Manual Driving Made Easy Drive School – Driving Hints & Information
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To Qualify For A Drive Test As Of 20/8/2020
To Qualify for Driving Lessons/Tests during Covid-19 Stage 4 Lockdown in Melbourne Metro as of 20th August 2020
1. Hardship Licence Test Approval from VicRoads https://www.vicroads.vic.gov.au/licences/priority-test-application
2. Licence Test date, time and venue information from VicRoads
3. Signed Permitted Worker Permit from employer https://www.vic.gov.au/worker-permit-scheme
Wear a mask during lessons/test
For further details click on ‘Testing & Lesson Q&A Released 20/8/2020 by VicRoads’ on our homepage.
We can do either push-pull steering or arm over arm steering (crossing your arms)!
There’s no requirement any longer to do push-pull steering in a drive test (or a handbrake start – even though we should know how to do both a handbrake start and a clutch start on a hill).
When you first start driving, generally it’s instinctive to do arm over arm steering but parents believe that you still need to do push-pull steering for your drive test and that’s what they teach you.
Unfortunately, I find many students are doing a shuffle with the steering wheel which is very dangerous, rather than the correct method of push-pull steering.
Push-Pull Steering is where both arms remain parallel to each other and move either up or down, where both hands meet at 12 o’clock or 6 o’clock on the steering wheel. While one hand grips the steering wheel, the other hand slides.
Arm Over Arm Steering is where you predominantly use the top half of the steering wheel and keep crossing your hands over each other. A lot like pulling a rope in a tug-of-war.
Gearing Down To Stop?
Do we need to gear down to Stop? Not necessarily!
The cars of today have excellent braking power whereas prior to the 1960’s they didn’t and you needed to use the motor to slow the vehicle down as well as the brakes. Parents continue to teach their children to gear down as that’s what they were taught.
We need to think about the reasons for doing this, rather than just doing it.
In the cars today there is no need to gear down as the brakes are power assisted by the motor and much more effective in stopping.
You would still gear down if carrying/towing a heavy load or the vehicle is heavy, where you need the motor to help the brakes to slow down or come to a stop.
In todays cars, you only need to listen to the motor and stay in the gear you are already in when you start to slow down with the brakes, and only disengage the clutch just prior to the motor struggling and selecting the gear appropriate for your speed. If the lights change to green and you can then keep going, select the gear appropriate for your speed, it may be 2nd or 3rd gear (depends on how much you slowed down). If you know you are stopping, sit the gearstick over 1st gear with light pressure and once the vehicle has slowed down enough, the gearstick will drop gently into 1st gear before you come to a stop.
The motor is still helping to slow you down without you having to down gear. Don’t disengage your clutch too early, only when it’s getting close to where the motor is going to struggle, otherwise you will be rolling and not having proper control of the vehicle, plus you will feel the vehicle speed up when disengaging the clutch too early as the motor is no longer helping to slow the vehicle down.
Every time you use your clutch, you are wearing it. Is it cheaper to replace a clutch or brake pads?
Again, there is no right or wrong answer. You can continue to do either.
Treating Learner's With Respect.
We sometimes forget that we were once learners and needed space and patience by other drivers.
What do you think the ‘L’ Plate on a car represents? (Similar for ‘P’ Plate drivers)
It’s telling you that the driver is learning how to drive and will make mistakes as that’s what learning is about. We learn from our mistakes.
And that is why we should give the learner some space, keep our distance and refrain from jumping on the horn because they haven’t moved off as quickly as you would as an experienced driver.
The number of times I’ve had the experience as a driving instructor where my student has been slow to take off at a ’T’ intersection, and the impatient driver behind goes onto the incorrect side of the road to go around us and nearly had a head on collision with a vehicle turning into the street.
Is it worth the risk of causing serious injury or death to either a pedestrian, driver/passenger in another vehicle or in your vehicle for the sake of saving 1 or 2 seconds.
How To Perform A Safe Lane Change.
The correct order of performing a safe lane change is as follows:
1. Check your mirrors first prior to indicating. If a vehicle in the lane you are intending to merge into is closing the gap then you shouldn’t be indicating as you don’t want to frighten them into thinking you are going to move into them.
2. The only time we should indicate is if we can see the car in the other lane in our internal mirror and can see both its headlights, then it is at a safe distance from you and you can indicate or if the vehicle is next to you.
3. By doing this the other driver you could see in your internal mirror will see your indicator in time to work out what your intentions are. For the driver who is next to you, he won’t be able to see your indicator at all and therefor won’t be effected.
4. Once it is safe to indicate, then the indicator must be operating for a minimum of 3 seconds prior to moving (consider having the indicator operating long enough for other drivers to firstly pick up your indicator is on, and then to work out what you are going to do before they can work out what they are going to do). So give them plenty of notice.
5. The next is a Head Check to ensure your blind spot is clear before you move into the other lane.
6. A good little exercise to confirm where your blind spot is, is to park on the side of the road and watch an approaching vehicle in your right mirror and note when it disappears out of your mirror. You will notice it was right next to your rear right door, out of your peripheral vision and mirror. That’s why we can’t afford not to do a head check.
7. If we make this lane changing process a habit, it will mean using this same habit for whenever we are turning left or right, pulling into or out of the kerb, turning around at the end of a court. It is the same process for whenever we are diverging or turning.
Giving Way To Pedestrians When Turning Left Or Right
Too many drivers fail to to give way to pedestrians when turning at an intersection.
If you are turning left or right out of a street or into a street, you must give way to pedestrians.
Too often at T intersections we see drivers not stopping and continuing their turn without any consideration of the dangers.
A good rule is if you can’t see far enough up the road to the left and right prior to reaching the intersection, then always stop.
If you are too busy looking to the right without stopping at the T intersection, you may run over a pedestrian or child on a bike whom you should be stopping and giving way to. The car approaching on your left may be on the incorrect side of the road because of parked cars and have a head on collision.
Under these circumstances, if you kill a pedestrian or a motorist, you will be charged with Culpable Driving.
Is it worth the risk just to save a split second.
The law is you must approach an intersection at a speed that you can stop to avoid an accident.
Doesn’t matter who is in the right or wrong, we want to avoid injury and damage.
If Walking On The Road, Walk Towards The Oncoming Traffic
If you need to walk on the road when there’s no footpath, please put your safety first by walking on the right side of the road so the approaching vehicles are on the same side of the road as yourself.
This will make it safer for you as you will be able to see the approaching vehicle well before they get too close and be able to move off the road if need be.
If you walk on the left side of the road, you won’t see or possibly hear the approaching vehicles as you will have your back to them and this may result in you being struck by the vehicle and as a result, may suffering serious injury or death.
How To Enter A Roundabout.
We should approach a roundabout at a speed we can observe what the other traffic is doing in and also approaching the roundabout so we can assess whether or not we have to stop or can keep going. All vehicles in the roundabout have right of way.
We too often see vehicles stopping at roundabouts when there is no need to. The reason this happens generally is because the driver has not worked out whether he needs to stop or not prior to arriving at the roundabout.
This can cause an accident if the driver behind isn’t expecting the vehicle in front of him to stop, as there’s no reason to be stopping.
A simple method in doing this early is to do it in the following order.
CHECK ONCOMING VEHICLES: Before arriving at the roundabout, look for traffic approaching the roundabout from the opposite direction and if they are indicating to turn right, then you may have to give way to them if arriving at the roundabout at the same time as yourself. But if the oncoming vehicles are turning left or going straight ahead, then it has no effect on you entering the roundabout.
CHECK TO THE RIGHT: Check to your right as you approach the roundabout and then again as you near the roundabout and in time to stop at the stop line if there is a vehicle approaching on your right or already entering the roundabout.
CHECK TO THE LEFT: Once you know it is safe to enter the roundabout, then a quick look to the left incase a vehicle isn’t going to stop and give way to you, so you can stop to avoid an accident.
Remember, you must approach an intersection at a speed to be able to stop to avoid an accident. No matter who is in the right or wrong.
Early Indicators You Are About To Get A Green Light.
There are a number of ways to work out when to get ready for when the traffic light changes to green, for you to go.
The first is, while stopped at the red traffic light is to watch the reflection of the green traffic light for the cross traffic, and when it changes to amber/yellow and then to red, you can then expect that you will either get a green arrow or green light.
The typical cycle of traffic lights is that the right turn arrow operates first, followed by the green light to go straight ahead. So if you are approaching the traffic lights and the right green arrow is on, then you can expect that the next sequence of lights is a green light for you to go straight ahead. As mentioned, this is the cycle for the majority of traffic lights but not always the case, so approach at a speed you can stop.
Another indicator is when the pedestrians red flashing person stops flashing for the cross traffic, that’s when the lights are about to change red for the cross traffic and then followed by the right green arrow or green light for you to go straight ahead.
Sometimes I Don't Get A Turn Arrow. Why Is This?
There are wire loops embedded in cuts in the road in each lane at traffic lights.
These loops detects your vehicle when you stop over them and then signal the lights to change.
If you stop past these loops or before them, the grey control box will not receive notification to change the traffic lights as it hasn’t detected a vehicle is waiting in that lane to turn.
A great example of this is where the first car stops on the pedestrian crossing and the second car keeps far enough away from the first car and neither are over the wire loops. They will never get a change of lights whilst there is no vehicle over the wire loops.
Multi-Lane Left & Right Turns & Keeping In The Correct Lane
Where there is more than one turning lane from the road you are turning from (take note of the number of turning arrows painted on the road prior to reaching the intersection), you are required to remain in that same lane until you have completed your turn.
If you are in the inside lane, then you must finish in that lane in the road you are turning into.
If you are in the outside lane, then you can finish in any lane (centre or outside lanes) other than the inside lane.
You cannot merge into the other lanes whilst turning.
Single Lane Left & Right Turns & Choice Of Lanes.
If turning left or right, you can now finish in any lane as long as the road you are turning out of doesn’t have more than one turning lane.
eg…If you turn out of a single turning right lane, you can turn into the right, middle or left lane. It would make sense to finish in the left lane if you were going to turn left at the next street. Or if there were parked cars, then it would be best to finish in the right or middle lane.
Who Goes First At An Uncontrolled Instersection?
Who Goes First At A Crossroad?
The law as to who goes first at an uncontrolled intersection relates to everyone giving way to their right.
This can be confusing when traffic lights have failed but all you need to do, if it is safe to enter the intersection, is give way to the right.
It’s not who gets there first or having turns at going, it’s a matter of giving way to the right. And don’t forget, you must give way to all pedestrians.
The law also states that you must approach an intersection at a speed that you can stop to avoid an accident. So it doesn’t matter who is in the right or wrong, accidents should not happen if we all approached at a speed that we can work out what is happening first, and then whether it is safe to go or stop.
If it is a ‘T’ Intersection, then you must give way to all vehicles travelling in both directions on the road you are turning onto, and also give way to all pedestrians.
State Name & Address To Police & Produce Your Licence
The driver or person in charge of a motor vehicle must stop their vehicle, state their name & address, & produce their drivers licence/learners permit to Police under the Road Safety Act 1986.
The Driver or person in charge of a motor vehicle must:
stop the vehicle, produce for inspection their licence/learner permit, state their name and address to a police officer, and obey any lawful direction given to them by a police officer.
If you fail to comply or state a false name or address, then you are guilty of an offence under the Act.
For the actual legislation, please refer to Section 59 of the Road Safety Act 1986
When Doing A 'U' Turn, You Must Give Way To Everyone & Everything
When doing a ‘U’ Turn, you must give way to all pedestrians and all vehicles.
You must give way to everything, even vehicles in a side street turning into the road you are already on or a vehicle turning left in slip lane into the road you are already on.
Keeping it simple, you must give way to everything!
Which Side Of The Car Is The Fuel Filler Cap?
Tip: The arrow on the bowser image on the fuel gauge indicates which side of the vehicle the filler cap is.
No wondering which side of the petrol pump to pull up at any more.
The Drive Test Criteria Booklet from VicRoads
The Driving Instructors Drive Test Criteria Booklet is available for download on the homepage of manualdrivingmadeeasy.com.au