It's raining (again)

Category -> practical advice

It feels like it's rained every day for six months. Here is the important information about driving in the rain.

  • Make sure your tyres have more than the legal tread depth (minimum is 1.6mm)
  • Clean your wipers regularly by running a clean cloth down the blades to remove the black gunk which builds up
  • Keep the screenwash reservoir topped up
  • Keep the insides of the windows clean (I use a microfibre cloth to remove dust). Use the A/C to keep condensation under control.
  • Keep AT LEAST four seconds back from the vehicle in front
  • Look out for large puddles and do your best to avoid splashing pedestrians
  • Look out for pedestrians who have hoods up and aren't look at the road properly
  • Look out for cyclists who may take avoiding action from puddles at the edge of the road

Always drive to the conditions.


Chislehurst Driving School Blog
Posted by Neil - 6 months ago

Signalling

Category -> practical advice

"Mirror - Signal - Manoeuvre" - you've probably heard this a hundred times. Or maybe not. The reason we check mirrors prior to giving a turn signal is for two reasons:

Firstly, to ensure that the turn we're about to take is 'do-able'. For example, if you're about to turn right, and check your mirror only to see three mopeds about to overtake, you might decide not to make the turn.

Secondly, it helps to determine when to signal. If someone is close behind, you might decide to signal sooner, to give them more time to react to the slowing of your vehicle.

Generally turn signals should be given prior to braking, and roughly ten seconds before the turn (depending on the situation).

Avoid giving signals which could be misleading!

For example, if you're about to pull over just after a junction do not indicate until you have passed the junction as another road user may think you're going to turn.

Also, if you are moving off from the side of the road, do not indicate if your intention is to wait for a few moments for another vehicle to pass. Wait until they have passed otherwise they may think you're about to pull out into their path.

Good drivers develop good habits, which are hard to break. M - S - M is one of those.

Chislehurst Driving School Blog
Posted by Neil - 7 months ago

How to overtake cyclists

Category -> practical advice

This is a useful video featuring Cyclist Chris Boardman and Driving Instructor Blaine Walsh.

Chislehurst Driving School Blog
Posted by Neil - 1 year ago

Driving in the rain

Category -> practical advice

The highway code states: “Allow at least a two-second gap between you and the vehicle in front on roads carrying faster-moving traffic and in tunnels where visibility is reduced. The gap should be at least doubled on wet roads and increased still further on icy roads.”

To judge whether you are a safe distance behind the vehicle in front select a fixed point (a lamp post, say) and when the car in front passes that fixed point begin to count (starting from 0). If you reach the fixed point before you can count to two (or four on a wet road) then you are too close and should pull back.

If someone is driving too close behind you (known as tailgating) consider creating a bigger gap between yourself and the vehicle in front. Then, if the vehicle in front of you brakes hard, you won't have to, and the vehicle behind is less likely to bump you.

Alternatively, find somewhere safe to pull over and let the vehicle behind pass.

Chislehurst Driving School Blog
Posted by Neil - 1 year ago