Being a driver isn’t always the easiest thing in life, and we understand that sometimes you just need a little push in the right direction in order to feel as confident as possible on the road. So, we’d like to help you out – read our ‘introduction to driving’ advice below for a few helpful everyday driving tips.
One of the most important things to know when you’re sat behind the wheel of a moving car is of course, how to maintain stability and composure at speed – progressive application is key to making sure that you’re not likely to brake too late, or too soon for that matter.
In order to keep the composure and stability of your brakes at speed, press the brake pedal until there is contact between both the brake pads and discs – this is usually referred to as “taking up the slack”. Once you’ve done this, squeeze on the pressure and continue until the required rate of deceleration is reached. This doesn’t mean that you cannot brake quickly or firmly, but it’s extremely important to make sure the application is progressive rather than stamping on the pedal in a panic – progressive braking will help you avoid locking the wheel or losing control of the car due to the loss of traction, if this occurs, get in touch with a specialist and get your brakes fixed to ensure maximum safety on the road.
Progressive acceleration can be practiced on virtually every road car, even despite how much or how little power your car might have. But, of course, the benefits will be much more dramatic than those of a less powerful car if your car is relatively powerful. The idea is that you apply the throttle steadily and gradually, avoiding aggressive acceleration, in order to avoid any unwanted weight transfers and wheel spinning also.
Remember that you cannot steer in any way that you’d prefer, there is a certain position that your steering wheel should remain at throughout any drive – nine and three o’clock positions, allowing you a good range of motion without forcing your hands off the steering wheel.
You should try to adapt to the nine and three o’clock positions so that your hands do not leave the steering wheel whenever you turn a corner – both of your hands should remain on the steering wheel for the entire time that you are driving, otherwise you might find it difficult to divert your vehicle in case of sudden emergency or without sudden warning.
Quite often, the changing of gears appears complex and is relatively confusing to those who are just starting out on the road. But actually, it’s simpler than you’d imagine. Just remember that when you make a gear change, the shift should be imperceptible from the passenger seat – any loss of traction means that your journey will take much longer than you had planned.
Try not to use the gears to help you decelerate – modern brakes are extremely good and are reliable in making sure you brake on time and allow enough room between your car and the one in front! If you decide that you find it easier to change down before a corner, this should only be done to allow you maximum acceleration on the way out rather than to slow you down before the approach – brake first before changing down as this will get the engine speed down in order to make the gear change smooth.
Avoid dramatic shifts in weight in order to prevent losing traction is vital for every performance driver – you could possibly avoid being caught at a much lower speed, but the minute your car reaches the limits of grip, the smallest of weight transfers in the wrong direction could cause you to lose traction.
It’s important that you practice smooth driving every day as a beginner to make sure the journey is pleasant for your passengers, and this will also allow you to cover the roads quickly and safely too!