Advanced Driving

Motorcycle cornering

On average about a quarter of motorcycle fatalities every year happen on rural roads often on a corner where the road changes direction.

This 5 minute video features a police advanced motorcyclist who shares some of his experiences to help riders plan for what you can see, what you can’t see or realistically expect to happen. The video looks at limit points, what they are and why they are important to help riders tackle left, right and a series of corners on a rural road.

The short video sequence will visually highlight the skills necessary and the principals, which should be adopted to safely negotiate bends.

Advanced Driving Techniques

CyprusDriving and RoSPA Advanced / Defensive driver training is based on the UK police driver’s handbook ‘Roadcraft: The Essential Police Driver’s Handbook’.

This system of advanced driving is suitable for any advanced driver training but in particular Cyprus.

We drive on the left, as in the UK, and the laws in general are the same or based on similar principles, so it lends itself to similar training methods.

Any form of advanced driver training is advantageous to not only the driver for their own benefit but to the population at large.

These pages contain information on advanced / defensive driving skills and techniques.

Training is available for individuals and businesses in Cyprus.

Some material to assist you to improve your driving.
Roadcraft: The Essential Police Driver’s Handbook can be bought from sites on the internet including here.

If you wish to consider an advanced driving DVD you might like to look at this video on YouTube. Chris Gilbert was one of the instructors in the original Roadcraft DVD.

Speed and Safety

Speed and Safety

These are the key points to remember:

  1. Do not drive at speed unless you are competent and it is safe to do so.
  2. Be familiar with the controls and the handling characteristics of your vehicle – use the controls smoothly.
  3. High speed driving requires maximum alertness. If you cannot achieve a high level of attentiveness because of fatigue or some other cause, reduce your speed.
  4. Always drive so you can stop on your own side of the road within the distance you can see to be clear, by day or night.
  5. If you double your speed you quadruple your braking distance.
  6. Put into practice the skills developed. They are designed to maximize safety.
  7. Be aware of the onset of fatigue and take the appropriate action. Open a window or stop and take a break.
  8. No emergency is so great that it justifies an accident. It is far better to arrive late than not at all.
  9. To avoid having to speed and to reduce stress, plan to leave for your journey ten minutes earlier. This will allow you to arrive on time, safely and in a better condition.

Car Handling Characteristics

The effects of natural forces acting on a vehicle when accelerating and braking.

Under acceleration.

The weight is transferred to the rear of the vehicle.
The rear tyres gain grip.
The front becomes lighter.
The front tyres loose grip.

Under braking.

The weight is transferred to the front of the vehicle.
The front tyres gain grip.
The rear becomes lighter.
The rear tyres loose grip.

A rear wheel drive car under acceleration has an advantage because the tyres have more grip which assists acceleration. A front wheel drive vehicle therefore is at a disadvantage as the front tyres loose grip

A vehicle is at its most stable.

When travelling in a straight line with the engine just driving the wheels.

Correct Use of Indicators and Signals.

Signals

Signals form an integral part of your overall driving plan that is the use and provision of information. Road position, speed and course are also signals of possible intention. With time you will become adept at predicting these signals in other road users, and using them to reinforce your own.

Advanced drivers only give a signal when another road user might benefit.

Indicators:

  1. If you decide a signal is appropriate, follow the Highway Code recommendation of Mirror – Signal – Manoeuvre.
  2. If there is a possibility of confusion, clarify with an arm signal.
  3. Do not accept the signal of another road user as absolute proof of their intention. Look for supporting evidence such as slowing down and road position.
  4. Be sure to cancel your signal once the manoeuvre is complete.

Horn:

Should be used for the benefit of other road users when you feel they may not have noticed you.

It is not to be used as a form of rebuke or sign of annoyance!

Hazard Warning Lights:

Only use these to tell other drivers you have stopped on the carriageway. They are not a licence to park on restricted areas! Nor are they to be used while driving in reduced visibility. A common occurrence in Cyprus.

Brakelights:

Are used to indicate slowing down or stopping.

Remember: Mirror – Signal – Manoeuvre.

Headlights:

Are only used to inform other drivers of your presence.

Arm or Hand Signals:

Used to reinforce other signals.

Use of Brakes

PROGRESSIVE BRAKING TECHNIQUE

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

  1. A – Gently take up the initial free movement of the brake pedal.
  2. B – Increase the pressure smoothly until the required speed is lost.
  3. 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:

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

Use of Gears

Get the Right Gear!

You should aim to:

  1. Be in the correct gear for every road speed and traffic situation.
  2. Make all gear changes smoothly.
  3. Engage a chosen gear without going through an intermediate gear first. (Referred to as Block Changing)
  4. 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:

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

Choose your gear with care!

The Two Second Rule

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.t

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:

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

Hazards

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:

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

Additional Roadside Hazards:

  1. Pedestrians – especially children.
  2. Parked vehicles – and their occupants.
  3. Pedal cycles – once again, especially children.
  4. 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!

The Basics of Safe Driving – Observation

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.