Diamond Drive Intensive

Diamond Drive Intensive

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Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Failing the Driving Test is Avoidable

Collisions are sometimes unavoidable, the good news is it’s unlikely to happen on your driving test.

The DSA published a list of reasons why candidates fail the Driving Test, it could happen to you. The best way to avoid a failure is to be sure you are ready and have the approval of your Driving Instructor

Below are the Top 10 reasons:
1. Observation at Junctions. This is very simply, ineffective observation and judgement at any form of junction.

ADVICE: Plan ahead, check for an open or closed junction. Use all of your mirrors, make blind spot checks and check at least twice in each direction before emerging. If it’s busy, keep looking and don’t stare in one direction for too long.

2. Reverse Parking. Again ineffective observation or a lack of accuracy when completing either parking exercise.

ADVICE: Be sure you know how to park in the first place. Every time you park it should look and feel the same every time. Always check blind spots and mirrors first and if possible have both your windows open a few centimetres allowing your to hear hear if any other road users are approaching. Reverse slowly ensuring you’re following your techniques and any reference points you may know of. It’s easy to get into a fluster if other road users appear, so try and keep your cool at all times.

3. Use of Mirrors. It may seem like common sense but not checking or not acting on the information you see in your mirrors are a big reason for failure.

ADVICE: Look and remember what you see in your mirrors, not only does it help with your planning ahead, for example changing lane and before you brake or signal, you’ll be aware of the driver behind and possible intended actions. On average you should be checking your mirrors every 5-7 seconds while driving. Make sure you use your mirrors in pairs at all times.

4. Reversing around a corner. Again ineffective observation or a lack of accuracy when completing this exercise.

ADVICE: Success can only be achieved be completing the manoeuvre slowly. Often candidates swing wide through ineffective observation and using a little too much speed. Guard your use of speed well. Use both your mirrors and blind spot checks to help yourself understand your surrounding environment and your movements. If another road user passes by you while you’re still moving, it’s likely you will fail through not “giving way” to other road users, a common reason for the “observation fail”.

5. Incorrect use of signals. In other words not cancelling or giving misleading signals.

ADVICE: If you were lost and someone gave you incorrect directions, you may become annoyed or frustrated. This is how other road users can feel if you don’t “communicate” correctly while you are driving. Always think and look to see if your signal is both appropriate and correct for the circumstances. If you leave your signal on, not only can it be misleading but it can be dangerous for other drivers, they may pull out in front of you thinking you are going elsewhere.

6. Moving away safely. This is a simple case of ineffective observations.

ADVICE: Your instructor will be training you to look over your shoulder before moving off, this is called a lifesaver check. It’s called a lifesaver check for a reason! If you fail to check 360* before moving off it’s likely you will miss something, that day will likely be your driving test day resulting in a fail. ALWAYS check over your blind spot where traffic could appear from.

7. Incorrect positioning on the road. Driving Examiners look for lane discipline at roundabouts or on bends.

ADVICE: Understand what lane discipline is…the ability to stay in lane in given circumstances, to follow a direction or route without moving out of position causing other vehicles to change speed or position. Very oftan candidates will cross over a white line on a roundabout trying to make a straight-on route, more oftan than not this can happen where markings are poor. Remember other road users will be around you at all times, they will need space to move around. Look ahead, curve the vehicle around a roundabout and stay in lane. As a driver you don’t have control over other peoples actions so you cannot assume you’ll understand fully where they may move to next.

8. Lack of steering control. Unfortunately steering too early or leaving it too late is a worrying reason for failure.

ADVICE: When the most commonly used item in the car used is the steering wheel, you wonder why this happens. More oftan than not it may result from ineffective observation rather than the candidate not knowing how to use it. The basic rule to remember is “the hands follow the eyes”. This fundamental rule is worthwhile remembering in all situations, even those you feel well in control of. Don’t allow yourself to become distracted, nothing will be more important than you and other peoples safety when you drive a car.

9. Incorrect positioning to turn right. This usually occurs when turning right at junctions and from one way streets.

ADVICE: When emerging from a one way street, remember you can position well to the right or left hand side as no one should be turning into the road you are emerging from. It will be a No Entry for other road users. If you aren’t sure then look at the road markings at the junction edge, they will be the thick double dotted lines you’re probably very familiar with. These will extend right the way across the junction as opposed to half of it like you see at the regular Give Way junctions.

10. Inappropriate speed – Not so much for travelling too fast but travelling too slowly or being hesitant.

ADVICE: You will no doubt be aware of the danger of travelling too fast, but travelling too slowly can be just as dangerous. You must know what the speed limit is, NEVER break it and remember also, it’s not a target. If it isn’t safe to use the speed limit then you won’t need to. Hesitancy usually occurs at junctions where candidates take a little too long to emerge. You may have been a pedestrian for many years and so should have a good perception of speed and distance. If you can walk across a lane of traffic you could probably drive across it. Other references exist but ultimately paying a good deal of attention will help. If it is really, really busy, you will just have to wait for the opportunity to arise, don’t feel because you have been there for ages that you must start interrupting the flow of traffic. You can only emerge when it’s safe.

Are you ready?
Those who pass their driving test have had, on average, about 45 hours of professional training, combined with 22 hours of private practice (DSA figures).

Candidates who combine professional instruction with private practice are also more successful on the test.

The UK national current pass rate is only 45%. For first time candidates, it’s even lower.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Test routes no longer published

Test routes will no longer be published on the DSA website, from 4th October 2010, to coincide with the changes to the driving test. Independant driving is to encourage concentration and awareness in new drivers. The responsibility of driving is often overshadowed by the desire to hold a licence. So the plan is to detract from learning specific routes, and to concentrate on the task of driving instead. dealing with road types, and situtations whilst trying to decide a route is challenging. There has been some controversy about this decision, but as there are going to be changes over the coming years, learners and instructors are going to have to adapt. What is your opinion on the plans to modernise the driving test

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

How many Driving Lessons do i need

Preparing for your driving test - The Driver's Record Those who pass their driving test have had, on average, about 45 hours of professional training combined with 22 hours of private practice. Learners who prepare this way, with a combination of plenty of professional training and plenty of practice, do better in the test.
To help you learn in a structured way, the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) has produced a Driver's Record. You may have received a Driver's Record with your provisional driving licence. This will help you monitor your progress and provide you with a lasting record of your achievement. You can also get one from your instructor, from your local driving test centre or from the link in the 'When to take your practical test' section below.
Structured learning
The Driver's Record is a way of helping you and your driving instructor keep a record of your progress while you're learning to drive.

The Driver's Record has a list of 24 key skills covered in the practical driving test. It has space for your instructor to fill in as you progress through the five levels shown on the Record. Levels one to four should be initialled and dated by your instructor, and full details added when you reach level five. From this, both you and your instructor will be able to see at a glance which skills you need to improve.

You need to learn the skill and then practise to get the experience. You also need to learn both the theory and practical driving at the same time, especially now that the theory test contains a hazard perception part. The record is a pocket-sized leaflet that you should take with you to all your driving lessons.
What are the five levels?
The meaning of each level is:

•the skill is introduced
•it can be carried out under full instruction
•it can be carried out correctly when prompted
•it seldom needs to be prompted
•you can carry it out consistently without any prompting
The Driver's Record will help to remind you what you're trying to achieve, how to get there and how far you've got.

Friday, 9 July 2010

Independent Driving Explained

From 4 October 2010 your practical driving test will include a section of ‘independent driving’.

During your test you’ll have to drive by either following a series of directions, following traffic signs, or a combination of both, for about ten minutes.

To help you understand where you’re going, the examiner may show you a diagram.

It doesn't matter if you don't remember every direction, or if you go the wrong way - that can happen to the most experienced drivers.

Independent driving is not a test of your orientation and navigation skills. Driving independently means making your own decisions - this includes deciding when it’s safe and appropriate to ask for confirmation about where you’re going.

The independent driving route
If you ask for a reminder of the directions, the examiner will confirm them to you.

If you go off the independent driving route it won’t affect the result of your test unless you commit a driving fault.
If you go off the route or take a wrong turning, the examiner will help you to get back on the route and continue with the independent driving.

If there are poor or obscured traffic signs, the examiner will give you directions until you can see the next traffic sign - you won’t need to have a detailed knowledge of the area.

You can’t use a sat nav for independent driving as it gives you turn-by-turn prompts. Independent driving tests how you make your own decisions.

Newspaper reports
Some newspapers have claimed that independent driving would lead to a fall in the driving test pass rate. This claim is based on early research where conditions did not reflect the eventual design of the new element of the test.

Subsequent trials with a larger number of participants and more closely reflecting the conditions in the planned new test showed no significant fall in the pass rate.

New Drink Driving Laws

North Review of Drink & Drug Driving Law
AA recommendations accepted

16 June 2010

Commenting on the North Review of the Drink and Drug Driving Laws, Edmund King, AA President, said: "The Automobile Association has long been highlighting the hidden problems of drugs and driving so we are delighted that these issues are being addressed.

"We are pleased that Sir Peter has followed our verbal and written recommendations on many of these issues and made use of our AA/Populus panel results to ascertain the views of the motoring public.

"Our members want action on drug driving and also support a reduction in the drink drive limit together with a 12 month ban."

Drink driving accounts for some 430 deaths per year and if better records were kept we estimate that an extra 215 deaths may be due to drug driving or a combination of drugs and alcohol. Hence a quarter of all road deaths are caused by drink or drug driving so it is essential that further action is taken.

The AA believes that more focus needs to be given to the problems of drug driving.

We are pleased that Sir Peter has made positive recommendations on screening devices, a clarification of the law and a call for coroners to test for the presence of drugs in road fatalities.

We would like to thank Sir Peter and his team for their work on these important subjects.

AA Recommendations
The following recommendations were proposed by the AA and are included in the North report recommendations.

Drink Driving
•Lowering of drink drive limit to 50mg/100ml
•Review 20mg limit for new drivers after 5 years
•Maintain a 12 month ban at 50mg
•Target cars of high risk offenders
•Deployment of portable evidential breath testing equipment
•Higher policing priority
•79% AA members support random breath tests
Drug Driving
•Coroners should test for drugs in all fatalities
•Volunatray roadside saliva tests
•Greater use of Field Impairment tests (FIT) and training
•Drug driving to be made an 'offence brought to justice'
•Speed up the process with use of nurses rather than forensic physicians
•Look to type approval of police station drug screening kits
•Look to a specific offence of driving with certain controlled drugs at levels deemed impairing
•Better NHS training and clearer labelling On legal drugs
Information about the Review and its terms of reference can be found on the North Review website.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Why some people fail

“I can already drive”
Many people think that it is enough that they can drive a car from A to B without being involved in an accident and with these skills that they can pass their driving test.
Having been in the driving training industry for over twenty years I know this not to be true.
We have many, many phone calls saying “I don’t need many driving lessons I can already drive and I just need your car for the practical test.”
Don’t get me wrong sometimes people don’t need many but mostly they do need some. How do they know without an evaluation assessment lesson from a professional driving instructor who has passed all three of the examination tests set by the Driving Standards Agency. The ADI (approved driving instructor) can and does know exactly the standard required to pass the L test.

Example of these drivers
“I have held a driving licence in my country for many years”
“I have been driving abroad for many years and have a lot of experience.”
“I have had lessons with friends and family.”
So what happens
These people tend to be repeat offenders, here is what they do.
Take one or two hours to practice with an ADI and then take their practical driving test. The ADI will do their best in the short time available and will only let the candidate go for the test if they are considered safe . However there are always too many loose ends to tidy up and inevitably the candidate fails the test.

Do they learn from this experience, quite simply No. The whole process is started again and when they have booked another practical driving test they call and want to try again. DEJA VOU
Do not be one of these people, have an assessment and take the professional advice of your ADI , complete the syllabus and pass your practical driving test.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Cheap Driving lessons

Cheap driving lessons
Are they value for money – whats the catch?
If you were paid £20.00 an hour for a job - You put a level of effort into your role as you are being paid a fair wage, Would you put the same level of effort into that job if you were being paid only £10.00 an hour?
Honest answer -No
Have you seen driving schools cars sitting at the kerb for what seems forever?
What are they doing, OK on some early lessons i.e the controls lesson, it does take some time to explain all the controls to the pupil, but look out for the underpaid ADI , he /she is trying to recoup some of the lost discounted payment by sitting at the kerb, talking and saving fuel. Maybe even making you have more lessons than you need in order to reclaim some of their lost earnings back.
Cheap driving lessons are a false economy.
Do you want 40 minutes lessons? No
Do you want an old car? No
Do you want to sit at the Kerb? No
Pay a fair amount for your lessons, get a professional company and take structured driving lessons and pass your test.