When studying for a driving theory test, the Highway Code and other car driving books should be read. The theory apps can be complimented by using other driver training aids. Focusing on the test only, has limited learning value.
When studying for a driving theory test, most learner drivers use the available apps and Practice theory test for car drivers. Which is OK to get used to the technique required for the theory test itself. This method of learning the rules of driving is limiting your knowledge to what shows up on the app or sample test paper.
Why not just use the apps?
The apps available and sample test papers will not have all of the real questions that will turn up on the actual theory test for obvious reasons. Studying for your theory test using this method does not 100%prepare you for the practicalities of driving on the road. Neither does it prepare you for your driving test.
Your confidence in the driving of a car will greatly increase once you know more rules of the road, rather than focusing on a driving theory test. Lack of confidence comes from lack of practice and knowledge. As an example, would you attempt to play a game of football without first knowing the rules? So why then would you drive a car, which is a lot more dangerous than a playing a game of football?
Best way to gain extra knowledge
The best way to gain this extra knowledge for a driving theory test, would be to look at the latest edition of the Highway Code which you can do here. Additional to that you would need to find an DVSA Approved Driving Instructor (ADI) who can help you interpret some of the rules of driving you are not sure about. To demonstrate the point I was teaching doctor to drive who wanted to be dropped off at home instead of the hospital. I wasn’t familiar with the location, so I suggested that the pupil could drive themselves. So long as I was told which turn was going to be taken in advance.
After a while the pupil said they were going to turn right soon after passing this sign. Immediately after passing this sign the pupil signaled right and started to move into the section of road reserved for traffic to enter the road we were on. I said to the pupil. “What does that sign mean?” The reply came back. “No U turns.” I replied. “What does no U turns mean?”, “I don’t know.” Was the response. The pupil knew what the sign stood for, but not its actual meaning. This means the theory test would have been passed, but not a driving test.
Passing your driving test is difficult only if you think it is. Become smarter and you can pass your driving test with ease providing you have had enough of the right kind of practice. Why do many people think that it is difficult to pass a driving test? A lack of understanding of the basics is one reason and urban myths another. Lets take look at a basic skill set that needs to be mastered before anything else.
Passing Your Driving Test-Car Control
Starting with basic car control is a fundamental. Never mind traffic lights, roundabouts, lane positions, other drivers. These are important, but not at the early learning stage. You must be confident with your car control, before you can master anything else.
Lets look at clutch control:
The clutch pedal is always operated by your left foot.
Pressing the clutch pedal to the floor will disengage the clutch – this means with the engine switched on the car will no longer drive. Your task to make the car move is to engage the engine onto the wheels so that the car will move. The engine side of the clutch plate (flywheel in the diagram) is moving. Because the car is stationary the other half of the clutch plates are stationary also. If you raise your left foot too quick the two clutch plates will bang together causing the car to stall.
The car stalls because you are placing a moving object (engine side of clutch) onto a stationary clutch plate. The skill you need to master is to find where the two clutch plates just touch. Once found, keep your left foot still until the car moves slowly forward. Once you feel the car moving, you may gently raise your let foot off the pedal. That is you now driving the car. The point at which the clutch plates touch is called ‘the biting point’. Mastering this is essential to become a safe and confident driver. More information can be found here Passing your driving test does not need to be difficult. It must be the only test in the UK that you know the answers before you start.
Car control – stalling an engine
There are two main reasons that you stall a car engine. The first one is when you are moving off from a stationary position. The text above informs you on how to drive away smoothly without a stall. The second reason a car stalls is when stopping. When stopping you press the middle pedal (B) the brake with your right foot, this is also a slowing down pedal. In normal driving you operate the brake pedal to slow down before eventually stopping by pressing it as much or as little as you need to get the result you are after. Within reason, the earlier you press the brake pedal the better, it warns other drivers following you that you might be stopping. It does this by automatically turning the red stop lights on, which are at the rear of the car.
Once the car has stopped it will stall unless you press the clutch pedal down to the floor. The reason for the stall is that the two clutch plates are still operating together and are making the car drive forward. The correct process for stopping would be to slow down using the foot brake and keeping the clutch up. When the car is about a car length or so from the point at which you intend to stop, press the clutch fully to the floor.
To pass your driving test it is essential you master the clutch. It will build your confidence enormously. Be a smarter safer driver for life.
A new driving test on the 4th December 2017 is being introduced by the DVSA. All learner drivers will need to pass this test in order to gain their full driving licence.
Drivers will be expected to answer safety questions whilst on the move. The reason is to see if the driver is distracted by either the talking of a passenger (the examiner), or the action of say, operating one of the car controls, such as the heated rear window switch.
The reverse around the corner will be replaced with a parking exercise of entering a parking space whilst reversing, and/or reversing out of a parking space.
Using a sat nav on the new driving test
The 10 minutes of independent driving that is in the present test will be replaced with 20 minutes of independent driving using a sat nav.
The DVSA carried out a public consultation and 71% of the 4,000 people contacted, agreed that asking candidates to follow a route using a sat nav would be a good idea.
88% of those surveyed agreed with increasing the length of the independent section of the test, whilst others agreed to changes in the reversing manoeuvres and show me questions.
RAC Foundation director Steve Gooding said:
“We are very supportive of the revisions DVSA is making to the practical driving test, which will mean candidates undergo a far more realistic assessment of their readiness to take to the road unsupervised. “Much has changed since the first driving test was taken in 1935, and it must be right that the test evolves, just as the cars we drive are themselves changing to incorporate ever more driver assist technology such as inbuilt sat nav systems. “Novice drivers need to demonstrate the right skills and driving style to cope with the new environment.”
New drivers with less than 2 years experience will now lose their driving licence if they are caught using a phone. The change in the law in the use of using a mobile phone whilst driving was changed on March 1st 2017. Penalties for using a phone doubled to six points on a licence. Which means new drivers have to revert back to learner driver status. Taking their Theory and driving test again.
Police forces have started a seven day crackdown on drivers using their phones whilst driving. A hand held phone cannot be used even if stopped at traffic lights.
You can use your phone to listen to music if connected to a hands-free holder or via Bluetooth. A phone can be checked provided you pull over to a safe parking place and the engine is turned off.
Driving instructors and anyone supervising a learner driver cannot use their phone whilst the teaching vehicle is being driven by a learner driver.
The National Speed Awareness Course has been put in place to give drivers who are found to be in excess of the speed limit the opportunity to attend driver re-education on the effects and dangers of speeding as an alternative to a fixed penalty.
The course is only offered for low-level speeding offences detected by fixed or mobile speed cameras and drivers are only eligible if they have not attended a Speed Awareness Course anywhere in the country within the last three years. If you have been caught speeding, you will be notified if you are eligible to attend a Speed Awareness Course after completing the Notice of Intended Prosecution.
Since this is a national course, drivers can choose to take a course in any area that offers them, regardless of where the original offence occurred. Costs may vary between areas, but courses in the West Midlands currently cost £85 (subject to an annual review) and drivers who take the course will not receive three points on their licence.
The theory-based workshops last for four hours and cover:
Driving safety tips
For more information on courses within the West Midlands, to book a course, or to find directions to a course venue, please visit the TTC Group website. For information on courses in other areas, visit the National Association of Driver Intervention Providers website.
A new type of speed camera is to be used to enforce the national speed limit. The first camera – Hadecs3, is due to be used on the M25 by the summer of 2014 and further afield over the next two years.
It could be the biggest change to the way speed limits are enforced since the introduction of the 70 mph speed limit in 1967.
A recent survey for Autocar magazine found that 94.6% of drivers admitted breaking the limit.
The Hadecs3 requires no white markings to be painted on the road and will be grey instead of the bright yellow. It is cheaper to maintain than conventional speed cameras because it does not need road markings or film (it digitally downloads). Instead of using painted white lines to give a backup calculation of a car’s speed, each Hadecs3 box contains two radars that give independent readings.