List of RSA
Essential Driver Training Tutorials
The first tutorial is below, for the other 11 lessons click the link, but you'll need a password to gain access.
EDT LESSON 1
Car Controls and Safety Checks
The pedal on the right is the Accelerator. It is operated by the ball of the right foot with your heel closer to the brake pedal than the accelerator pedal, pivoting between the two.
It is used lightly and delicately to give a smooth drive. The further the pedal goes down the more petrol goes into the
engine giving more power. The accelerator is used to speed up the engine and also to make the car go faster. Avoid pressing the pedal down when the engine is off as this can make the engine difficult
to start. The accelerator is called the 'GAS' pedal during driving lessons. Over use of the accelerator burns excessive petrol and causes extra harmful emissions.
The brake pedal is located next to the Accelerator, the heel of your right foot should be beneath the brake pedal, and must be used gently and progressively. It slows the car down and continued use will stop the car.
It operates on all four wheels at the same time. Never use the brake harshly as it could cause loss of control or a skid.
When you use the brake, red 'brake' lights appear on the back of the car. To achieve a smooth stop you should relax the pressure on the brake pedal as you come to a stop.
Unnecessary or over use is inefficient and is environmentally unfriendly.
The clutch is the pedal on left, and is operated by the left foot. It is not so important how quickly it is pressed down, but it must be let back up slowly.
The clutch is a friction coupling with two plates, which when the pedal is pressed down, seperates the engine from the drive wheels,
and when the pedal is let up re-engages the engine with the drive wheels. The clutch is used when changing gears and as part of the stopping process.
The normal place to hold the steering wheel is to imagine it is a clock face and place your hands at either 10 & 2 o'clock, or 9 & 3 o'clock.
The steering wheel is turned by using the pull - push technique. Many steering wheels have adjustable heights to suit the size of the driver.
Handbrake (parking brake)
The handbrake is usually located between the front seats. To put the handbrake 'on' push the button in, lift up and release the button. To release it, give it a slight lift to make the button easy to push in,
then place the handbrake down to the floor ,only releasing the buton when it is fully down.
The handbrake is used to secure the car after it has stopped, and operates only on the two rear wheels. It should not be used whilst moving as it could
cause the car to skid.
The handbrake is used
- When you are parked
- when the car is stopped for more than a short time ( 2-3 seconds or more)
(i.e. if you have stopped at a roundabout waiting for a gap in the traffic, apply the handbrake in case you are bumped from behind and pushed into the passing traffic.
- when you have stopped and vulnerable road users i.e. pedestrians are passing in front of the car, in case
you are bumped from behind.
- when you have stopped on a hill.
The gear lever is operated by the left hand, with the palm of the hand facing the direction that you want to move the gear lever. Gears are a mechanical device to enable engine power to be used efficiently.
1st gear has the most power of the forward gears, the higher the gear the less the power. Reverse gear is the most powerful.
The nuetral postition disconnects the engine from the drive wheels. When you increase the speed of the car You use progressively higher gears and when you go to slower speeds
you use lower gears. Use of gears will be discussed in more detail in a later lesson.
Know the location of the indicator on the car you are driving ( on my car it is a lever attached to the steering column on
the left side of the steering wheel). Operate up to signal right, down to signal left. Indicators are used to warn other road users of your intentions.
Indicators can also confuse other drivers, so should be used with thought.
Know the location of the horn. On my car it is located on the steering wheel. The horn should be used to warn others of your presence, or to warn of on-coming danger.
Do not use the horn in a built up area between 11.30pm and 7.00am except in a traffic emergency. Do not use the horn in an aggressive way or to tell people off.
Know the location of your headlights. Headlights help other road users to see you . The first level of headlighting are 'Dim' headlights or 'side lights' these are used during the daytime when visibility is a little dull.
The second level of headlights is 'dipped' headlights, these are used at night when you are in a built up or lit area, when behind another vehicle, when there is an oncoming vehicle,
when in fog or in falling snow, and in daytime when visibility is badly reduced. The top level of headlights are 'full' or 'main' beam used at night other than when stated above.
when any of the headlights ae on red tail lights show on the rear of the vehicle. The headlights can also be 'flashed quickly to warn others of your presence.
Know the location of the hazard lights - Use when stopped in a position causing an obstruction (but not as an excuse to park dangerously or illegally)
when broken down esp. on a motorway , at an accident to warn approaching traffic, when stopping in a hurry on a motorway.
Windscreen wipers and washer Know their location and operation to keep good visibility.
It is essential to be able to see the road ahead, so if the windows begin to mist up you must know how to operate the ventillation systems
Bonnet Release Know the location of the bonnet release.
Instruments - When you turn the key to the 3rd position you will see warning lights on the dashboard
Warning lights for battery oil braking syst. airbags abs and take note of the location of the temp. gauge
Hand Signals - It is important to learn the hand signals given in the rules of the road and shown below
When would you use a hand signal?
i.e. right turn hand signal could be used when turning right into a minor road and a lorry is parked opposite the junction
on the major road, with just an indicator other people may wonder if you are
indicating to pass the lorry or to turn right . A hand signal would confirm your intention to turn right.
Can you think of situations where the other hand signals would be useful? This will help you to understand hand
signals given by others.
Road signs and Rules of the Road
Before taking a car on the road you should make sure you have learned the road signs from the 'Rules of the road ' book, to enable you to understand the information that they give you .
Familiarising yourself with the Rules of the road will also help you in learning to drive and driving safety.
Vehicle safety checks Kow the location of the vehicle manual (handbook) as this gives valuable info about your vehicle and how to
carry out checks.
- P - Petrol - should be checked before each journey
- O - Oil ( & Other fluids)- should be physically checked under the bonnet once a week.
Brake fluid and power steering fluid (if you have it ) should be checked once a week.
- W - Water - check there is water in the windscreen washer bottle at least once a week
and check the level of the engine coolant (which is water based mixture) once a week.
- E - Electrics - ckeck all lights are working and carry spare bulbs and fuses, check battery terminals are
clean and not corroded.
- R - Rubber - Check the condition of your tyres visually before each journey, that there are no cuts bulges or cracks in the wall of the tyre
and there is a sufficient depth of tread (1.6mm is the minimum) that the tyres look properly inflated, and that the air pressure is correct with a guage
once a week.
Check that the rubber blades of the windscreen wipers are clean and intact, once a week.
- S - Security - Check around the vehicle to make sure that there is no damage to your bodywork.
It is a legal requirment to maintain your vehicle. If you drive a defective vehicle on the road it
is an offence with penalty points.
Simililary if you do not have a valid NCT or Cert of Roadworthiness you will be subject to penalty points.
If your vehicle is unsafe it is irresponsible to drive it, as it puts the safety of yourself and others at risk.
A badly maintained vehicle is likely to have a negative impact on the environment.
Entering and Leaving the vehicle - It is important to enure there is no danger from passing traffic before you open
the car door to enter the vehicle. and likewise when leaving the vehicle ensure it is safe by looking around over your right
shoulder to check there is nothing in your blindspot, as well as checking the mirrors.
You must always ensure that the engine is off before getting out of the vehicle.
- D - door , ensure that it is properly closed by giving it a pull
- S - Seat bottom - enure that it is positioned so that you can push down the clutch to the floor and still have some bend in your knee
- S - Seat back - ensure that it is tilted so that you can reach the very top of the steering wheel ans still have a little bend in your elbow.
and that the head rest is set for you.
- S - Seat belt - ensure that the seat belt is securely fastened
- M - Mirrors - The door mirrors should be set so that you can see just a little bit of the side of the car in the inside of the mirrors.
The Interior mirror set aligning the top of the mirror with the top of the back window, and the best possible view between the seats.
Precautions before starting the engine
- H - Handbrake - Firstly ensure the handbrake is fully on (up) before touching any pedals or the gear lever.
- N - Nuetral - that the gear lever is in nuetral and that there is no danger in front of the car (like a pedestrian)
- I - Ignition - turn the key to start the engine.
Planning your journey
You must make sure that you are fit to drive, tiredness is a major cause of accidents. Make sure your car is fit for the journey carry out the POWER checks.
On long journeys plan to stop for a rest, food or refuelling.
Information on your route can be found at the National Roads Authority website - www.nra.ie info on traffic jams accidents
weather info tolls can be found there. RTE also gives up to date info on road problems. On route you can tune to a local radio station for local info.
- Clutch down and keep it down
- Select 1st gear ( hand on gear lever palm facing
towards the passenger )
- Check Mirrors, Signal Right if it is safe. (do not signal if there are Cyclists or Motorcycles approaching from behind, let them pass, then signal.)
- Look around over your right shoulder to check Blindspot
- look ahead of the vehicle
- Check door mirror again
- Release handbrake
- look around again if necessary
- Slowly move the clutch up towards the biting point, gently apply a little gas
( 2000 revs is the perfect amount of gas in all vehicles incl. diesels, but it
is not a target and any amount from 1000 and 2000ish will do. Do not look at the rev
counter it will distract you; get used to the sound. )
- When the car moves, hold both pedals steady (for a couple of seconds )
- then slowly lift the clutch to the top and increase the gas as necessary
- steer the car on to a safe driving line
- When you pull away you may find that you over rev the engine, or under rev and the car vibrates, but don't worry the timing will come.
The important thing is to simply, hold both pedals still when the car begins to move.
- Clutch down , off gas
- Hand on gear lever palm facing correctly, move gear lever to desired postion,
- clutch slowly up
- as you are finishing letting the clutch up, go gently back onto the gas.
- select a place to stop,
- Check mirrors and signal left to pull in,
- Come off of the gas
- cover the brake and clutch with your feet
- gently brake
- approx. 1 car length from stopping clutch fully down
- gently brake to stop, keep both feet on the pedals until...
- make the car safe by, putting on handbrake, then put gear lever to nuetral, then you can take your feet off of the pedals
- switch off indicator.