Basic driving skills for drivers

Basic Driving Skills guide explains the basic routines you will need to know before moving on to more advanced topics. These steps will help you accelerate your learning.

Cockpit drill, (DSSSM)

Use mirrors

Use signals

Moving on using the POM Routine

Stopping the MSM routine

Steering by the pull / push

Changing gears (manual or automatic)

Practice makes perfect You’ll need lessons with an approved driving instructor.

Professional instruction will make sure you use the right techniques when you are actually out on the road. With enough practice, muscle memory will improve and you won’t have to think about how each step is done. You’ll be ready for the Levels guide which covers the rules and regulations of driving.

To get the most from your driving lessons, you can also join driving school for a safe driving.

  1. Cockpit drill: DSSSM

The cockpit drill will be the first set you need to master.

The cockpit drill includes the items you need to adjust and check each time you get in your car before you start the engine. For more information on the controls tutorial, see our Controls Tutorial.

  1. Mirrors

The cockpit drill includes checking and adjusting your mirrors.

If you are sharing your car with someone else, it is important to adjust your mirrors before you turn the engine on. However, it is important to inspect your mirrors before you start the engine. They may have been damaged (especially the wing mirrors if you park on busy streets). If the weather is poor, they might need to be cleared.

This driving lessons also explains which types of mirrors are available and when they should be used while driving.

Learn where and when signals should be used and what signals are appropriate for certain situations. It explains how to correctly time your signals so other road users can see your intentions.

Consider whether other road users will be able to benefit from your signalling. This is the golden rule. Neglecting to use signals correctly or not using them properly can lead to disastrous results. It is important to practice your signalling skills until you become an expert.

  1. Moving on to the POM routine

POM stands to Prepare, Observe and Move.

This video will provide step-by-step instructions on how to move forward using the POM routine. Howard will show you how to locate the cutting point of your clutch. He also outlines the six-point check that covers your mirror, blind spot and other areas.

Before you start your engine or prepare to move on, complete the cockpit drill.

4.Stop using MSM

MSM stands for Mirrors, Signal, Manoeuvre.

After you have learned how to safely move using the POM procedure above, you will need to know how to bring your car to a halt. You will need to use MSM to safely stop your vehicle.

The routine incorporates many of the techniques covered in the basic skills section. You will feel confident using the MSM routine if you also review the guides to using mirrors, and using signals.

5. Change of gears (manual or automatic)

One of the most important fundamental driving skills is learning how to change gears. You will soon be a confident and safe driver once you master your gearbox.

This driving lessons covers both manual and automatic gearbox layouts, and how to change up or down gears. It explains more advanced techniques like block changes, selective gear changes (block change), engine braking, and appropriate gearing for hazards. The video also covers dual clutches as well as paddle shifting for automatic drivers.