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5 Most Important Driving Routines for Learners

  • Posted: 14-10-2016  In: Driving Tips

    Getting into a positive routine and developing good habits are the best ways for new drivers to hone their skills and prepare themselves to pass their test in an effective and efficient manner. While we all learn in our own way, many people find that the use of acronyms can help us to remember the steps and procedures we need to include in our routine.

    To increase your chances of becoming a good driver, here are 5 of the most important driving routines for learners.

    • S.S.S.M.
    • C.A.L.P.
    • S.P.S.L.
    • O.M.
    • A.D.A.

    1. D.S.S.S.M.

    This stands for Doors, Seat, Steering, Seat belt and Mirror.

    These are the first things you should take care of when you get in the car. The fact that you should undertake these steps every time, before you start driving, reinforces the importance of following proper procedures and getting off to a good start. If you want to ensure that you drive in a safe and effective manner, following this routine is highly regarded every time you get into your vehicle.

    Like most routines, if you focus on following this procedure at the start of the learning process, you’ll find that you do it automatically when you get into a car.

    2. S.C.A.L.P.

    This stands for Safe, Convenient and Legal Position.

    This routine is useful to bear in mind when you are looking for a parking position. Following these tips will help you remain in full control of your vehicle while minimising the likelihood of endangering property, people and other cars on the road.

    3. M.S.P.S.L.

    This stands for Mirror, Signal, Position, Speed and Look.

    This information is of benefit at all times when driving but it is of most benefit when approaching roundabouts, junctions, crossroads or when you are changing lanes. You should also bear this in mind when you look to overtake other cars.

    4. P.O.M.

    This stands for Prepare, Observe and Move.

    This step relates to using the clutch correctly when moving out of a parked position or when entering into traffic. Following this step will minimise the risk of stalling the vehicle. Following this step will also encourage you to use your mirrors correctly before entering traffic, another step that you want to incorporate into your driving as early as possible.

    5. L.A.D.A.

    This stands for Look, Assess, Decide and Act.

    This step should follow from step 3 (M.S.P.S.L.) and it reinforces the fact that drivers need to think and evaluate whether it is safe for them to move into traffic or wait for a safer opportunity.

    One thing to bear in mind about this step is that the driver needs to know about their own personality, their car, the road conditions and their own skills. People who are risk averse may require more space than people who are content to make a quick decision and then act quickly.

    The condition of your car will impact on how quickly you move and even the size of your car will impact on whether it is safe to move. A smaller car will be able to take advantage of certain situations that larger vehicles will not be able to use. Even aspects like the weather and road conditions will impact on the decision a driver makes.

    This means the true lesson to be learned from this step is that you need to evaluate every single time. There will be some distances, gaps and speeds that represent a safe opportunity to pull out in some conditions for some cars and weather conditions but an unsafe decision to pull out on other days and for other vehicles.

    The fact that there isn’t a standard response that drivers can rely on every single time is why it is important to focus on following the correct steps and procedures. When you are able to review road situations and make an informed decision on what is most likely to happen, you will show signs of being a competent and skilled driver.

    While many experienced drivers will say that they do these things without thinking, it is important that new drivers actively focus on these steps and make sure that they do them every single time. Developing skills and techniques that you use every single time without thinking is what makes you into a good driver.

    Driving lessons aren’t just about listening to your instructor and taking tips from them, it is about turning you into a driver that can make these decisions themselves. Developing routines and good habits as early as possible is highly effective and you should discuss these processes and habits with your driving instructor.

    There are many skills associated with driving but when you take steps to develop good habits, you’ll find that becoming a good driver is a lot easier than you may have thought.