Category Archives: Advanced Driving & Riding

Use of Brakes

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PROGRESSIVE BRAKING TECHNIQUE

  • Aim to make all braking manoeuvres in plenty of time.
  • Foot pressure on the pedal should be progressive and increased steadily.

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  • A – Gently take up the initial free movement of the brake pedal.
  • B – Increase the pressure smoothly until the required speed is lost.
  • C – Relax the pedal pressure as the speed is lost. Release it just before stopping to prevent jerking.

When coming to a stop in traffic, you should be able to see the bottom of the rear tyres of the vehicle directly in front of you.

This will give you the advantages of:

  • Room to manoeuvre if the vehicle in front should stall, roll back or have any other problems.
  • Space to pull forward if a following vehicle is approaching the stationary traffic too fast.

Use of Gears

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Get the Right Gear!

You should aim to:

  • Be in the correct gear for every road speed and traffic situation.
  • Make all gear changes smoothly.
  • Engage a chosen gear without going through an intermediate gear first. (Referred to as Block Changing)
  • Know the approximate maximum road speed for each gear of the vehicle.

These key points will help you to make skillful use of the gears:

  • Co-ordination of hand and foot movements.
  • Recognize when to change gear by the sound of the engine.
  • Choose the right gear for the road speed.
  • Use the brakes rather than engine compression to slow the vehicle (except during hill descents and when there is a risk of skidding).
  • Brake in good time to slow to the right road speed as you approach a hazard, and then select the appropriate gear.
  • Match engine speed to road speed before you change down.
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Choose your gear with care!

The Two Second Rule

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THE TWO SECOND RULE is a simple, effective way to work out the MINIMUM distance for following another vehicle in good road and weather conditions.

two second rule

In bad weather the distance should be doubled.

When the car in front passes a convenient landmark, such as a bridge or road sign.

Count one second – Count two seconds.
Alternatively, if you say ‘Only a fool breaks the two second rule’ fairly slowly this should take two seconds.

If you pass the landmark before you have counted two seconds, you are too close. Drop back and try the test again.

SAFE STOPPING DISTANCE

‘Never drive so fast that you cannot stop comfortably on your own side of the road, within the distance you can see to be clear.’

Be aware of:

  • The braking capabilities of your vehicle.
  • The type and condition of the road surface – in slippery or wet conditions braking distances increase greatly.
  • The effects of cornering, braking and vehicle balance on tyre grip.

Hazards

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Hazard Management.

Correct use of the five phases of the system will give you a safe and methodical approach to hazards.

What is a Hazard?

Basically, anything which is potentially dangerous. Use your skills to recognize a hazard, plan for it and take the appropriate action.

The Three main categories of Hazard are:

  • Physical features such as junctions, roundabouts and bends.
  • The position or movement of other road users.
  • Problems arising from variations in the road surface, weather and visibility.

Additional Roadside Hazards:

  • Pedestrians – especially children.
  • Parked vehicles – and their occupants.
  • Pedal cycles – once again, especially children.
  • Concealed junctions.

For hazards on the near side it may be more appropriate to steer a course closer to the crown of the road. This would have the benefits of (a) giving you a better view, (b) providing more space to manoeuvre should it be necessary, and (c) allow you to dominate your road position and convey your intentions to other road users.

However, the principle of safety should never be sacrificed for position!

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The Basics of Safe Driving – Observation

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Want a clear conscience?

Then you must…

  • M atch your vehicles speed and direction to the traffic.
  • O bserve accurately.
  • R isks identified and kept to a minimum.
  • A ttention kept to a high level.
  • A wareness of road and traffic situations.
  • L imitations, know yours and the vehicles.
  • S kilful use of the vehicle controls.

Observation

The foundation of good driving is the ability to use sight, hearing and even smell to gain information about driving conditions.

Open your eyes:-

Most people only look at what is going on directly in front of them. Look in the distance as far as you can see then check out the middle distance before returning to the foreground. Check the sides and rear of the vehicle to build a bigger picture of all that is happening about you. Use all your mirrors and turn your head (it wont fall off!).

Look for other clues to give you an advanced warning of hazards.
Reflections in shop windows, tree lines, eye contact with other drivers, cross views and other road users position, speed etc are just some of the aids available to you.

Know and read road signs. These will give you an advance warning of hazards that you can build into your driving plan.

Advanced Driving – The System in Detail

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THE PHASES EXPLAINED

Information

Take it – Use it – Give it

Take your information from all that is happening around you. Use your mirrors and scan to the front and sides.

Use the information that you gather to make a driving plan. Base your decisions on the hazards that you have identified, but have a contingency plan for dealing with the unexpected
Consider what can be seen – what cannot be seen – what might reasonably be expected to happen.
If a new hazard arises, decide whether you need to re-run the system from an earlier phase.

Give information if you have decided that another road user would benefit from it. This also includes pedestrians and cyclists.
The information phase runs throughout the whole of the System.

Position

Position yourself so you can pass through the identified hazard safely and smoothly.
Always take account of other road users, including pedestrians, cyclists and children.

Speed

Adjust your speed where it is necessary. Use the accelerator, brake or  (when required to avoid skidding) gears to give you the speed, which will enable you to complete the manoeuvre.
Make good use of acceleration sense.
Aim to make all speed adjustments smoothly and steadily. Early anticipation and good observation will help you in this.

Gear

When your speed is correct for the circumstances, engage the correct gear for that speed.
If you have to brake to get the right speed, you can make the gear change before the end of the braking, but always try to avoid late braking and snatched gear changing.

The System of Motorcycle Control varies with the addition of a “lifesaver”. A look over the shoulder before making the manoeuvre. Most advanced drivers tend to do this when driving a car anyway.

Acceleration

Use your accelerator to maintain your speed and stability through the hazard. Depress the accelerator sufficiently to offset any loss of speed due to cornering forces.
Take account of your speed, other road users and the road and traffic conditions ahead when deciding whether it is safe to accelerate away from a hazard.

Choose an appropriate point to accelerate safely and smoothly. Adjust the amount of acceleration to the circumstances.
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Five Phases of the System

 Five Phases of the System.

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All UK advanced drivers adopt into their driving plan The System of Car Control.

This system is a way of approaching and negotiating hazards that is methodical, safe and leaves nothing to chance.

A hazard is anything, which may be potentially dangerous.

THE FIVE PHASES OF THE SYSTEM

systemSpeed and gear change can occasionally overlap.
For example on a descent.

The diagram above sets out the five phases, showing that the information phase, although in ideal situations naturally preceding position, speed, gear and acceleration, is capable of overlapping and entering the system at whatever stage may be necessary.

As the information changes then the system must also have the flexibility to adapt to that change in circumstances.

For example: On the approach to a T junction a driver will have absorbed all the relevant information and taken a suitable position and speed in line with his driving plan. The information changes when a pedestrian steps off the pavement and into the road, and the driver must now consider whether to re-run the system from an earlier stage or not.

The system of car control gives you that essential aspect of safe driving – time to react.

The System of Motorcycle Control varies with the addition of a “lifesaver”,  look over the shoulder between Gear and Acceleration, before making the manoeuvre.

Most advanced drivers tend to do this even when driving a car anyway.

Before you Drive

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Cockpit Drill / Systems Check

Your tutor will ask you to learn this drill and use it at the beginning of every training session. There is a reason for everything you do in driver training.

By carrying out this procedure you are making sure:-

  • The vehicle is safe.
  • All of the systems are working properly.
  • Focusing your mind on the fact that you are about to drive a vehicle, which has the capability of being a lethal weapon.
  • So stick with it and it will soon become second nature. As you check each control say:
  • The handbrake is on, the gear lever is in neutral.
  • There is good pressure on the footbrake.
  • The seat, mirrors and steering wheel are adjusted to my satisfaction.
  • Please check that your seatbelts are fastened, work correctly and are not damaged or frayed and that your doors are closed properly but not locked.
  • I am aware of the layout and function of the controls.
  • Switching on the ignition, the warning lights are illuminated and the gauges are working correctly.
  • I am depressing the clutch and starting the engine. Those warning lights that should be extinguished are no longer lit.
  • I have enough fuel for my journey.
  • Checking around the vehicle, selecting 1st gear, releasing the handbrake and moving off. On moving off, conduct a running brake test between 35 and 50 kph to check for straight-line operation.
  • Automatics keep footbrake depressed while engaging DRIVE.

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Fit to Drive?

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Be fit to Drive.

This refers not only to the driver, But to the vehicle. Here are some of the factors you should consider.

As the Driver:-

Do you feel well enough to make your journey?

Have you had enough sleep prior to your journey?

Are you on medication? Is it likely to effect your driving?

Have been drinking any alcohol?

Your Vehicle:-

Carry out the PO.W.E.R Check

Does the vehicle comply with Cyprus road traffic law?

P.O.W.E.R. CHECK

This check should be carried out regularly, and especially before a long journey or one involving motorway driving.
·  P = Petrol
·  O = Oil
·  W = Water
·  E = Electrics
·  R = Rubber (tyres and wipers)

CARE OF THE VEHICLE

Most skids are the result of how a vehicle is driven, but keeping your vehicle in good condition helps to minimize the risks.

  • Tyres should be correctly inflated and have adequate tread depth. Check treads and tyre pressure regularly.
  • Consult your vehicle handbook to get the right pressure for the tyres on your vehicle. Do not presume that the garage knows best.
  • Defective brakes and faulty suspension are especially dangerous on slippery surfaces and may help to cause or aggravate a skid – do not increase the risk by neglecting these problems.
  • Check your tracking regularly, particularly after traveling on rough roads.

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The Aims of Advanced / Defensive Driving & Riding

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These pages are designed as a study aid to be used prior to and during advanced / defensive driving tuition, and as a reference afterwards. Its aim is to provide you with the skills that are necessary to safely negotiate the increasingly busy and hazardous roads of Cyprus.

The overall principle will be that of safety, coupled with advice on how to control the speed and position of your vehicle in relation to everything else on the road.

Every traffic collision represents a loss of control, but by employing the principles contained here you will develop a heightened awareness of your own capabilities, your vehicles characteristics, and the road and traffic conditions.

WHY should I practice defensive driving?

Research shows that most drivers think that they are safer and more skillful than the average driver, and yet in more than 90% of traffic accidents, driver error is the cause.

The truth is that there exists a wide gap between perceived and actual ability. By training in, and constantly practising the art of defensive driving you will be more aware of the prevailing road and traffic conditions, improve your use of the vehicle controls and act to keep identified risks to a minimum.

HOW do I become proficient in advanced / defensive driving?

Defensive driving will above all else teach you to recognize, categorize and then to safely negotiate the many hazards that face us all every time we sit behind the wheel of a vehicle. Defensive driving will show you how to create a buffer zone of open space around your vehicle, giving you the time to select the best position, speed and gear to negotiate a hazard safely.

Take an active role in your training and be ready to open your mind to suggestions that may well clash with driving habits that you have built up over the years. Having a receptive attitude in your training will help you to absorb and then more easily employ the skills you learn.

Practice to improve and improve with practice.