As a person begins to learn to drive one of the most important things that they must do is learn the location of the controls of your car.
This is the key to the successful operation of any vehicle and it should be second nature to know the location of a control that you need when it is needed. Most controls are universal, but some may vary between makes and models of cars.
Hand operated controls
When you learn to drive, one of the first things you will touch is the steering wheel. This is how you turn your wheels and make the car go in the direction you want to go in. The safe operation of a vehicle requires you to place your hands at approximately “10” and “2” on the steering wheel (referring to a clock).
The parking brake is a device that is pulled up when you place your car in park. This helps to keep your car from rolling when it is parked if it has been accidentally left in neutral.
When the parking brake is pulled all of the way up it is on. Before you drive you must release the parking brake by pressing the button on the brake and lowering the lever towards the floor of the car.
Indicators are generally located on the side of the steering column along with the windscreen wiper controls. Familiarize yourself with the location of the vehicle headlights and practice dimming and brightening them.
As you learn to drive you will need to drive at night during your practice sessions and you will need to know how to use high beam headlights for night time driving and dim them to oncoming traffic.
You should also know where the defogging or demister switch is if your vehicle is equipped with one. It is important to adjust the mirrors so that you can see all of your blind spots.
Your gear shift is located to your left and is a long shaft that operates with the clutch to change the gears in your car as you drive.
Gears change the speed of the vehicle so that you can get the most efficiency out of your engine. T
The average vehicle has five forward gears and a single reverse gear but some vehicles only have four forward gears.
Foot Operated Controls
When you sit in your car there are three pedals that you operate with your feet. The gas pedal or accelerator is located on the far right, the brake in the middle and the clutch pedal on the left hand side. You use the accelerator to increase the flow of gas to the vehicle’s engine.
Pressing the gas pedal down causes the engine to run faster and as you ease your foot off the gas pedal the vehicle will slow down.
When you learn to drive it is important to master the right pressure with your foot on the gas pedal.
Your right foot is also used to operate the brake pedal. When you press the brake it slows the car down. You should only use your right foot on either the gas pedal or the brake, not both.
Pressure added to the brake pedal causes carbon pads to press against metal discs attached to the wheels of your car, causing it to slow down.
When you learn to drive, one of the most important skills is to learn to apply pressure evenly and gradually to avoid slamming the brakes on, which can cause extra wear to your car’s brakes.
Sudden stops are okay in an emergency, but should not be a habit.
The clutch pedal is operated using your left food and needs to be pressed in when you start your vehicle.
It is used together with the gas pedal to move your car from park to drive. When your vehicle starts to move and speed up you will hear the engine rev which means you need to press the clutch in to change gears to the next higher one.
The clutch pedal moves the clutch plate away from the flywheel which allows you to switch gears and keep the car moving.
Mastering a clutch takes a lot of practice and when you first learn to drive it can be very frustrating to get the feel for the exact point where the clutch grabs.
If the car is an automatic then there will be no clutch pedal. Slow release of the clutch is a skill that you will learn and as you move through the gears you may “bunny hop” as your car jerks and stalls if you are not operating the clutch correctly.
Do you know enough to pass the road test?
After you have logged the required hours to finally take the road test, you will need to know everything about the vehicle you will be driving.
The examiner will watch how you use all of your car’s controls and give you a score based on how efficiently you use the controls to operate your vehicle.
The examiner will observe how you control your vehicle through the use of the accelerator and clutch. It is important to avoid any jerky movements and operate your vehicle smoothly.
- Check and adjust all of your mirrors before you begin driving and take a look around to make sure there is no traffic coming before you pull out. This is something that the examiner will be watching for.
- Position your hands correctly on the steering wheel and steer smoothly, slowly turning the wheel, being careful to avoid any abrupt movements.
- When you come to a stop, try not to bump the kerb or you will be given demerit points. Choose a lower gear when travelling up or down a steep hill, the examiner will watch for you to gear down.
- Allow yourself plenty of time to brake smoothly and slow down when you know the traffic light is changing to red.
- When you drive an automatic vehicle, the examiner will be observing you to see if you place your foot on the brake before you put your car into drive.
- Always release or apply the hand brake at the appropriate time. When you are parking, you must use the handbrake on a hill to stop it from rolling.
As you learn to drive you will learn more about your vehicle’s controls and how to use them.Visit Our Google+ Page