As a learner driver, you will come across a few manoeuvres that will just baffle and frustrate you. What you have to remember is you’re not alone! Practically every learner has something they find hard to master, so there is no shame in spending more time practising if you need to.
Today, we’re going to centre on a couple of the most common:
The best way to approach a hill start is to recognise that if you can pull away on flat ground without any trouble, you’re already half way there with a hill start. The main problem many students have is the fear of rolling back and this is perfectly understandable.
Of course, you’re driving instructor will take the time to ensure you’re happy with this part of the learning process before they move onto anything-else. However, just in case you want to get a head start on how to go about it, here’s how:
- Make sure you understand what the “biting point” is when using the clutch in a car (your instructor will be able to teach you this).
- The next thing to do is select first gear (your engine should be switched on) AND your handbrake should be on.
- When you’re ready, bring the clutch up and press the accelerator until you hear the biting point. This will make the engine sound a little more robust than normal. Once you’ve made the necessary safety checks, release the handbrake.
- One point to think about when you’re going through the process above is that you SHOULD NOT move your feet once the biting point has been reached.
- If you do find the car rolls back slightly, simply put the handbrake back on and start again until you’re comfortable.
This may not seem as if it’s a particularly difficult manoeuvre to make however, it’s one of the main causes of accidents on the road today so it’s important you understand when and how you should over-take. In most cases you will have to make sure you pass another vehicle (which is moving) on its right hand side. But there are a few exceptions:
- If you’re in a lane that’s used only for left-hand turns.
- If you’re in a queue of traffic and you’re lucky enough to be in the one that’s moving more quickly. Incidentally, you should never change lanes just because the other queue is moving faster, it’s just dangerous!
- If a vehicle in front of you has indicated to turn right and you can pass without causing a hazard to you or other road users.
- Finally, one way streets may allow you to pass vehicles on either side.
These are just a couple of examples you’ll come across when learning to handle a car properly prior to taking your practical driving test. As said, if you feel more nervous trying these compared to other things such as a three-point turn or gearing down when you need to slow a vehicle don’t be afraid to ask for more help.