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Driving Course

Designed by Ashraf Al Shafaki

Objectives

  • Understand how the various parts of the car function.
  • Ability to park the car in different orientations, positions and situations.
  • Ability to drive with confidence and ease on highways and in traffic jams.
  • Know and be able to correctly and swiftly react to traffic signs.
  • Ability to deal with various on-street driving situations.
  • Ability to perform simple maintenance for the car (changing the tires) and understand what kind of maintenance is needed for more critical issues that need a mechanic.

Stages

  • Controlling the car
    • changing gear
    • turning
    • slowing down, breaking
    • starting up
  • Handling different driving situations
    • parking
    • making U-turns
  • Decision making
  • Understanding the thought processes and decision making process of other drivers around you
  • Feeding the subconscious
    • repetition
    • doing it right
    • enhancing

Lesson 1

Below is some of what I have learned during my first driving lesson at Enjy Car which lasted for around 45 minutes. The trainer's name is Mr Yehya. Today's lesson involves: 1) starting up the car; 2) changing gear.

Handwork
  • Gear: The gear rests on top of 3 sticks. The stick at the left holds the 1st and 2nd gears. The stick in the middle holds the 3ed and 4th gears. The stick at the right holds the 5th and reverse gears. The gear is positioined at the middle of the middle stick.
  • Hand Break: Press the hand break button then bring it down to let the car move. Bring the hand break up, without pressing its button, to stop the car from moving.
  • Steering: Use the steering to move the car right or left.

Legwork

  • Gas: The right pedal is the gas. Use your right foot to push the gas. It is used to give the car power which can be used to accelerate it.
  • Breaks: The the middle pedal is the breaks. Use your right foot to push the breaks. The breaks is used to reduce the speed of the car or to stop it completely. Press gently on the breaks till the care comes to a stop or slows down.
  • Clutch: The left pedal is the clutch. Use your left foot to push the clutch. The clutch is used to detatch the gear so that you can move the gear handle to a different gear or just prevent the car from accelerating further. When pressing on the clutch, press till the very end and do so fast. When releasing the clutch however, do so slowly specially if you are pressing on the gas at the same time.

Before Starting the Car

  • Check the four tires.
  • Check the water level.
  • Check the oil level.
  • Make sure your chair is positioned at an appropriate distance from the clutch, breaks and gas.
  • Make sure your left window mirror and your front mirror are positioned appropriately to allow you to view cars at your left and at your back clearly.

Starting the Car

  • Make sure the gear is on moor.
  • Turn the key to start the engine. (You will first hear the sound of the march, then the sound of the engine starting.)
  • Press the clutch.
  • Move the gear to the 1st gear.
  • Press the gas slightly.
  • Bring down the hand breaks.
  • Partcially remove your left foot from the clutch very gently and smoothly while maintaining your pressure on the gas.
  • The car starts to pick up and moves slowly ahead.
  • Release the clutch completely while maintaining pressure on the gas.
  • If you have released the clutch abruptly, the car will jerk.
  • After moving forward for about 10 meters, change gear to 2nd gear.

Stopping the Car

  • Release the gas.
  • Press the clutch.
  • Press the breaks.
  • Release the breaks.
  • Change gear to moor.
  • Release the clutch.
  • Bring up the hand break.

Changing Gear

  • Release the gas.
  • Press the clutch.
  • Change the gear.
  • Release the clutch.
  • Press the gas.

Slowing Down

  • Release the gas.
  • Press the clutch.
  • Press the breaks.
  • Change to a lower gear.
  • Press the gas.
  • Release the clutch.

Turning

  • Slow down when turning. Slow down slightly if the turn is slight. Slow down a lot if it is a 90 degree turn.
  • When turning lef, take a wide turn space away from the corner of the road.
  • When turning right, take a narrow turn and be close to the corner of the road.

Moving Backwords

  • Stop the car.
  • Press the clutch.
  • Change gear to reverse.
  • Put your right arm behind the right chair and hold the chair.
  • Turn your head to the right and look through the back window of your car to see the street behind you.
  • Press the gas.
  • Release the clutch.

Adjusting Position

  • Look at the front mirror to make sure no car from the back will get in your way.
  • Move the steering to the correct direction for a short time.
  • Move the steering back to its original strieght position.

Tips

  • Look in the direction you are moving. Look in front of you when moving to the front. Look to the side when turning. Look at the back when going backwards.
  • Let the white line of the road be at the middle of the car. When parking, also make sure to acheive this condition.
  • When the sound of the engine increases, change to the next higher gear.
  • Press the gas before starting to release the clutch.

Lesson 2

Second day driving lesson.

Today, he let me ride the car from the start. He was parking perpindicular to the pavement. I had to go back to get the car out, and there were many cars in the street. It was out of my mind that I could do so! But I did. That was really great. I believe putting me in the midst of cars directly is very good. It gives me much more courage and builds confidence, plus it makes me practice in real world situations right from the start. Of course it could be a bit risky, but he's good, and we're using a learner's car that has breaks at both side and so on.

Todays lesson proceded as follows:

Tips
  • When turning left to enter another road, look to your left first, and take care while turning of the cars coming from behind in order not to bump into any one of them.

Lesson 3

Today was wonderful. First of all, we did not drive in the morning as in the previous two lessons, we drove after sunset. It was a different trainer this time, Mohamed Said, with a different care as well (same model, or similar Fiat 127). The beauty of what happened today was not only that I drove at night, but that I drove down a tunnel and above bridges. I went a long distance away and back. Of course long compared to what I was used to. We drove right in the midst of traffic! This guy was even more adventurous than the previous one, when I thought that first one was really risk taking.

This built in me even more self confidence. To tell the truth, the car seemed more smooth too, it was smoother in the gear and generally in handling than the previous one. Perhaps I also improved. It seems that the mental exercises I kept doing on and on again visualizing myself driving and taking the correct steps one after the other then repeating this once and again have paid off. Visualizing is a really powerful technique, it's the brain that is in control while driving, so training it is the key to better driving.

I hope I'll do even better in my next lesson, which is hopefully tomorrow morning this time, God willing. Let's wait and see. See you in Lesson 4 God willing.

Lesson 4

A third guy is giving me the 4th lesson. His name is Mohamed (but not Mohamed Said). He took me to a quite round about street and we went on and on all the time there. I moved almost all the time on first gear, with a very vrief time on second gear. It was in the morning. It was not as good, I felt I was falling back in driving skills because I was away from the main streets and the cars. This kind of reduced my stamina and courage. Yet, at the same time, his apprach did help me, 'couse he was taking it slowly and I was taking my time practicing basic techniques and getting hold of the car. So I did benefit today.

Lesson 5

Same trainer as last time, Mohamed. He took me this time out in the streets, was more fun this time. I did learn good things this time. We were driving right before till after sunset. Was nice.

Lesson 6

Today was my 6th driving lesson, and still a new trainer! This is the 4th trainer I get. The woman doing the booking at the driving school seamed a bit apologetic as each time when they bring me a different trainer. But I did not mind at all. In fact, I do benefit each time from a different trainer. Each one gives me new and different knowledge. I also get to drive a different car! (Though all are the same Fiat 127 model.)

Lesson 7

Today I did something new. He made me do a full turn, a 180 degree turn. It felt so nice. I wanted to repeat it on and on again.

He also gave me some instructions to write down. Here they are:

Starting Up
When moving the car we:
  1. Make sure the gear is in moor.
  2. Turn the key gently.
  3. Press the clutch till the very end.
  4. Change to 1st gear.
  5. Press the gas 2 steps.
  6. Put the handbrake down while releasing the clutch on 3 steps.

Never

  1. Never change gear without pressing the clutch till the end.
  2. Never press the gas and clutch at the same time when changing gear. They must be interchanged.
  3. Never turn from right to left or vice versa without looking in the mirror and being sure the road is empty.
  4. Never move the car while the handbrake is up.
  5. Never press the gas at turns, speed breakers or roundabouts.
  6. Never change gear 2 levels at a time.

Speeds

  1. 1st gear: 1 - 10 Km/h
  2. 2nd gear: 10 - 30 Km/h
  3. 3ed gear: 30 - 60 Km/h
  4. 4th gear: 60 - 100 Km/h

Turns

  • All right turns should be narrow.
  • All left turns should be wide.
  • Turns should be taken on 2nd gear.

Lesson 12

Parallel Parking

  • Align your car parallel to the car on your side. Be close to it.
  • Turn your steering to the side of the car next to you till the end.
  • Move backwards.
  • Stop when your front tire is next to the back tire of the car next to you.
  • Turn the steering to the opposite direction (of the pavement) till the end.
  • Move backwards till you are parallel to the pavement.
Parking perpendicular: Backwards
  • Position the back of your car at the front of the parked car while being parallel to the pavement.
  • Turn the steering to the side of the pavement till the end.
  • Move backwards till your care is perpendicular to the pavement.
  • Turn the steering back to a straight position.
  • Continue moving the car backwards till you are close to the pavement.

Parking perpendicular: Forward

  • Position the front of your car at the back of the parked car while being parallel to the pavement.
  • Turn the steering to the side of the pavement till the end.
  • Move forward till your care is perpendicular to the pavement.
  • Turn the steering back to a straight position.
  • Continue moving the car forward till you are close to the pavement.
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