Street Survival - Advanced Defensive Driving



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This section has a look at some very valuable, even life saving tips, on best practices for the use of some of the vehicles more important controls, such as those listed below:

? Questions:

💡 Tips:

Defensive Controls

? What are the controls in a car?

A car typically has several controls that enable the driver to operate the vehicle effectively and safely. Here are the common controls you will find in a car:

  • Steering Wheel: The steering wheel allows the driver to control the direction of the vehicle. It is used to turn the wheels left or right.

  • Accelerator Pedal: Also known as the gas pedal, the accelerator pedal controls the vehicle's speed. Pressing it down increases the speed, while releasing it slows down the vehicle.

  • Brake Pedal: The brake pedal is used to slow down or stop the vehicle. Pressing it applies the brakes, which reduce the vehicle's speed or bring it to a complete stop.

  • Clutch Pedal (Manual Transmission): In vehicles with manual transmission, the clutch pedal is used to engage and disengage the engine from the transmission. It is pressed down when shifting gears.

  • Gear Shift (Manual or Automatic Transmission): The gear shift is used to select the desired gear in manual transmission vehicles. In automatic transmission vehicles, it allows the driver to shift between Park (P), Reverse (R), Neutral (N), and Drive (D).

  • Parking Brake: The parking brake, also known as the handbrake or emergency brake, is used to keep the vehicle stationary when parked. It is typically engaged by pulling a lever or pressing a button.

  • Accelerator Pedal: Also known as the gas pedal, the accelerator pedal controls the vehicle's speed. Pressing it down increases the speed, while releasing it slows down the vehicle.

  • Headlight Controls: These controls allow the driver to turn the headlights on or off and adjust their intensity. They may include options for low beam, high beam, fog lights, and other lighting functions.

  • Turn Signal Lever: The turn signal lever is used to indicate the driver's intention to turn or change lanes. It activates the turn signals on the front and rear of the vehicle.

  • Windshield Wiper Controls: These controls operate the windshield wipers, allowing the driver to clear the windshield of rain, snow, or debris. They usually include settings for various wiper speeds and intermittent wiping.

  • Climate Control System: The climate control system includes controls for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. It allows the driver to adjust the interior temperature, fan speed, and airflow direction.

  • Audio System Controls: These controls operate the car's audio system, including the radio, CD player, MP3 player, or Bluetooth connectivity. They allow the driver to adjust the volume, change stations, and control other audio functions.

It's important to familiarize yourself with the specific controls in the car you are driving, as their placement and functions may vary slightly between different vehicle models and manufacturers. Always refer to the owner's manual for detailed information on the controls and their operation in your specific vehicle.

💡 Tips before driving an unfamiliar vehicle

Driving an unfamiliar vehicle can be challenging, but with proper preparation and a cautious approach, you can ensure a safe and smooth driving experience. Here are some tips to keep in mind before driving an unfamiliar vehicle:

  • Familiarize Yourself with the Controls: Take a few moments to familiarize yourself with the location and operation of the vehicle's controls, including the steering wheel, pedals, gear shift, lights, wipers, and other essential functions. Adjust the seat and mirrors to ensure optimal visibility and comfort.

  • Adjust the Seat and Mirrors: Adjust the driver's seat to a comfortable position that allows you to reach all controls easily and provides clear visibility of the road. Set the side and rearview mirrors to eliminate blind spots and enhance your field of view.

  • Understand the Gear Shifting Mechanism: If the vehicle has a manual transmission, understand the gear shifting pattern and practice engaging the gears smoothly before driving. If it has an automatic transmission, familiarize yourself with the gear selector positions, including Park, Reverse, Neutral, and Drive.

  • Test the Brakes: Before hitting the road, test the vehicle's brakes in a safe area to get a sense of their responsiveness and braking distance. Adjust your braking technique accordingly, as different vehicles may have varying brake pedal sensitivity.

  • Start Slowly and Gradually: Begin your drive by taking it slow and gradually increasing your speed. This will give you a chance to get accustomed to the vehicle's acceleration, handling, and braking characteristics.

  • Pay Attention to Blind Spots: Take extra care to check blind spots when changing lanes or making turns, as the size and position of the vehicle may differ from what you are accustomed to. Use your mirrors effectively and conduct shoulder checks to ensure no vehicles are in your blind spots.

  • Be Mindful of Size and Dimensions: If the unfamiliar vehicle is larger or smaller than what you typically drive, be aware of its size and dimensions. Take extra caution while maneuvering in tight spaces, parking, or navigating narrow roads.

  • Stay Calm and Focused: Driving an unfamiliar vehicle can be stressful, but it's important to remain calm and focused. Avoid distractions, such as using your phone or adjusting settings while driving. Give your full attention to the road and adapt to the vehicle's handling characteristics as you go.

  • Allow Extra Time and Space: Give yourself extra time to reach your destination, particularly if you're unfamiliar with the vehicle or the area you're driving in. Leave ample space between your vehicle and others to allow for any differences in braking or acceleration capabilities.

  • Observe and Adapt: Pay close attention to how the vehicle responds to your inputs and adapt your driving accordingly. Take note of any differences in acceleration, steering sensitivity, or braking performance compared to your usual vehicle.

Remember, each vehicle is unique, and it may take some time to adjust to an unfamiliar one. Stay cautious, be patient with yourself, and prioritize safety while driving an unfamiliar vehicle.

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Street Survival - Advanced Defensive Driving