal refers to using indicators Signalling is assessed continually throughout the assessment. You are required to use the car's indicators correctly to show an intention to turn or diverge and must signal for at least 5 seconds before moving from a stationary position.

Indicating should be an automatic response and should be almost second nature you should not have to think consciously about doing it.

When is 'Signal' assessed?

Competent drivers signal as part of their regular routine when they:

  • turn
  • or diverge (such as when they change lanes, merge or leave and return to the kerb).

Signal is checked throughout the assessment by the Driving Assessor. This helps the Driving Assessor to assess whether you can use the indicators without having to think consciously about it.


What does 'Flow' assess?

When your driving flows it shows that you able to put the individual pieces of driving together. Good flow is also a sign that your driving skills are automated and that you have plenty of attention available for monitoring and responding to the surroundings.

When your actions flow smoothly it means that you do not consciously have to think what to do.

When a driver makes an error they are able to correct or identify the error and take appropriate action. For example, a driver who stalls the engine and is able to restart the vehicle and continue driving without taking unnecessary time is demonstrating competent FLOW.

When is 'Flow' assessed?

Your Driving Assessor will check flow when you are performing slow, high speed or road traffic manoeuvres. The Driving Assessor starts scoring flow immediately after giving you a direction.


What does 'Movement' assess?

Movement assesses how much you manage the vehicle's motion, including how smoothly you drive forwards or backwards and how and where the vehicle is stopped. Movement assesses physical and mental components of driving.

The physical components include using the vehicle's controls, particularly the accelerator, gears and brakes the mental components include calculating stopping points and managing the slowing of the vehicle to distribute braking appropriately over the available space.

When the vehicle's movement is managed well, the ride is comfortable because the vehicle moves smoothly and travels at a speed that is right for the situation.

It is important to note your driving does not have to be smooth to be safe you can be quite rough at moving off, jerk passengers when changing gears and stop with a jolt, and still be quite safe. However, when you are competent at managing a vehicle's movement it generally means your basic controls are automatic.

When is 'Movement' assessed?

Your Driving Assessor will check the movement aspect of your driving when you perform slow, high speed or road traffic manoeuvres. The Driving Assessor starts scoring movement immediately after giving you a direction.


What does 'Path' assess?

Path covers how you guide and manage the direction the vehicle takes. When assessors are scoring path they are looking at:

  • how well you steer
  • where and when you steer

The how of path is the physical aspect of turning the steering wheel. You use mental skills to do the 'when' part of path.

Path is sometimes closely connected to speed. For example, going wide on the exit of a turn (this could be a curve or at an intersection) often follows as a consequence of not reducing speed before the turn.

Another example of path's relationship to speed occurs when you change lanes too quickly and your passengers are thrown sideways. If this happens, it means that the amount of steering you used was not suitable for the speed you were travelling.

If you are confused about the difference between movement and path a useful way to separate them is by remembering that you feel a poor path by sideways discomfort and poor movement from discomfort in the forward-backward direction.

If you have and weakness in path they will probably show up in slow-speed and high-speed manoeuvres.

Competent drivers are good at working out the best path to take for the manoeuvres they want to do. For example, if they want to turn around in a street and go back in the other direction they can quickly work out the best way to do it. If the street is wide enough they do a u-turn rather than bother with a three-point turn.  In doing a u-turn they know they have enough space to complete the manoeuvre successfully.

Path requires you to be not only skilful at turning the steering wheel, but also at responding to feedback and making calculations about speed, distance and space.

When is 'Path' assessed?

Your Driving Assessor checks path while you drive along straight sections of road, when you perform road traffic manoeuvres. The Driving Assessor starts scoring path immediately after giving you a direction.


What does 'Responsiveness' assess?

Responsiveness assesses whether you are responding to what is happening around you and keeping control of your safety and that of the other road users. Driving with responsiveness considers what you ave to do to be safe.

Responsiveness means hazard awareness, risk perception and actions that can minimise the possibility of the driver being involved in a crash.

Safe drivers are aware of their surroundings, they drive actively and continually adjust their driving as they notice situations change. They adjust their driving so that they have enough space to stop if someone else makes a mistake or does not follow the road rules. Safe drivers act this way 'just in case' something goes wrong which threatens their safety and that of other road users.

Drivers with responsiveness drive as if they are 'connected' to their surroundings. They adjust their driving to even small changes in the driving environment.

When is 'Responsiveness' assessed?

Your Driving Assessor will mark your responsiveness to the events happening around you as you follow their directions.

7Vehicle management

What does 'Vehicle Management' assess?

Vehicle Management assesses how you can flow well, move smoothly and take an accurate path and still keep an eye on the vehicles' instruments while you are driving.

For example, you can demonstrate the qualities of flow, movement and path when driving around a corner but if you drive with the clutch in, sit too close to the wheel, and have warning lights on the dash flash you are not demonstrating the qualities of vehicle management.

When is 'Vehicle Management' assessed?

Your Driving Assessor scores how much you manage the vehicle when you first get in the car and prepare for driving and then during sections while you are following directions, performing exercises and undertaking manoeuvres.

8Hazard identification (accessed only in a P1 assessment)

Hazard identification assesses your ability to identify hazards on your left, right, ahead, behind and oncoming whilst maintaining safe and legal driving behaviours. A hazard is a possible source of danger that could lead to an accident.

Safe drivers know how to spot them in time to take actions that will avoid accidents. Hazards will include:

  • pedestrians (from the left, right, ahead or behind)
  • other motor vehicles (from left, right, ahead, behind or oncoming)
  • other road users such as cyclists (to the left, right, ahead, behind or oncoming)
  • details of the environment such as intersections, lights, road signs, road conditions (left, right and ahead).

Hazards will generally not include:

  • static objects such as protruding trees and parked vehicles without occupants (although the applicant may refer to them as hazards)
  • pedestrians walking away from the intended path of the applicant's vehicle
  • vehicles that have cleared the intersection before the applicant arrives there.

You will be required to verbally identify the hazards to the Driving Assessor for a set period of time in the final point-to-point section of your assessment. Hazard identification is only assessed once during the assessment.

When is 'Hazard Identification' assessed?

Your Driving Assessor will assess hazard identification in the final section of your assessment as you follow their directions.