The areas we covered for driving instruction are Northwood, Pinner, Ruislip, Eastcote, Ickenham, Hillingdon, Uxbridge, West Drayton, Hayes, Southall, Greenford, Slough, Gerrards Cross, Denham, Harrow, Watford, Bushey, Berks, Bucks.
First Time Pass
Well done Harrison on a great first time pass. You worked really hard and managed to pass in a short space of time.
Rick Hardcastle (ADI)
Motorbikes-Spare A Thought
Motorbikes, just like cyclists are much smaller than other road vehicles and therefore harder to see. They are much faster than bicycles though, and can accelerate more quickly than any other vehicle on the road. Their size and speed make them extremely vulnerable. Here are some examples of what to look for regarding motorbikes:
Powered Vehicles Used By Disabled People
These small vehicles can be used on the pavement or the road. They have a low speed limit of around 8 mph. Their small size and slow speed can take drivers by surprise. Give them a wide berth when overtaking.
Emerging-How To Deal With Zones Of Vision?
When emerging, you have to decide which gear to choose. Very early on, at least 8 car lengths back, you can plan for this.
If there are houses, trees, walls, fences or hedges blocking your vision from either side, drop to 1st gear about three car lengths from the give way line. You have very poor vision until you reach the line. On no account can you emerge without checking both ways properly. You must stop at the line, so therefore be in 1st gear to move off.
Also stop at the end if there are -:
Parked cars often block you vision. Make use of vision down pavements. Inch forward until you can see the traffic clearly. Make sure the front of your car is not beyond the outside line of the parked cars. Traffic needs to pass you easily from both directions.
When approaching the end of the road, look out for buses or lorries turning into your road. They have to take over both lanes when turning, so hold back at least 6 car lengths to allow them to turn. Once they have finished the manoeuvre, carry on to the end of the road.
When emerging In the dark, you can often see car lights reflecting off parked cars. This is a very useful and helpful way to anticipate traffic approaching.
Of course, you can emerge from a give way junction in 2nd gear without stopping. It’s a rare thing to do on urban roads. The field of vision needs to be clear at least 50 yards back. How often does this happen. Open fields on either side on approach!
So make certain it is clear when emerging. This means you have time to get up to speed without making traffic in the new road slow down.
Well Done Rebekah!
A great first time pass. With solid preparation, anything can be achieved.
Rick Hardcastle (ADI for RH Driving School)
Licensed to Drive!
Well done to Michael. Passed first time with a short notice test and only 2 lessons. A great achievement.
How to Improve Awareness in your Driving?
What you need to think of when it comes to awareness is recognising hazards in good time. Probably the biggest hazards in urban driving are buses. They take up much more width than a car and stop every 300 yards or so.
If you look in the far distance as far as you can see, you want to be able to pick out the bus. You know the road will narrow as the approach it. If the bus is on the left, keep further back from it in order to see the oncoming traffic. This helps you decide if there is a gap to overtake. Indicate as you move out to let the bus driver know you are overtaking. Look to see if there is anyone still getting on or off the bus on the approach. If there is, you know the bus will not move off. If there is no one getting on or off the bus, you can be pretty sure the bus will indicate imminently to move off. Slow down in this case, ready to hold back.
If you see an oncoming bus in the distance, look out for bus stops. Be alert to oncoming vehicles overtaking the bus, moving onto your side of the road. Come off the gas on the approach and drop to 3rd or 2nd gear if necessary.
Meeting Parked Cars
When approaching parked cars (particularly if there is oncoming traffic), push out to your overtaking position 60 yards from the parked car. This enables you to line up and judge the gap. You can’t judge the gap so well if you keep to the left and move out from the parked car when you are only three car lengths from it.
Speed of approach to narrow gaps is crucial for judgement. If you feel that you can’t judge a gap, you are probably too fast. Once you slow down enough, you’ll feel quite comfortable that you have enough space to pass or not.
As a general guide, a one foot gap either side, 10 mph and 2nd gear - a two foot gap, 20 mph and 3rd gear - a three foot gap, 30 mph and 4th gear.
A Great Pass!
Well done to Rahil. Not easy to retake a test after a cancellation due to the snow.
Rick Hardcastle (ADI)
Why Control Speeds on Motorways?
When you can see well ahead into the distance, and the road is clear, it is safe to drive up to the speed limit. If you have cruise control fitted in your car, this is the time to use it. Make sure you are within the speed limit and at a pace that you and your car can handle.
Always keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you - use the 2 second rule. At 70 mph, a two second gap is far greater a distance than driving at 30 mph. You can test the gap by finding a landmark - like a sign post for example. When the vehicle in front of you passes that mark, say to yourself, “Only a fool breaks the 2 second rule”. It takes about two seconds to say, so you want to finish saying it before you pass the mark.
At busy times on the motorway, speed limits may appear on the gantries above the lanes to which they apply . These mandatory signs are there to help the traffic flow. It sounds ironic to say they help the flow when you are slowing down, but studies have shown that a reduction of speed where the traffic is heavy maintains the flow and stops bunching. This bunching is the enemy. It has been the main cause of traffic jams over the decades, so adhering to these speed limiters helps everyone.
Looking well ahead, as far as you can see will enable you to plan your driving. If you see the traffic ahead is slowing, come off the gas so you slow gradually. This not only uses less fuel than braking late, but ensures cars behind have enough time to see you slowing - allowing them time to slow gradually and safely, with no hard braking.
Plan your driving and slow down early - if you do this, the traffic situation ahead often clears by the time you get there.
How to Deal with Wet Road Conditions?
Stopping DistancesWet road conditions can reduce tyre grip, so slow down a little. Give yourself plenty of time for slowing down and keep well back from other vehicles.
After a period of dry weather, the rain can cause the road surface to become even more slippery. Make sure you keep your speed down when cornering in these conditions. Remember, the less tread depth on your tyres, the less grip. With these tyre conditions, you need to have a greater braking distance.
What about Pedestrians and Cyclists?
Pedestrians and cyclists can easily get soaked from vehicles driving through puddles. Look well ahead and show consideration by slowing down and giving them more room if it is safe to do so.
Spray can blur your vision when driving on fast dual carriageways and motorways. Keep your speed down and allow a 4 second gap between you and vehicles ahead. You can see how dangerous this looks in the picture above.
When passing through deep puddles, take it slow. If the water seems too deep to pass through, turn back and find another route. It might take longer, but it’s better than getting stuck in deep water with a flooded engine.
A great danger is when driving at speed in very wet conditions. A build up of water between the tyres and the road surface can cause your vehicle to skid.A clear sign that you are aquaplaning is when the steering suddenly feels very light.
If this happens, come off the gas. Never brake or change direction when aquaplaning. Your vehicle will skid more or even spin if you do. Once you tyres start gripping again, you can gently apply the gas.You are more likely to aquaplane at high speed, so keep your speed down and watch for water pooling on the road surface.
How to Use Lanes On Motorways & Dual Carriageways?
You should drive in the left hand lane on a motorway or dual carriageway if the road ahead is clear.
Stay in the middle or right lane when overtaking some slower vehicles from the left lane. Once you are clear of them, return to the left lane safely. This is much safer and easier than weaving in and out from left to right lane.
Make sure you are keeping up to speed in the overtaking lanes. The traffic can bunch up by driving slower in these lanes. This will frustrate other drivers possibly causing an accident because of the smaller gaps. Remember the 2 second rule at all times.
If you want to change lane, make certain there is a 5-6 car length gap in front and behind you when driving at 70 mph. If you are driving at 40 mph or less, ensure a 3 car length gap in front and behind.
Before changing lane, make sure you check the front door window blind spot of the lane you are moving to. You also check the interior and door mirrors, but people often forget the blind spot area.
A vehicle may be driving in this blind spot area which is not visible in the door mirror.
Drivers have hit other vehicles when changing lane just because they did not check this blind spot. Don’t let it be YOU!!
Never drive in other vehicles blind spot areas because of this danger. Either hold back 3 car lengths behind or speed up 3 car lengths past the vehicle in the adjacent lane.
Do not drive on the hard shoulder, except when signs direct you to use it. It then becomes the left lane.