Tip #31 Cockpit Drill

Good driving begins before you even get into the car and start the engine. First, visually check the tyres, lights and bodywork. Once in the car, follow a ‘cockpit drill’; checking that the doors are securely closed, your seating position is comfortable, you can reach all the controls and the mirrors are correctly set. Make sure everyone is […]

Tip #30 Driver Impairment

What does ‘driver impairment’? It obviously covers the effects of drink or drugs, but there are other things to consider too. Is defective eyesight a driving impairment? What about ill-health? Is it safe to drive under the debilitating effects of a migraine, for example? I think not. Medication can also impair your driving ability. Some medicines warn of […]

Tip #29 Cyclists

We’re seeing more incidents involving cyclists, particularly in towns, because more commuters are taking to two wheels. It’s true that some take unnecessary risks, but so do many drivers, with little consideration for other road users. Most cyclists are acutely aware of their own vulnerability. Drivers must ‘think cyclist’ at all times. Give them plenty of space, […]

Tip #28 Hazard Perception

How good is your hazard perception? A hazard is anything that presents a possible risk to safety, and early recognition is the key to ensuring that potential danger doesn’t escalate into actual danger. Hazards may be static (such as a roundabout or junction) or they may move (a vehicle or pedestrian). The latter are more difficult […]

Tip #27 Avoidable Idling

Fuel consumption is a common concern on cost and environmental grounds, yet using less fuel is easier than you think. Drive smoothly, avoiding harsh acceleration and braking, and try to keep rolling in slow-moving traffic as this uses less fuel than repeated stopping and starting. Also avoid prolonged idling, which wastes fuel and causes engine wear. Keep […]

Tip #26 Journey Times

How much time to you allow for a journey? How do you plan to arrive on time if you don’t know what the road and traffic conditions will be like? If a driver falls behind a pre-determined schedule he or she can become stressed, which can lead to risk-taking as well as dangerously erratic behaviour.  […]

Tip #25 Road Markings

Many motorists pay little attention to road markings, yet they are vital to safety. Expert drivers with good observation skills recognise that the more paint there is on the road, the greater the hazard. This is particularly true in areas of restricted vision, where you may see solid centre lines and cross-hatched vehicle separation areas. Traffic […]

Tip #24 Action Planning

Many times over the years, people have asked me to define ‘advanced driving’. I say it’s perfect scanning and planning – the earlier you see danger, the more time you have in which to deal with it safely. Develop a dynamic plan of action (observation, mirrors, signal, position, speed, gear) on approach to hazards. Allow […]

Tip #23 Country Roads

Many crashes happen on rural roads. They’re littered with blind crests, tight corners, unusual junctions and a multitude of unfamiliar traffic signs and road markings. They key to safety is to use these signs and markings as vital information in plotting a safe route along the road, as they often provide clues to upcoming hazards. TOP TIP On […]

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Tip #22 Junction Visibility

How can you ensure your safety and that of other road users when emerging from a junction with restricted visibility? We should use all of our senses while driving, so if vision is reduced, compensate with hearing. Wind down the window and listen carefully for approaching traffic and other dangers. It is still vital to see if […]

Tip #21 Road Furniture

How many drivers use street lights to help plan a safe journey? Advanced police drivers use such ‘road furniture’ to gain early clues of what they will encounter ahead, and you should too. Light positioning can often help when approaching hazards. For example, on corners, lights are always positioned on the outside of the bend. If […]

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