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The Driving Routine

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

The Driving Routine

Tim HillerbyMorgan
15 September 2009


I am going to give you the same advice as I give all my driving school clients. Driving is a complex business. This routine makes it easier. Get into the habit of using the routine - it may save your life.

The human mind is a very powerful instrument. It is made up of millions of connections. Each of these connections is part of a neural pathway. Every time your mind thinks it uses up one or more of these pathways.

Your mind can process millions of neural pathways without you noticing. Unfortunately, it is not so good at conscious thought. You can only process seven conscious thought actions at any one time. There are more than 20 thought processes involved in making a turn.

This is why drivers use a driving routine. It breaks driving into seven easy steps.

Imagine that you are on a drive and we are coming up to a junction. I would like you to turn right. How are you going to make that turn safely?

Here is how. - The Driving Routine.
See the junction:
You need to know where the junction is before you can make your turn. It could be signed; it could be a gap in a fence or houses. It could be a gap in the kerb.

Assess the junction:
Think about traffic and vision. How much can I see and how busy is it? A junction where you can see a lot is an open junction. A junction with little chance to see into the new road is a closed junction.

Mirrors:
Check to see what is behind you and to the right. You are looking to see if there is anything there. If you look for the car you will miss the motorbike. You need to know if it is near or far, fast or slow.

Signal:
You should signal at every junction. In this example you would give a right signal. The rest of the time it depends if there is anyone there to singal to.

Position:
In this case slightly to the right. Take a safe postion for that hazard.

Speed:
You must take the junction at a safe speed for that junction. Make sure you can stop if......

Look:
Look into the new road and see what is there.

The core driving routine can be applied to every problem on the road. You always start with see and assess. Next check the mirrors. You always finish with looking. Signal postion and speed are used as needed. It may not be neccessary to signal.


The Drivers Ed Company is working to improve driving standards in america and the UK. Its chief instructor Tim Hillerby - Morgan recently published The Student Driver Manual. You can downlaod the manual at http://www.driversedcompany.com/studentdriver . Tim is a UK government approved driving instructor. He has driven in the police and in the customs service. Tim specializes in student drivers and American drivers in the UK.

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