Department of State GrowthTransport

Unit 2 Guide & Control the Car

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The skills you need to accurately drive and position the car on the road. They are separate from dealing with traffic. The 6 elements are -

  1. Do car manoeuvres
  2. Manage the accelerator
  3. Manage the brakes
  4. Manage the steering
  5. Use the gears
  6. Use the accelerator, brakes, steering and gears smoothly and together

Each element deals with the following manoeuvres, the number of car movements for each manoeuvre is in square brackets -

  1. straight reversing
  2. reversing left and right
  3. parallel reverse parking (from left and right sides) [3]
  4. parallel forward parking [1]
  5. angle parking 45° and 90° (from left and right sides)[1]
  6. u-turns [1], including 3 point turns [3]

2.1  Car Manoeuvres

 you must be able to do car manoeuvres and they must -

2.1.1  Be legal - to be legal includes -

  • how and where you stop
  • where you park

2.1.2  Not begin without a warning to other road users

    You must -

  • check the car mirrors and your blind spot
  • indicate by turning "on" the appropriate indicator light

2.1.3  Be safe - You must -

  • look over the whole area where the car will go during the manoeuvre, and then check that it is safe to continue
  • not block traffic flow unnecessarily during the manoeuvring

2.1.4  Be started in the right place - You must -

  • begin the manoeuvre in a starting position that suits the manoeuvre. Like, approach a forward angle park so that you can do the park in the smallest number of movements

2.1.5  Keep watching - You must -

  • use the mirrors to help you. But don’t adjust the mirrors on the passenger’s side while you are manoeuvring
  • look in more than one direction when manoeuvring, but you must look in the correct direction at the correct time. (When doing a reverse parallel park, check as the front of your car swings in, will it clear the parked car in front.)

2.1.6  Control your car direction and speed - You must -

  • make sure the car moves in the correct direction during a manoeuvre
  • The movements must be steady and smooth
  • Keep the speed slow enough so that you can compensate for any mistakes you make

2.1.7  Place the car accurately at the end of the manoeuvre

  • Do not touch the kerb or ride up on it

2.2  Manage Accelerator

    to do this you must -
2.2.1  Move the accelerator smoothly to change speed

  • You must - use the acceleration in small movements. Change of speed should not jerk your passengers

2.2.2  Use the accelerator to keep a steady speed

  • You must maintain a steady speed by adjusting the accelerator smoothly

2.2.3  Use the accelerator to deal with a hill

  • You must when you come to a hill - use your accelerator, rather than the gears, to keep a steady speed

2.3  Manage Brakes

to do this you must -

2.3.1  Brake efficiently - You must -

  • use the brake to slow the car
  • use the brake mainly when the car is travelling straight
  • choose the best part of the road surface for braking
  • when going down hills use the engine braking to help the car’s brakes
  • do not skid
  • vary the brake pressure according to changes in the road surface 

2.3.2  Brake smoothly and steadily - You must -

  • brake gently at first, and then apply pressure smoothly until the car is slowing. Before stopping, ease off the pressure (to avoid jerking your passengers), and then ease it back on
  • Use your right foot on the brake pedal.

2.3.3  Stop accurately at a point

  • vary the brake pressure to make the car come to a steady stop
  • the car must stop within 1 metre of the chosen stopping point
  • car come to a steady stop

2.4  Manage Steering

to do this you must -

2.4.1  Steer smoothly making the car go exactly where it should - You must -

  • steer with both hands unless using other controls
  • not grip the wheel too tightly
  • sit so that you can properly control and operate the car
  • when steering and ‘straightening up’ the car should always be going where it should. (Wheel shouldn't slip through fingers.)
  • use the steering method that best suits but you should always be able to turn the wheel further if you have to

2.4.2  Steer an accurate course when driving in a straight line - You must -

  • steer with both hands unless you are using other controls.
  • have your hands on the outside the wheel with the palms on the rim at about the ‘ten to two’ or ‘quarter to three’ position.
  • not grip the wheel tightly

2.4.3  Steer an accurate course in curves - You must -

  • steer with both hands
  • not grip the wheel tightly
  • sit so that you can properly control and operate the car

2.5  Use Gears

to do this you must -

2.5.1  Change gears smoothly (not jerking the passengers) - You must -

  • finish selecting a gear in 3 seconds or less. (Time this from when you first move the clutch pedal to when it is released)
  • when changing to a lower gear, smoothly match the engine speed to the road speed
  • if your car is an automatic, avoid ‘kick down’ by using the accelerator gently, and by selecting a lower gear yourself before you need it.

2.5.2  Use a suitable gear for your speed and the driving conditions so that the engine is not revving or is strained

    You must -

  • choose a gear that will not cause the car to skid
  • select the gear before it is needed, (like before going down a steep hill)

2.5.3  Change gears mainly when the car is travelling in a straight line

    A gear change is not over until you have released the clutch pedal, you must -

  • release the clutch pedal when travelling in a straight line.
  • at an intersection or curve -not change gears when turning the steering wheel

2.5.4  When changing to a lower gear, get the speed right first - You must -

  • adjust your speed so that when you change gear it does not jerk the car, or make the engine over-rev.
  • slow down first using the brakes before you change gear.

2.5.5  When going down hills, select a suitable gear - You must -

  • choose a gear which can help with braking (if necessary) so you don't need to use your brakes too hard or long

2.6  Use accelerator, brakes, steering and gears together smoothly

to do this you must -

2.6.1  When braking into a turn, ease off the brakes as increasing steering

    You must -

  • reduce your braking when increasing your steering

(Like - Coming into a turn, if you put the brakes on firmly, then ease off the brakes as you start turning the steering wheel, so that the tyres can have enough grip.)

2.6.2  When holding the steering in a turn, keep speed steady

You must -

  • not accelerator too much

2.6.3  When driving out of turns, accelerate as reducing steering

    You must -

  • increase your acceleration as you reduce your steering

2.6.4  Adjust steering, braking and acceleration to variations in the road surface

    You must -

  • adjust your steering, braking and acceleration smoothly so that your car can handle changes in speed or direction

    You must not -

  • Jerk your passengers in the car
  • Squeal your tyres
  • Have your tyres lose their grip

    2.6.5  Combine braking and gear changing to efficiently

    You must -

  • use your brakes and gears together when your car is travelling straight
  • finish each gear change in a reasonable time
  • wait until the clutch is engaged before you steer

    You must not -

  • Jerk your passengers
  • Increase the engine revs to change gear

2.6.6  In turns and on poor roads, prevent automatic transmissions from ‘kicking down’

    You must -

  • use the accelerator gently. Choose a lower gear before a turn or on a poor road surface