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Preparing for the Driving Test

1. Techniques Check: You must be able to carry out your weekly routine as such as; Checking oil, coolant, tyres, wipers, headlights, brake lights and reflectors etc.

2. Secondary Control:  You should know and understand the functions of all controls and switches in your vehicle and be able to operate them effectively as required (During driving test make good use of  fan & rear demister if raining).

3. Position:  On the straight maintain correct position, on bends and within traffic lanes (1 metre from the kerb Length of car’s door) if the road is narrow stay in the centre. Do not hug the centre of the road or the kerb and keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front (Make sure that you are able to see the tyres of the vehicle on the front). When intending to negotiate junction or roundabout make sure you are in the appropriate lane (Follow road markings). Watch your position when turning left, turning right and on entering and exiting a roundabout. When stopping in traffic or at a kerb make sure that it is safe do though (Do not cause any obstruction to other road traffic).

4. Observation:  Observation is crucial for your safety & other while driving. When moving off from Parking Spot always look around to ensure that no traffic coming by following routine (GOSH & Blind Spot). Never attempt to move or manoeuvre until it is safe to do so. Before overtaking, changing lane, entering a roundabout, altering course or stopping, make sure that it is safe to do so. Before turning at junctions, always look right, left & right again to make sure that it is safe to proceed (If in doubt wait till that you are confident).

5. Reaction to Hazard:  When driving always look ahead to identify hazards and do take action when necessary. You may will have to adjust speed or course to react in hazard promptly. There will be times when you will have to deal with more than one hazard within a short space of time. This may require using both initiative and common sense to deal with different circumstances.

6. Anticipation: To anticipate is to take action when you expect something may happen. You can anticipate what others may do by making early use of the available information on the road. Ask yourself: What am I likely to find? What are other road users/pedestrians likely to do? Should I adjust my speed or maybe even stop?

7. Parking: You must park the vehicle correctly & in a good & safe position. Park legally with care and consideration for other road users. Always check before opening the door for other traffic. (Check also blind spot)

8. MSM:  Ensure that your mirrors are properly adjusted before moving off. Mirrors should be used from time to time to provide a picture of following traffic. Show a good use of mirrors and give a correct signal in good time before: Moving off/overtaking/changing lane/turning right/turning left/at roundabouts/slowing & stopping. Always use your inside mirror before signalling. Do not give contradictory signals and check that indicators are cancelled in good time. Avoid giving dangerous or misleading signals to other road users. The horn should be used helpfully but not excessively.

9. Clearance When Overtaking: You must allow sufficient clearance when overtaking/passing pedestrians/cyclists/motorcyclists/other road users & stationary vehicles. Always allow sufficient but not excessive clearance (Obstructions must be in the inside mirror before moving in). Do not overtake where it is dangerous or prohibited to do so. Always leave sufficient space to another road user. Never cut in too soon after overtaking (it is dangerous for other roads users & yourself)

10. Progress: Regarding speed limits, keep up with the traffic flow, do not drive under the speed limit. Keep reasonable progress moving off/on the straight/overtaking/ changing lane (Do not slow down when changing lane)/at junctions/at roundabouts/ turning right/turning left/at traffic lights. Do not cause obstruction to others by undue lack of progress.

11. Vehicle Control: Make good use of accelerator/clutch/gears/ footbrake/handbrake/parking brake and steering.
Accelerator: The accelerator should be used smoothly.
Clutch: Operate the clutch with reasonable smoothness. Do not ‘coast’ i.e. drive for a distance with the clutch disengaged.

Break: Always break smoothly, do not slam the break (Except in emergency break). Avoid unnecessary use of brakes while turning. Release and apply handbrake smoothly as and when required.

12. Gears: Select the correct gear at all times, e.g. moving off, overtaking, vehicle speed, and for turning left and right. Engage gears smoothly, do not coast in neutral (Keep your gears high & rev’s low). On a hill start you should be able to release clutch before handbrake. Good coordination of control will avoid you rolling back. Do not stall the engine (If so pull hand break & neutral before starting vehicle).  

13. Courtesy: Show courtesy in regard for the safety and convenience of other road users (Do not wave of beckon other traffic)

14. Speed: Do not exceed the permitted speed limit. Adjust your speed to suit traffic/road & weather conditions/when approaching bends, junctions, roundabouts, traffic light, turning right & left. Never drive at a speed that you cannot stop safely within the distance you can see to be clear.

15. Traffic Control: You must be able to deal, understand and comply with traffic & pedestrian lights/pedestrian crossings/road signs/road markings/yellow box junctions/signals given by Gardaí, school wardens/flag man or persons in charge of animals.

16. Right of Way: When driving it is important to recognise when you should give right of way to others roads users. Yield right of way as required: when moving off/overtaking/changing lane/turning right & left, at cross junctions/roundabouts/with other road users while there is obstructions. You should not force your way in as it will cause danger to yourself or others roads users.

17. Reverse: You will be required to reverse into a side road on the left, keep reasonably close to the kerb (1/2 length of your vehicle door) maintain good progress while it is safe to do so & give the right of way to oncoming vehicle, be prepared to stop if necessary. Keep reversing till requested to stop (Do not bump or mount the kerb).   Throughout this manoeuvre you should make the proper use of clutch & steering wheel, & take the correct and proper observations. You will also be asked to correctly demonstrate a number of hand signals.

18. Turn About: This manoeuvre will test your ability to control the vehicle in a restricted space. You will be required to turn the vehicle within the width of the roadway to face in the opposite direction. You should need 3 manoeuvres to face the other direction, if not make it in 5 (Do not bump or mount the kerb). While manoeuvring you should make proper use of the vehicle controls (Clutch & steering wheel). Take good & proper observations/maintain reasonable progress. Show care and consideration for the safety of pedestrians, Cyclists & other road users. Be prepared to Stop if it is necessary.

(PS): The horn should be used helpfully but not excessively.