- To practice, one must go through some basic steps which include Assessment, Preparation, and Execution (APE).
ASSESS – Examine the traffic environment for signs and road markings, and check your mirrors. Decide if you would like to perform the manoeuvre
PREPARE – Once decided, signal your intentions, check your mirrors and blind spot again to ensure its safe to perform the manoeuvre
EXECUTE – Use the controls to execute the manoeuvre. Look where you WANT to go, not where you do not want to go. When complete, verify the signal is no longer activated.
The APE system will be used throughout this module.
Starting the Engine
Before starting the ignition, be sure the cockpit drill is complete. If it is, your key will already be in the ignition.
- Ensure the transmission is set to park, and the parking brake is set.
If the engine is cold (has been sitting for awhile), press and release the accelerator pedal to reset the electronic command module.
Turn the key to the ON position and verify the gauges and indicator lights.
Turn the ignition switch to the START position and listen to the sound of the engine.
When the noise changes from the starter engine to the engine, release the key.
If the engine does not start, wait for 5 to 10 seconds and try again. Do NOT engage the starter engine for longer than 10 seconds.
- With engine running, check the indicator lights and gauges again. They should indicate normal operation by going out (the parking brake indicator will still be lit as it is activated)
In Cold Weather Ensure parking brake is on and press the accelerator pedal slightly while starting the engine to help get it going.
Allow the engine to warm up for 30 seconds to ensure oil circulation before driving.
Drive slowly at first to improve oil circulation and initial lubrication of gears, bearings and other moving components in the vehicle
A Flooded Engine
Starter sounds normal but the engine does not start. There is an odour of gasoline in the passenger compartment due to an excess of gasoline in the engine preventing combustion
To start the engine
Depress the accelerator pedal fully (ensure parking brake is on) and maintain the position even if the first attempt fails.
Turn ignition to START for 5 to 10 seconds and release if it does not start. As soon as it does start, ease up on the accelerator quickly.
There are two areas around your vehicle that you cannot see. They are referred to as “blind spots.”
Blind Spots are located to the right and left of your vehicle, just behind your normal field of forward vision and extend to the rear on both sides until the rearview mirrors reflect the lanes beside your car.
Anytime you wish to manoeuvre, it is essential to not only check your mirrors, but also your blind spot on the side to which you want to move
Practice turning your head until it reaches your shoulder and look to the side towards the rear of your vehicle
Other drivers also have blind spots (large trucks have 4 “no zones”) and so you should avoid driving in another driver’s blind spots.
Reduce speed and drop back or accelerate to pass out of another driver’s blind spot.
Steering and Visual Tracking
Grip the steering wheel at 9 and 3, thumbs resting on the wheel
Look far ahead at the centre of the lane in which you want to travel.
Keep your hands on the steering wheel, moving your hands and the wheel together
When turning, be sure that you are in motion. Turning the wheel without moving (“dry steering”) causes premature wear on your tires and steering components
Hand-Over Hand Steering Method
To turn a corner or leave a parking space, use the “hand over hand” steering method.
To Turn Right
From the normal (9 and 3) driving position, both hands turn the steering wheel to the right.
When the right hand gets to the 4 position, remove it from the wheel and continue steering with the left hand.
Cross the right arm over the left arm to place your right hand at the 12 position
Continue turning with the left right hand while the left reft returns to the starting position
To Return Straight
While parking (or other slow speeds), it is necessary to use the same hand-over-hand technique.
When moving faster, such as after turning a corner, allow the steering wheel to slide through your grip while continuing to accelerate the vehicle.
The wheels will straighten with respect to your vehicle, not in relation to the direction you wish to travel.
The engine is already running, and you are getting moving from being parked.
Depress and hold the service brake
Set the transmission to DRIVE (D)
Release the parking brake
ASSESS – Is there sufficient space to enter traffic?
Check in your mirrors and toward the blind spot.
PREPARE – Activate your turn signal
Recheck your mirrors and blind spot
EXECUTE – Release the brake while looking where you want to go
Turn steering wheel as needed
Press the accelerator pedal gently and increase as required.
Keep your heal on the floor and depress the accelerator with the ball of your foot
Vehicle reaction depends on a number of factors including but not limited to road surface, engine size, and weight of the vehicle.
To develop a better “feel” for driving the vehicle, notice the changes in body position and adjust your pressure on the gas pedal accordingly.
To increase your speed, depress the gas pedal gradually and adjust the pressure as the vehicle reacts.
When the desired speed is reached, ease up slightly and your vehicle will maintain speed. If you ease up too much, the vehicle will decrease in speed.
When the inclination (angle) of the road changes, you will need to adjust the pressure you put on the accelerator to correspond.
The transmission will adjust your gears as needed. Keep your eyes looking far ahead so you can adapt to changes without having to press the gas or brakes as often.
Use your brake pedal to announce to vehicle behind you that you will be braking
Check rearview mirror
Reapply the brake pedal firmly
Reduce speed in relation to space available.
Ease up on the brakes as you reach a full stop.
The transfer of the concentration of weight from one point on the vehicle to another as caused by driver inputs.
The skill of the driver is to minimize weight transfer through precise movements of smooth steering, progressive acceleration, and controlled and safe braking.
Acceleration transfers weight to the rear, lightening the front and reducing traction.
Also referred to as “Pitch towards the rear”
If the acceleration is sudden and hard, there is a noticeable drop in the rear of the vehicle.
Applying Brakes Transfers weight to the front of the vehicle, lightening the rear and rear traction
Also referred to as “Pitch towards the front”
If the braking is sudden and hard, the hood drops, the rear rises, and occupants feel the forward movement
Transfers weight from one side of the vehicle to the other depending on which way you turn.
Also referred to as “roll”
May or may not be felt by the occupants of the vehicle
It is important to remember that just like in moving forward, reversing requires you to look where you want to go, and NOT where you do not want to go.
To back into a right turn, you turn the steering wheel to the right.
While reversing, the front of the vehicle will swing in the opposite direction abruptly and will require less wheel movement to change direction.
Backing Straight or Into A Right Turn
Removing your seatbelt is permitted at this time if it helps you to more easily turn to look towards the rear of your vehicle.
ASSESS – Check in your mirrors and toward the blind spot.
Are you permitted to reverse?
Is the manoeuvre safe?
PREPARE – Apply the service brake.
Move the transmission into REVERSE (R)
Release the parking brake (if it was engaged)
Activate the turn signal
Recheck around your vehicle
Place your left hand at the 12 position on your steering wheel
Turn your torso and head to the right until you can see out the rear window
EXECUTE – Ease up on the brake pedal so the vehicle starts reversing slowly
Maintain pressure on the brake pedal as needed to control your speed
Check often to the front and sides.
When turning, check that the left front of your vehicle does not run into anything.
Apply the service brake to stop.
Backing Into A Left Turn
While backing into a left turn, the right front of your vehicle will swing out.
Follow the same APE procedure as for reversing straight or to the right except
Place your right hand at the 12 position on your steering wheel
Turn your torso and head to the left until you can see to the left rear
Most drivers learn the space required by their vehicle when in operation by trial and error.
As with novice drivers, this trial and error is required by experienced drivers who are attempting to park a vehicle that is new to them
It is critical as you learn to base your driving decisions on some fixed reference points that are based in experience
For example, it can help when parking if you note that when parked correctly, the centre of your hood lines up with the curb.
With practice and experience, noting visual references like this will help you to be able to do things like park your car without having to get out to check how far away from the curb your wheels are.
These reference points are best perceived not through direct, conic vision, but through your peripheral vision.
It is also beneficial to drive other vehicles, such as those with the driver’s seat in a different position in relation to the wheels.
After checking a few visual reference points, your knowledge of another vehicles reference points can be transferred to the new vehicle.