What is the guarantee of safety?

We have talked about the purpose of driving safely in our previous article. Often we hear to drive safely, but how do I measure that I drive safely. It means that during the driving you will be able to protect yourself and maintain the best position. It means you can discover any potential danger and respond according to the situation.

Many first time students stared at the front with eyes widely open and dared not to move during the driving lessons. In fact, he can see nothing but a little distance of the road in front of the car. He thus can not respond according to the situation of the road because he can not catch up with the change of the situation. It will in turn make him more nervous to the point that he starts to hold the breath and grabs the steering wheel tightly. In a few minutes, all his muscles are in pain. Under such driving lesson, he learned nothing and experienced nothing expect nervous

There are a few points needed to learn before you can learn to observe rightly. Here we can teach you a simple method to remember. That is to remember “He’s Base”. What is means? Let us see below.

1,H,(Have an escape), has a place to escape during emergency.

2,E,(Eyes on the move), Keep your eyes moving.

3,S,(SEE WHOLE SCENE), Able to see the whole situation of the road.

4,B,(BE SEEN), When you cannot see clearly, you can use signal, horn, flash lights to let other cars know your existence.

5,A,(AIM HIGH), to see as far as you can.

6,S,(SAFETY CUSHION), Make sure there is always a safe space around you.

7,E,(EARLY DECISION), Make judgment as early as possible.

The problem of changing lanes

We go on to talk about a few problems when learning to drive. On the road, you can often see the situation of changing lanes. Sometimes, you were happily driving on one lane, and all of a sudden there was a car cutting into the lane before you. You had to slow down as you are following him. Taking a second look, you discovered a P plate displayed on the car. It happened because the driver did not know the key skills of changing lanes, just as old Chinese sayings said: know the result, but not know the cause.

Among first learners, many people often think in one way. Too often one student thinks only of himself. It is not that he is not taking into consideration of others, but he has no time to take any consideration at all. His thoughts were often that I am going to turn or I am going to stop. When he saw an obstacle before him, he only wanted to go around it. His actions were often very simple. Relatively speaking, Actions to control the car are rather simple, but these indirect actions are hard and easily ignored such as actions to observe traffic signals, safety on the road and change speeds. These indirect actions that do not impact directly to his action to complete one movement are not that easy. Many students know that holding the steering wheel is most nervous thing to do when driving, because steering wheel is to control a car directly. Every student has the same feeling that during the first time of learning to drive, he or she often hold the steering wheel very tight and use the steering wheel the most.

To a new student, it is a common psychological occurrence. The reason is because he does not know how to control the car and it is the very situation where an instructor is needed to work on with the student.

Now let us have a look of how to change lanes. Why a car suddenly cut before you? To a first time learner or a person with not much driving experiences, this driver is easily to think of one thought that is fast. This fast is not that of the speed, but of completing an action. It means when he wants to complete an action, he wants to complete it as fast as he can. The root cause of the problem of changing lane is the complete the action as fast as possible. Let us picture this: there is a rectangle, and to move from one corner to the diagonal corner is like to change the lane. If you want to complete the movement as soon as possible, the rectangle becomes smaller and you need to move your steering wheel more. The more you move your steering wheel, the slower your car drives because you need to keep your car in the lane. When you reduce your speed, and it means other car’s speed is actually increasing. Under such situation, you are more nervous as the balance between cars is destroyed.

Then how to change lanes you may ask? Let us imagine again: if you pull the rectangle as much longer as possible, the situation is different when you go from one corner to the diagonal corner. The key to change lanes is to control your speed, not the steering wheel. When can you enter another lane? When you can see in main reverse mirror that the whole head of the car on the lane you want to change to, you can then start to drive on the diagonal line, and please do remember to make the rectangle as longer as possible.

Control of the Car

We go on to talk about the problems when learning to drive. For the first time, when a first time learner is in contact with the car, he sits on the driver’s seat for the first time and has no idea what to do next. During driving, he naturally turns his attention to his hands. With eyes widely open, he grabs the wheel. Once he finds a problem, he is doing his best to steer the wheel. When turning, he only moves the wheel, not the car, and his steering wheel goes straight to the end.

In fact, there is no fixed answer for this problem. Another word, there is no person who can give a clear answer as it changes when you change the speed. The size of radian when driving depends on your speed. The faster the speed, the larger of the turning, and the slower, your car will turn at the smallest radius of the position your steering wheel at. Anyone who can ride a push bike knows the principle, and the program in acrobatics – flying bike on a round wall – uses the exactly the same principle. Then the question remains: how to control the steering wheel? First of all, you need to understand the steering wheel. It is there only for controlling the direction. If you want to control your direction, there is a condition that your car is on the move. If you can not make the car to move, then there is no direction to consider. Most common first time students often overlook this condition: Moving.

When we train our students, we often teach them to control the car, not the steering wheel. It is very important as you want to control the car, you need to control gas and break pedals. It is very difficult for some students to understand this principle as many of them simply believe that break = stop and gas = go. There is a harmonic relationship between break and gas. When you understand it, you can control the car easily. Your confidence then will be increased and you will not be afraid of driving. Therefore, we do not agree that sending a student onto the road without any purpose when learning to drive for the first time. We want to give our students an initial concept and let them to control the car by themselves. Only by doing so, our students can increase their experiences and master the principle as soon as possible.

Differences between common intersection and roundabout

We carry on talking about the problems of learning to drive. We all go through roundabouts. However, it is not easy for a first time learner to master the principle of going through it, such as when to go and when not to go. It is harder when you are going through a roundabout than a normal intersection, because it has more changes with cars all near where you are. If you respond a little slow, other cars will be affected. Therefore you will often have the feelings that you don’t know either to go or not to go. This is indeed difficult.

What then are the differences between a roundabout and an intersection? What is the nature of the roundabout? If you can understand its nature, you will be able to drive more confidently. Then what is its nature? Let us take a look of a common intersection. When you see a stop sign or give way sign, you know from these signs that you have to give way to cars on the main road. It means that cars on the main road have priority of going through first. You can only drive through until giving way to cars on the main road until the road is safe for you to drive through. To the cars on the main road, they already have the priority of driving, so these cars will remain normal speed. Therefore there is a big speed gap between the cars on the main road and these waiting to go through. Because this speed gap, you will be required to see far enough to make the right decision. In order to see far enough, you need to stop near the stop sign or slow down when approaching near the stop line as much as possible to enable you to make judgment accordingly.

Let us take a look of a roundabout again. When you approach to a roundabout, cars from all four directions are required to give way with signs of give way as well. It means cars from all directions need to reduce speed, so the positions are very much the same. Under such circumstance, this entry of the road has no gap in speed. You then have no need to look afar, but are good enough to watch relatively closer to where you are. Since there is no need to watch too far away, you can observe a little in advance before approaching. This is the basic principle of the roundabout.

To first time learner, a stop sign, a give way sign and a roundabout sign are not very easy to distinguish as they are very similar to one another. In fact, there are many differences among them. To a stop sign, the earliest time you can make the judgment of position is only after you park your car at stop line (because you are required to completely stop first). When your eyesight is blocked, you can slowly get your head out of the car to observe. To a give way sign, you can make judgment earlier, but not too early as there is a speed gap existed. You are required to watch distance far enough for safety. If you make judgment too earlier, then you can not watch distance far enough. Under such circumstance, the point you make judgment is a little before or after the stop line.

To a roundabout, the stop line is your last position to make judgment. The earliest position to make judgment is about one car space distance before the stop line (as there is no speed gap at the entry). The problem of the first learner often has is to watch distance too far away when approaching. When he or she sees cars approaching, the driver starts to prepare to give way and is afraid of moving forward. It means the driver is waiting for cars in distance to approach. The result is cars to approach continuously and the driver keeps waiting. Another problem is moving over the stop line, the driver is still observing the traffic without moving in time. It makes the driver to block the road without even noticing it. All these wrong decisions will cause you to be more nervous.

Therefore, when you drive, you will need to master these principles and use these principles to help you make right decisions. Your driving confidence then will increase over the time.