28 July, 2011
27 July, 2011
24 July, 2011
Stage 1: Start Here
Locations: Empty Parking Lot
Length of Lessons: 30-45 minutes
Length of Stage: As long as it takes! See the Stage 1: Checklist article for help on determining when your teen is ready to move on to more tasks. However, most students become proficient in the Stage 1 tasks within 2-4 weeks of practice.
Your first behind-the-wheel lessons should be short and repetitive.
Think about all of the tasks you perform automatically when you get behind the wheel: putting on your seatbelt, checking your surroundings, removing the parking brake (yes, you should always set your parking brake when you park your car), adjusting your seat, checking your sideview and rearview mirrors. And this is before you even turn the ignition.
You do these quickly and without much thought. However, these are not automatic to a new driver. The only way to make this automatic is to create the habit by methodically performing them during each lesson.
Begin each lesson by reviewing important pre-drive tasks
By the time your teen has completed the necessary work prior to their first behind-the-wheel lesson, they’re going to be itching to start the car and begin driving around the parking lot.
You know your teen better than we do. So, perhaps for their very first lesson, you may want to skip some of these pre-drive tasks and let them work out some of their excited energy.
Allowing them to drive slowly around an empty parking lot will burn off some of their adrenaline and make it easier for them to focus on the pre-drive tasks. It’s going to be difficult to get your teen to listen to 15-20 minutes of pre-drive instruction if they’ve never pressed the accelerator.
We’re not condoning that you skip this information, rather suggesting you may have an easier time teaching them this information after you’ve given them a little taste of driving.
For the first few weeks, it’s important to perform the following tasks prior to entering the car:
- Check the area around the outside of the car for broken glass and other hazards. Try the chalk lesson for an eye-opening view of how much area directly around your car is obscured when sitting in the driver’s seat.
- Quickly check tires for proper inflation.
- Review important under-the-hood elements. While you don’t need to pop the hood every time you drive, you should familiarize your teen with the basic elements that make your car go.
You should also perform the following adjustments after entering the car (but prior to starting the car):
- Seat and steering wheel adjustments. Your teens arms should not be fully extended when gripping the wheel. They need to be slightly relaxed. When gripping the wheel at 10 and 2, their arms should be parallel with the ground. You don’t want them reaching up or down. Make sure their legs are not fully outstretched. There should be a slight bend in their knees.
- Learn the BGE mirror setting. The BGE mirror setting stands for ‘Blindspot and Glare Elimination’ and it’s the best way to configure your side view mirrors. Because this setting was introduced in 1995, many of today’s drivers are not aware that their mirrors should be set in this way. We suggest that you review our BGE articleand test the setting yourself. You’ll find that it eliminates your blindspots completely. It takes a driver who is accustomed to traditional mirror settings approximately 1-2 weeks of driving to become comfortable with the BGE setting. We completely endorse the BGE setting and suggest you teach this mirror setting to your teens.
Starting the car
- Learning warning lights and symbols. It’s important that your teen begins to learn what all of the lights on the dashboard mean. Obviously, you can teach this information over a period of a few weeks. However, make sure they know what they all mean before your first road/street lesson.
- Starting procedure:
- Put your foot on the brake.
- Remove the parking brake.
- Turn the key (but not too far or the engine will grind).
- Identify “operating control devices”: This is a fancy way to say “things that do stuff”. For instance: the turn signal, gear shift, steering wheel, and lights are operating control devices. Obviously, your teen does not need to memorize all of these functions for driving around the parking lot. But, again, they must be experts in using these devices prior to your first road lesson.
Driving around an empty parking lot
Throughout your first week of behind-the-wheel practice, you should remain in an empty parking lot.
Simply drive at 10-15 mph around the parking lot. Give them clear instructions of what you’d like them to do.
For instance: “Drive until we’re even with that tree and then start slowing down and try to come to a stop even with the end of that building.”
Once they get the hang of this, start incorporating more tasks. For instance, ask them to turn on their turn signal while driving in a straight line. Ask them to turn on their windshield wipers. Try to get them comfortable using these other control devices in a safe, collision-free environment.
You should work on the following skills in the parking lot:
- Slowing moving forward
- Stopping smoothly
- Making right and left turns
- Driving in reverse at slow speeds
These 10 simple steps will not only keep the drivers around you happy, they’ll also help you stay safe.
1. Not tailgating. Always keep at least one car length per ten miles per hour from the car in front of you. This rule is not only a courteous one, but a safe one as well.
2. Be mindful of your lights. When on small rural streets with few streetlights, remember to turn off your high beams whenever a car approaches from the oncoming lane. Leaving your brights on can partially blind the driver and cause an accident.
3. Help other cars merge. Cars attempting to merge onto a highway are required to yield to the cars already on the highway, but that doesn’t mean you should make things difficult for them if you have the room to get over safely.
4. Keep the left lane clear. The farthest left lane of the highway is intended for passing only. Unless there’s an emergency, do not drive in this lane for extended periods of time. Try not to stay in this lane any longer than necessary so as to not annoy other drivers who wish to use it for passing.
5. Come to a complete stop. If approaching a stop sign, the law says to stop for 3 seconds before proceeding. The “rolling stop” is illegal and annoying to other drivers and pedestrians.
6. Keep your music at a normal level. Don’t be that driver who has their stereo turned up so loud that five cars behind you can hear it. This can cause a distraction and possibly an accident, not to mention that it’s incredibly annoying. If it’s a beautiful day and your windows are down, other drivers will appreciate being able to hear themselves think.
7. Be a good parking neighbor. Your car only requires one parking spot, so please use just one. If parking on a street curb, please pull up as close to the car in front of you without boxing them in. When parking in a parking lot, check to make sure you are parked between the two white lines indicating your individual spot. Make sure that the cars on either side of yours have ample room for the driver and passenger to get into their cars.
8. Keep your car maintained. No one likes to be stuck behind a car expelling a dark smelly cloud of exhaust fumes from its tailpipe. It’s disgusting and illegal. If your car begins to have this problem, get it repaired ASAP. No one wants to breath that in, including you.
9. Strap that mattress down. If you are carrying anything with flight potential in your truck bed, strap it down securely before driving. A 2004 report by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Study found that more than 25,000 accidents a year are caused by litter that is dumped by motorists or falls out of vehicles. If your king-sized mattress is larger than your car, go rent a U-Haul. No one likes to drive behind the 2-door sedan whose driver has an arm out the window trying to hold that Sealy down.
10. Don’t block the intersection. One of the biggest pet peeves for drivers is not being able to go at a green light because the cross traffic is blocking the intersection. If traffic is jammed and your light is green, don’t proceed unless you can make it completely through the intersection.
Learning to ride a Motorcycle is not a big deal but it definitely requires more effort as compared to learning to drive cars. Learning to ride a motorcycle requires more attentiveness and awareness about the surroundings and roads. Motorcycle Riding does not require much efforts if you follow the below given guidelines correctly. Getting the right attitude along with technical knowledge is as much important to become a stud from dud in motorbiking.
1. To start with I would first suggest you to begin with a cycle riding balance that would actually help you to learn motorbike much faster. Once you are an expert in cycle riding, you can easily learn to ride a bike at a faster pace. Once you have done with this, you should not directly hit the roads with your bike. But you should actually have a feel of the bike that is jump in on the motorcycle, feel the weight and try to balance the motorbike on both your legs. If you are trying to learn a automatic transmission or geared bike you should first know in detail how the gear stuff works. Once you have been briefed up with that try practicing the gear shift pattern without starting your bike. Once you are cleared with this you can concentrate on shifting the gear pattern while the bike is in motion (without starting it). This will help to give lesser strain on the gear box while you are learning to ride a bike.
2. To make it more handy with the clutch on and off procedure you need to have a brief idea of how the whole system works, that is regarding the ease off clutch and ease, gradual acceleration to make the wheels going. Over the period of time you will definitely understand the process, even if you don’t understand it at the beginning its ok you are human. If you do not have cycle riding skills I would rather suggest you to ride the bike slowly and gradually by keeping your feet down for balancing. Once you have the bike on a roll, you can stop and start from naught to above and from minimum speed to naught in order to get familiar with the clutch off and on process. Considering the showstopper that is barking abilities, you should first know applying the brakes to its fullest will make the bike to skid. By stopping the bike at regular intervals on lower rpms can get you more idea of the braking abilities in your bike.
3. Practicing on the first gear will definitely make you an expert in the long run. It is always advisable to keep your foot maximum on the foot pegs while you are riding on the first gear. This way your balancing abilities can be improved. Once you are comfortable riding the motorcycle on the first gear then you can shift to the second and then to the above gears. Practicing more on the first gear gives better balancing abilities but I would rather suggest you to do this when you familiar with the gear and clutch system.
4. Remember to learn driving in a prearranged area and that to in larger circles. This way you can get better on turns and corners. Avoid sharp turning when you are learning or are in the process of learning. This way you can get familiar with the ease clutch and ease throttle process while turning. Getting familiar on turning of the roads is something you should definitely pay attention to. Following the traffic norms that is giving side indicators and honking are some of the requirements you should follow on the road. Stopping and starting the engine and then turning to the extreme right and left will make you an expert from a beginner level rider.
5. Steering is something you should actually get a master degree on. Once you have the balancing factor in you that is required for riding a bike, you can then put your spotlight on proper turning and circling. Indicating your turns to the oncoming and following traffic is very much important in order to have a accident free riding experience.
6. Riding bike and learning to Countersteer is something that is utmost necessary. Maintaining the balance even depends on our seating position and posture. Practicing proper turns that are at lower as well as higher rpms will help you definitely. Once you are cleared with maintaining the body balance at turns you can achieve a certificate of a bonafide rider. Using the throttle and clutch with equal pressure will let you know the perfect balance that has to be required for riding a bike.
7. At faster turns there are chances of leaning more on the turning side; therefore you will eventually have to adjust your riding position.
8. Being confident on the road is one of the most important things and to attain confidence you will have to ride until you are a stud from dud. Keeping an alert mind while driving motorcycle is utmost important. This way you can keep a track of the following traffic and oncoming traffic as well. You should first know traffic norms as well before riding.
9. I will warn you against the changing traffic patterns when you are on motorcycle. Accidents on motorcycle can lead to head injuries and can even cause death. Considering the above steps you can avoid accidents and can even learn motorcycle riding with ease.
Riding properly and with utmost awareness will help you as well as the pillion rider to attain accident free ride experience.