Monday, January 5, 2009

Teach your Teen to drive : Part 7

New drivers have to practice communicating when changing speed and direction. Ensure that your new driver learns to signal before, turning corners, changing lanes and exiting and entering highways. Explain to them how to use brake lights and hand signals to communicate to other road users when they want to slow, stop, or park.
As the two of you are driving along, try to point out when other drivers neglect to communicate their intentions. Teach your new driver that a good rule of thumb for making a turn is to signal before braking, so that the driver behind knows that you are going to slow down. Repeat to your new driver that they must pay attention to the traffic behind their vehicle. To avoid being hit from the rear, advise your new driver to check the mirrors and pump the brakes before slowing or stopping.
New drivers can become excessively concerned with switching on the signal indicator. At times, they do not to let the vehicle straighten out from a curve or a previous turn before signaling for the next turn. Ensure that your new driver waits until the vehicle is straight before trying to signal again.
Be aware of new drivers risking loss of steering control when attempting to use the signal lever.
Have your new driver practice using the signal lever without taking their eyes off the road or hands off the steering wheel. This can also apply when operating other instruments in the vehicle while driving, especially in heavy traffic. You may have to remind your new driver to wait before tuning the radio or use other instruments while at an intersection—and wait for a more calm section of roadway.
Ensure other drivers can see your vehicle, and let other drivers know what you plan to do.
You can practice communicating on any type of road. By prompting your new driver to signal before every turn in a quiet neighborhood, signaling can become almost automated later on in heavy traffic. With good signaling skills, your new driver can spend more time focused on other important driving decisions.

Monday, September 8, 2008


The following class of vehicles may not drive on a freeway:

  1. Vehicles with a GVM of less than 230 kg, designed for disabled persons.
  2. Pedal cycles with engines.
  3. Animal drawn vehicles.
  4. Motor cycles with an engine capacity of 50 cm³ "cc" or less.
  5. Two, three or four wheel pedal cycles.
  6. Three wheeled vehicles.
  7. Electrically driven motor cycles.
  8. Petrol, diesel, or electric driven farm or industrial vehicles.
The following are not permitted on freeways:

  1. Reversing, because you drove past an exit or for any other reason.
  2. Driving over islands that separate traffic, which travels in different directions.
  3. Stopping, except where you are instructed by a traffic officer to do so or when you are in a parking area and it is permitted by a traffic sign, or in situations beyond your control.
  4. Loose animals.
  5. Pedestrians, except when you are parked in a parking area and it is permitted by a traffic sign, or in situations beyond your control.
  6. Hand signals.

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Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Teach your Teen to drive : Part 6

Certain drivers, in particular new drivers, encounter problems when judging the time and distance required to execute movements in traffic. In addition to that, it is important for your new driver to ensure that they leave enough room to complete the maneuver, thus decelerate or accelerate to the correct speed and keep a look out for pedestrians and immobile vehicles, when turning onto a street or driving straight across an intersection. Changing lanes and merging with traffic requires that the new driver consider keeping a reasonable amount of space around their vehicle. They must also remember to yield to oncoming traffic.

Lead you new driver step by step through the selection of gaps, through for e.g. having them select gaps for you when you drive and informing you whether the gap is safe or not. You can give your new driver a watch so that they can time the gaps.

When your new driver is driving, they should tell you which gap should be chosen prior to actually moving into that gap, and you reply with a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ before the move is executed. After you have practiced, your new driver should be capable to chose and move into traffic gaps of all kinds, evaluate decisions immediately and make suggestions when required. Your new driver should avoid taking unnecessary risks, and allocate extra space when performing anything for the first time, they should also be patient and await the best time to make their move. At times it may be necessary to change direction for e.g. if they encounter problems in turning left, they could change direction and turn right and make a U-turn when it is safe to do so.

Serious decisions are needed for passing, thus you have to choose carefully the time and place to practice this. To start off have your new driver become adept in overtaking vehicles on a multi-lane road prior to attempting overtaking on a dual-roadway. If it is possible, have someone else drive another vehicle so that your new driver can practice overtaking and being overtaken.

Controlled intersections or uncontrolled intersections are one of the most difficult skills for new drivers. Executing a right turn on a red traffic light is another challenge, one that you may merely advise against except when there is no traffic with which to merge. When your unskilled driver chooses a good gap in traffic, ensure that they accelerate to an appropriate speed as quickly and safely as possible. New drivers have an inclination to decelerate when changing lanes, which is the opposite of what they should actually do. Prompt your new driver to not decelerate in most lane-change movements. If your new driver is driving too slowly, an acceptable gap may soon become unacceptable. Observe to ensure your driver does not concentrate so much on making the correct gap selection that they forget to watch out for other road users.

Gap selection is a skill that must be practiced as it is difficult

  1. Maintain speed when moving into a gap.

  2. Practice on multi-lane roads.

Practice overtaking on quiet roads with little traffic prior to attempting to practice selecting gaps in heavier traffic where your new driver will find more daunting gap selections for e.g. lane changing and overtaking. You can have your new driver choose gaps for you when you are driving so they do not have to follow through on them, then talk about what was correct and what was incorrect about those selections. Gap selection is a skill that should be practiced many times. Do as much of this practice as possible on side streets before moving into heavier and/or faster traffic.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Teach your Teen to drive : Part 5


Help your new driver see that the appropriate use of space entails the positioning of the vehicle appropriately on all sides. The new driver should soon notice that it is essential to position the vehicle as far away as possible from potential conflicts or hazards without disturbing the flow of traffic. They should understand that driving across the centre line to get past a parked vehicle could cause a worse situation. The vehicle must be positioned between two hazards if the available space is very narrow, in some cases. Following practice, your new driver should start to realise the need to regulate speed continually to maintain a proper space zone to the sides.

New drivers may be puzzled when they try to abide by all the different space requirements.
Such as, you may say, “keep to the left to avoid oncoming traffic” and then,“ keep left to avoid parked vehicles.” What should your new driver do when they face oncoming traffic and parked vehicles at the same time? It may be best to steer a middle course between the oncoming vehicles and the parked vehicles when the risk is about equal.
A space cushion as desired may not be left, but there should still be enough space to react to sudden motion from either side. When space is limited between the hazards, your new driver should be advised to handle the hazards one at a time. Space should be used to enable the new driver to maneuver, change direction, and to avoid tight places. For instance, when approaching a narrow bridge, rather than meeting the oncoming vehicle, it is better to slow and let the other vehicle cross the bridge first.

New drivers have a tendency to drift toward oncoming vehicles because at times they concentrate so hard on the oncoming traffic that they fail to make sure of their own vehicle’s intended path.

Blind Spots
Your new driver should understand that driving in the “blind spot” of other vehicles could be hazardous. You can make your teen aware of blind spots while your vehicle is parked by doing the following:

With your new driver in the driver’s seat, walk around the vehicle and ask them to tell you when they can’t see you in the rearview and side mirrors. When they are driving, you could point out vehicles that might be in their blind spot, and when your new driver drives in this hazardous position.

Parked Vehicles
Parked vehicles can also present a problem. Inexperienced drivers have a tendency to believe that parked vehicles will always stay parked and often do not leave enough space for them.
Persuade your new driver to move away from anything parked and to observe for indications that these vehicles might be pulling out by looking for turned wheels, a driver behind the wheel, brake lights, turn signals, and doors opening for instance. Tell your new driver that parked vehicles may also hide pedestrians who are not good at observing before crossing the road.

Handle one hazard at a time. Maintain space on all sides of the vehicle. Be aware of blind spots.

Practice the use of space with parked vehicles on quiet side streets then progress to more heavily traveled streets with pedestrians, bicycles, and oncoming traffic. As you and your new driver move on to multi-lane streets, you can carry on working on keeping a space zone with vehicles beside you—both moving and parked. Your new driver will have a safe foundation and practical experience.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Teach your Teen to drive : Part 4


The maximum speed limits on roads / streets are set on the basis of ideal driving conditions, i.e. good weather, good roads, and good traffic conditions. However, it’s rather difficult to get all these conditions at once.

That is the reason why a new driver has to be reminded to continually adjust their speed as the driving conditions change.

It can be a bit awkward for an unskilled driver at first to adjust their speed to traffic and road conditions, but you can assist them by stressing that they should maintain speed with the other traffic and maintain the same speed as the other vehicles in the flow of traffic, providing speed limits are observed.

Attempt to avoid large amounts or “packs” of traffic at first.

Demonstrate to your new driver how to perform this and how to adjust their speed as well. Have them slow down a bit and let the traffic pass them and then resume their speed.
Have your new driver adjust speed as necessary in new surroundings for example unknown intersections, crossings, or other areas where pedestrians may act unexpectedly.
Keep in mind that driving 70 km/h in some situations may be much too fast (even though the speed limit may be 80 km/h).

Ask your new driver to uphold a constant speed limit. For example, you can say:

“Try to maintain a speed limit at 60km/h for the next kilometer.”

The new driver may find the speedometer will drop below or above 60 km/h. With practice this should improve. Let them practice this while driving under various conditions, such as curves, hills, and so forth.

Frequently, new drivers are inclined to drive through intersections too fast. Have your new driver realize just how dangerous intersections can be, even if they do have the right-of-way. You have to make sure your new driver is aware of how to approach an intersection at an early stage.

New drivers are inclined to drive too fast on / around curves as well. Your new driver should be reminded that a curve is just a small part of a regular turn. It can be hard to comprehend the necessity to slow down to enter a curve and to accelerate after leaving the curve.

This will become easier with lots of practice and reminders.

Practice will assist your driver to anticipate speed changes of the vehicle under different conditions and your new driver will be able to adjust the vehicle’s speed to the road conditions.

Make sure your new driver does not make the following common driving mistakes:

  • letting the incline of a hill change their speed i.e. slowing down when going uphill, speeding up when going downhill
  • slowing down too much when turning off a high speed road that has an exit lane
  • driving too fast for the road and weather conditions
  • losing speed when changing lanes
Adjust speed to road and weather conditions and set goals for constant speed.

It’s best to firstly drive in easy-to-handle surroundings.

In early practice sessions, get your new driver to maintain constant speed on streets in residential areas and on dual-lane roads with not much traffic and not many side streets.

As the new driver become more experienced, you can start to take on areas where the traffic is heavier and where they will have to adjust their speed more often.

You can start practicing increasing speed and merging onto another road by merging at a quiet intersection with a yield sign. When your new driver has mastered that, you can have them try it on a higher speed road that has a longer acceleration area. Work on speed control while overtaking or being overtaken and on hills and curves.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Teach your Teen to drive : Part 3


Your driver will find that the two-second rule assists them to maintain a safe following distance.

Thus, when driving behind a vehicle, they should maintain, at least, a two-second distance between their vehicle and the vehicle ahead of them. The best conditions are daytime and on dry roads.

The following distance should be increased to at least four seconds, when driving in adverse weather or road conditions or at night.

How to measure the following distance:
Have your driver start counting “one-thousand-and-one, one-thousand-and-two” when the back bumper of the vehicle ahead of the driver passes a fixed object, for e.g. a lamppost.

If your vehicle’s front bumper reaches that lamppost before the count of “two” your driver should drop back and increase their following distance. It is important to note that the closer they drive to traffic, the harder they’ll find it is to observe what is ahead of them.

Encourage your driver to observe several vehicles ahead of them. Remind them that if any vehicle ahead slows down or stops abruptly, it is likely that all the vehicles behind that vehicle will have to follow suit. By maintaining a good following distance, your driver will have more time to respond to the actions of other drivers.

Remind your driver that there could be other vehicles following them. If your new driver observes and communicates with the driver traveling behind them, they can avoid the possibility of being hit from the behind. You may suggest “pumping” the brake-pedal by pushing your foot on it to turn it on and off quickly to flash the brake lights and using indicators in advance to indicate your driver’s intention to slow down, stop, or turn.

Assist your driver by counting out the two-second distance for them. As the driver become more experienced with the two-second distance, inquire, “How many seconds are you behind the vehicle in front of you?” After a period of time, the new driver may be able to follow at a safe distance without having to count it out every time.

New drivers at times count the seconds too fast and do not foresee changes in the road as swiftly as they should. They may find themselves concentrating on following so much that they lose sight of pedestrians and other vehicles. They may also tend to follow certain vehicles too closely. With practicing continually, your driver may realise that they need to follow larger vehicles at a greater than two-second distance because of the inability to see around them.

Your driver must communicate with the drivers of the vehicles behind you when being followed.

When following, keep at least a two-second distance between your vehicle and the one ahead of you. Increase this distance to four seconds, under adverse conditions.

Opt for the correct time of day and make use of an open road with a reasonable amount traffic.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Intersections / Crossings

  1. When approaching a four-way or a three-way stop, the vehicle which was
    there first, may proceed first when it is safe to do so.
  2. When approaching a traffic circle, vehicles already in the circle, and
    vehicles approaching from the right, have the right of way.
  3. You must obey traffic lights and traffic signals, unless instructed otherwise
    by a traffic officer.
  4. Always come to a complete stop where there is a stop sign.
  5. Always yield to pedestrians at or near a pedestrian crossing.
  6. Only enter an intersection or crossing when it is safe to do so.

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