The Moving off and Stopping lesson usually follows the Cockpit Drill and Safety Checks lesson. This lesson is normally done moving off from the left side of the road.
When moving away you must do so under control and safely without causing another road user to have to slow or change direction. Remember the three S’s; don’t cause another driver to have to Slow, Swerve or Swear.
There may seem a lot to do but your instructor will give you whatever help is required and will take a lot of the responsibility to make sure it is safe before moving off or stopping and in choosing where to stop. As you get more experience in future lessons gradually the responsibility will transfer to you.
Before trying to move have a look in front of you and in your mirrors to make sure it is okay to think about moving, be aware of any pedestrians around and anything happening that might affect you when you do move.
Moving off can be thought of in four steps:
Prepare, Observe, Signal if necessary and Move or POSM (pronounced Possum like the animal).
- Clutch down and select 1st Gear.
- Set the gas by pressing enough to hear the engine make a lively hum but not so much that it sounds excessive.
- Raise the clutch to the ‘biting point’. You should hear the engine noise change.
- Keep both feet still (This might take a little practice so don’t worry if you don’t get it first time).
- Check your left door mirror, inside mirror and right door mirror.
- If everything seems safe check your right blind spot. This is a very important step and should be done just before moving.
- If you delay your move for any reason you should repeat your observations, the situation can change very quickly.
- If it is safe to move but there is anyone who would benefit from knowing that you are going to move then use a right signal. Tell people what you’re doing.
- Remember it’s not just drivers you should be ‘telling’, pedestrians may also need to know.
- If there is no one around or close enough to be affected then there maybe no need to signal.
- Release the handbrake.
- Keep both feet still as the car begins to move. If the car doesn’t move, slowly bring the clutch a little higher.
- Gently steer right about 1/4 of a turn until a suitable position on the road before straightening.
- After the car has moved about it’s own length, slowly raise the clutch all the way and gently accelerate.
- Check inside mirror and right door mirror, in the time it has taken to move there maybe traffic approaching which can affect what you do with your speed.
Once you get moving at some point you are going to have to stop, here’s how to do it safely. You will make use of the MSPSL routine. That stands for Mirrors, Signal, Position, Speed and Look
- Check your inside mirror and left door mirror, look for following traffic and hazards such as cyclists on your left side.
- Decide if you need to give a left signal to tell following drivers as well as oncoming traffic that you will be stopping.
- Begin steering gently to the left, it won’t take much steering and try to avoid staring at the kerb.
- Gently brake to reduce your speed, how much brake will depend how fast you are travelling. If travelling very slow you may only need very little.
- Be ready to put the clutch all the way down just before stopping.
- As you’re stopping look for obstacles or any debris at the side of the road.
- Avoid stopping across driveways or junctions.
- Make sure it legal to stop.
Once stopped, keep your foot on the brake and the clutch pressed down until the handbrake is applied and the gears are in neutral then cancel your signal if you have used one.
The Cockpit Drill and Safety Checks are part of the first lesson as a beginner. You will learn how to adjust your seat and mirrors to a comfortable and safe position. As you repeat this every time you start a lesson it will soon become second nature.
The DSSSM stands for Doors, Seats, Steering, Seatbelt and Mirrors. It is an easy way to remind yourself what needs to adjusted and the best order for doing that.
As soon as you're in the car, ensure the handbrake is ON and the cars gears are in Neutral for a manual car or Park for an Automatic.
Before opening a door to get out, check the door mirror and look over your shoulder; this is especially important on the driver's side with passing cars and cyclists. On a windy day be sure to hold the door firmly with both hands.
Your seat should be adjusted so you can comfortably press the left pedal( Clutch ) to the floor without stretching and with a slight bend in your knee. Adjust the back of the seat( the rake ) to a comfortable position. Adjust the head restraint if possible. Some head restraints may not be adjustable.
Many modern cars have adjustable steering wheels; adjust the wheel so you hold it comfortably without stretching or sitting too close. Due to modern cars having air bags in the steering wheel it may be unsafe to sit too close.
Nearly everyone should be familiar with putting on their seatbelt; as well as being a legal requirement it is also an important safety feature that should not be ignored. As the driver you are responsible for your own seatbelt and any passengers under 14 years old. Other passengers are responsible for their own, however it is wise for your safety as well as theirs that you insist on their use.
The mirrors should always be adjusted afterthe seat has been adjusted as changing your seating position can affect what you see.
Start with the interior mirror, using both hands and holding it with the edge of the mirror frame rather than the glass to avoid fingerprints. It should be adjusted to get the best view behind but slightly to the driver's side.
The left and right door mirrors should be adjusted so as to give roughly half sky, half road and some of the side of the car.
It's only natural you might feel a little nervous or apprehensive, but also excited at the prospect of driving for the first time. There should be no need to worry, when you meet your instructor for the first time you will be driven to a quiet area before changing seats; you will not be 'thrown in at the deep end'. On the drive to the nursery area your instructor might ask about previous experience and may demonstrate how some of the controls work.
Once at the training area, your instructor would normally check your licence and do a quick eyesight check to ensure you're legally able to drive before changing seats, then your journey begins, enjoy!
What you need to bring on your first lesson.
- Your photo card driving licence and counterpart(As of June 2015 GB licences don't have a counterpart. NI issued licences are still issued with one).
- Glasses or contacts lenses if required. You must be able to read a car number plate at a minimum distance of 20 metres.
For a rough online eye check try Vutest
- A comfortable pair of shoes suitable for driving; no flip flops or high heels.
- Comfortable clothing
- Any payment if required
In the Driving Seat
Once you're in the driving seat you will learn how to get your seating position comfortable to allow safe control of the vehicle followed by an explanation of the main controls and their use. You might be surprised how much you already know but don't be afraid to ask any questions if there's anything you're unsure about.
Time permitting there is usually an opportunity to get the car moving with help and talk through from your instructor. It will only be a few short moves, if it is a longer than an hour lesson there will a chance to get a start on the next lesson: Move off and Stop.
Read more detail about this lesson in The Cockpit Drill and Safety Checks.
These learner driver lesson guides are a general outline of the sequence a new driver might take when starting driving lessons. They are designed to take the new driver through the required syllabus before taking the UK driving test.
Apart from the beginner stages the order may differ depending on the location where the training is taking place; for example if a student lives close to a dual carriageway it may be necessary to introduce that skill earlier than usual. Every student is an individual with different levels of ability and confidence which may also determine the order of lessons.
It is not uncommon for students to have to revisit a subject to recap or brush up on a previous learned skill, you may feel that is ‘going backwards’ however that is not the case; when covering more advanced subjects earlier skills may get a little rusty.