3 Essential Driving Routines You Should Know – Part 2
In the 1st part of this blog we detailed the essential routine to set the car up correctly before you pull off. To recap, this was the D.S.S.S.M. routine (Doors, Seat, Steering Wheel, Seat Belt, Mirrors).
In this part of the blog we will detail the routine you should employ whilst driving off from a standing still position. This can be either from being parked at the side of the road or coming out of a parking space for example. This routine is called the P.O.M routine.
P is for Prepare.
After ensuring you are out of gear the car should be started. Now you should engage 1st gear (2nd gear if on a downhill stretch of road or if pulling off in snow or icy conditions). Once in gear you should find the biting point. Your driving instructor will help you with this as every car feels slightly different when doing this. There will also be a difference between petrol and diesel engine cars on where the biting point is and how it feels. You are now prepared to pull off…
O is for Observation.
Now that you have prepared the car to go you need effectively observe around the car BEFORE pulling off. It is not enough to have a glance around, you need to assess what you see (if anything) and understand how what you see might effect you. I am a big safety fan so I teach 6 points of observation in this routine. If pulling off to the right you should first of all observe over your left shoulder at the left blind spot.
Then move around the car by looking in your left side mirror, centre mirror, straight ahead, right side mirror and finishing over your right shoulder at the right blond spot. If at any point in these observations you see something that stops you from moving off (a potential hazard) then just pause in this mirror until the way is clear then proceed to do all of the remaining observations. If you are still unsure as to what is there repeat the routine.
A few extra seconds before pulling off could save lives. If you are moving off to the left then your observations should be the other way around, starting over your right shoulder, then right mirror, ahead, centre mirror, left mirror, finishing over your left shoulder at you left blind spot. Knowing what’s around you is essential to keep you safe. As a separate point not observing effectively (especially blind spot checks) is a major reason for failing your driving test. NEVER assume nothing is there.
You will not be able to hear pedal bikes or electric cars coming up alongside you! Don’t be the driver who causes an accident by just pulling off. The cyclist you hit didn’t come out of nowhere. You simply didn’t look properly to assess your surroundings.
You are now both ready to go and you have checked its safe to go…
M is for Move.
This part speaks for itself. Slowly fully bring your clutch up whilst gently pressing the accelerator and you are off.
The P.OM. routine is simple in theory but it is not easy to master so be prepared to practice this lots in the course of your driving lessons.
So now you have learned the first 2 routines to get you set up and move off safely. The third part of this blog will deal with the final routine you will need to become a safe driver. This final routine is the M.S.M. routine.