Driving Manoeuvres.

Learning the necessary driving manoeuvres.

As part of the process of learning to drive, pupils are required by the government to learn driving manoeuvres. These manoeuvres are part of the driving test. They are carried out to assess the pupils ability to control the car in a restricted space, and to assess the pupils level of observation and their response to other road users.

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With Antonine, practice at these manoeuvres will be structured into the format of most lessons, once this stage of learning is reached. This practice will then continue until the learner becomes skilled at maneuvering the car.

Before starting any of the driving manoeuvres you will have to have learned how to reverse the car in a straight line, and how to control the car slowly using the clutch. Once you can do this then you will be able to start your first manoeuvre.

The most common driving manoeuvres learned during a course of driving lessons are:

  • Turn in the road.
  • Reverse around a left hand corner.
  • Reverse parallel park.
  • Bay parking.

  • Ordinarily, the first driving manoeuvre you will learn will be "turn in the road". The point of this exercise is to turn your car to face the other way using the forward and reverse gears.

    The next standard progression is to learn to "reverse to the left". Here the aim is to reverse the car into a limited opening on the left whilst giving due consideration to other road users and pedestrians.

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    The third of the standard driving manoeuvres is the "reverse parallel park". This exercise adds the element of an object to safely manoeuvre around.

    Bay parking is taught in some areas, if it is possible that it may be included in the test. The decision to incorporate bay parking into the driving test is down to individual test centres, and is usually determined by the availability of parking bays. Where the test centre does incorporate it into the test, this manoeuvre tests the learner's ability to reverse the car into a bay parking space whilst giving consideration to other road users and pedestrians.

    In each of the manoeuvres there are 3 main key points for consideration:

  • Control.
  • Observation.
  • Accuracy.

  • You have to be able to control the car at slow speeds when maneuvering. This will be accomplished using brake and clutch control. The slower you move the car, the easier the exercise is to complete safely . Lack of clutch control will make the manoeuvre difficult and unsafe. Correct use of the steering wheel is essential in all of the exercises; you are required to turn the wheel quite briskly to make the best use of, and manoeuvre tightly in, the limited space.

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    Safe and effective observations are paramount throughout each of the driving manoeuvres. It is essential that you make good all round observations before starting and during each stage of any reversing exercise. Your main priority is to look out the rear window, but you must incorporate all round observation throughout the exercise. Look for other road users, and pay particular attention to pedestrians. You must stop for any other road user or pedestrian in the road.

    A reasonable degree of accuracy is needed when carrying out any of the reversing manoeuvres. You are required to carry out each exercise without your car touching or mounting the kerb. With the "reverse to the left" exercise you must not cross the white lines in the centre of the road. When you are "bay parking", the car must end up in the middle of the parking bay. For each of the reversing manoeuvres, your instructor will teach you to use certain reference points in, and on, your car to help you position your car correctly.

    As part of your driving lessons with Antonine Driving School, you will practice at least one of these manoeuvres in each of your lessons. This will help you to develop your clutch control and your observational skills. These are fundamental skills that are transferable to other areas of your driving. The clutch control skills learned when practising the manoeuvres will allow you to have more control of the car at junctions, and when driving in slower traffic, increasing your confidence and your driving skill and ability. You will also find that practising the manoeuvres will encourage you to become more observant, in general, when driving, and especially when moving away from the side of the road, and when you're emerging at junctions.

    The driving manoeuvres are key skills and a vital part of skillful driving. Practising them during every lesson doesn't just enable you to perfect the manoeuvres, it also hones and improves your general driving skills by fine-tuning your clutch control and improving your observations, making you a safer and more competent driver.

    As you can see from above, practising the set manoeuvres during your lessons gives you the ability and skill to manoeuvre the car in a limited space, but it also develops your ability to control the car, in general, when you're driving, as well as improving your observational skills. Developing your observational skills is very important for driving in general, and it is also crucial to the next element that we teach at Antonine Driving School.

    The next page, our Defensive Driving page, discusses this element in detail, so have a read and see how the observational skills that you develop through learning the set manoeuvres are a necessary and important part of developing a defensive attitude to driving.

    We hope this page has been informative. If you have an enquiry, or you are interested in booking driving lessons with us, please feel free to contact us . We would welcome your call.

    Antonine Driving School , for a DSA Approved Driving Instructor.

    Please click on the DSA Logo below to see the DSA's advice on 'choosing a driving instructor'.

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