Don’t Be a CLOD While Driving on the Motorway

The police have been given new powers to crack down on drivers who are lane hogging and tailgating while driving on the motorway.

CLODS can really get in the way!

CLODS or Centre Lane Owner Drivers as they are called, are people who never pull back to the left hand lane of the motorway after overtaking. Instead they stay in the centre lane forcing drivers who wish to overtake into the right hand lane and making it difficult for large vehicles to overtake.

You should always pull back to the left after passing vehicles as this makes best use of road space and allows for a freer flow of traffic. You may motorway driving lessons nottinghamalso tempt people to pass you in the left hand lane by staying in the centre lane which can be very dangerous. I always teach about this during motorway driving lessons in Nottingham.

If you can see a slower moving vehicle in the left lane and it will be a short time before you reach it then by all means do overtake and then pull back in afterwards. If it will take a while to reach it then move to the left and move back to the middle lane to pass it when you are closer.

Practise on the motorway with a driving school.

When passing a joining slip road it can be best to stay in the centre lane to allow traffic to merge in on the left. Pull back over after the junction when traffic has finished merging. You’ll need to look well ahead if you see a service station and watch for people leaving and re-joining the motorway. Check your left door mirror when you are passing a slip road. Joining cars can be easily hidden in your blind spot. Speed up or slow down to give them a gap. You can move over to let them in as long as there isn’t a CLOD in the way.

Tailgating is driving too close to the car in front for prolonged periods of time. This can be deadly. Always allow a two second time gap between you and the vehicle you are following. At high speeds it would be best to leave even more. If a vehicle pulls in front of you then check mirrors and make sure you drop back to reinstate the two second gap. If the surface of the road is wet then make it four seconds

Young or inexperienced drivers can commit these offences through ignorance rather than wilful bad driving. You can’t drive on the motorway as a learner as they are not included on driving test routes so you don’t gain any experience until after the test, often unaccompanied. It’s a good idea to take some lessons on a motorway before you drive on your own.

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Learning the Driving Test Routes

driving instructors nottingham test routes

It seems appealing to some learners to find a driving instructor who places great emphasis on teaching mainly test routes. You may feel that this will increase your chances of a first time pass on the driving test in the fewest number of lessons possible. There is great danger in this approach.

Don’t just learn on driving test routes

I can always tell when a pupil has been trained mainly on test routes.

They feel nervous when asked to drive on unfamiliar roads. This fear can go on after the test leading to people only driving on roads they know when the weather is nice. Driving is all about freedom to go wherever you want so you need the confidence that comes from experience. You need to learn on busy roads to deal with things such as emergency vehicles.

I may ask a pupil if they have covered roundabouts as we drive up to one. Their reply is often “I haven’t done this one”. The idea is that you are taught the basic rules of all roundabouts so that you can deal with any roundabout at any time. Not to simply go around one or two that happen to be on the local test route. You will have problems later on if this is how you learned.

Gain plenty of experience during your driving lessons.

Driving lessons can be extremely boring if all done in the same area. You need variety if you are to remain interested and grow as a driver. Longer lessons may be needed to go further afield but remember that you are investing in your future safety. Doing the work now will pay dividends later.

There is always a chance on the big day that you will go off a test route due to road works or high volumes of traffic. Finding yourself in unfamiliar territory can really knock your confidence and lead to mistakes.

In short, make sure you get good practice on all different types of roads. You’ll find the driving test much easier and your driving will be up to a good standard when you’re out there on your own. Go for it!

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Which car do you want to learn in?

It’s the Driving Instructor that counts, not the car.

It seems when picking an instructor that a lot of new pupils are looking to learn in a particular make and model of car. Usually it’s something likedriving lessons nottingham carkeys an Audi or a Mini. If you are looking to take driving lessons in Nottingham then there are more important things to think about than which car you will be using.

Ask yourself how much you actually know about cars. Most people get their info from family and friends who are not really experts in the field.

Learning in an expensive model of car is a poor choice if the instructor is not up to scratch. Remember you are buying tuition, not the status of driving a certain make of car.

If you do learn in a prestige car you may be more nervous about mishandling or even damaging it.

Chances are if you are a new driver you will not be in a position to buy an expensive car on passing your test. Your first car may seem like a bit of a shed by comparison.

Lesson prices may be more expensive to cover the cost of the tuition vehicle.

It’s the quality of the driving lessons, not the school car.

Your overall aim is to obtain your driving licence and be a competent driver at the end of your course so make sure you put this at the top of your priority list. Even if taking intensive driving lessons.

Obviously you will need to be comfortable when learning so the driving school car will need to be a decent size. It should be reasonably clean inside and out and be in good mechanical condition. Other than that there is nothing to worry about.

I use a Skoda Fabia as it is roomy and smooth to drive. Some of my pupils prefer it to more expensive cars they have used with other driving schools. Once you’ve passed your test you can have whatever car you like but up to then just don’t worry about it.

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Too Intense! – Learning to Drive in a Hurry

Don’t overdo those intensive driving lessons.

Many people find themselves in a situation where they need to learn to drive in a short space of time.iintensive driving lessons

Could be because they need their licence for a job.

Maybe they are leaving for university and want their licence before going.

Perhaps a family member is now unable to drive and they need to take over the responsibility.

Whatever the reason it pays to plan your lessons in advance and be realistic about your time frame.

It is easy to underestimate how much concentration is needed during driving lessons in Nottingham. It may seem tempting to book lessons that last all day and get the whole thing done in a week. That’s not the best approach.

The first few hours are difficult as you get to grips with the controls and practise using the clutch. Pretty soon your concentration will start to fade making things much harder. The rest of the day will be a struggle and you probably won’t remember most of what you’ve been taught.

Fatigue can be dangerous as your judgement will suffer. Don’t forget driving instructors get tired too so the quality of teaching is bound to suffer over long time periods. You will get poor value for money by overdoing it and trying to learn too intensively.

There are usually waiting lists for both theory and practical tests and these need to be taken into consideration. Two weeks for a theory and six weeks for a practical test is not uncommon. It would be an advantage to pass the theory test and book a practical test date before starting lessons to avoid disappointment. Cancellation test dates are available if you are willing to keep looking online but you are not guaranteed to get the date you want.

A better approach is to plan beforehand and leave yourself enough time to learn properly. Two hours of driving lessons a day is the maximum most people can handle with an overall course lasting between 20 to 40 hours depending on your ability.

Talk to one of the Nottingham driving instructors and tell them of your requirements. They will be happy to advise you and save you time and money.

Stop, Get Set…Go! The Meaning of Traffic Lights.

driving schools nottingham traffic lights This is not the start of a race.

It’s amazing how many people learning to drive think that traffic lights mean Stop, Get ready and go. The correct meanings are different. Let’s take a look.

Red does mean Stop, but also wait at the stop line. Drivers can get confused when turning right at major crossroads and slam on the brakes when they see the red light intended for traffic on the other road. Remember, if there is no stop line on the road surface then the light is not for you. Same if you’re turning left in a filter lane. Unless there is a set of lights on both sides of the lane you’re in, then the light is not for you and it’ll be a give way line on the road.

Red and Amber together still means Stop but green is not far away so start preparing to move off.

Green does not mean Go. It means you may proceed if your exit is clear and it is safe to do so. Don’t feel pressure from drivers behind to move off if you’re only going to move forward a bit and block the junction. People taking driving lessons in Nottingham tend to get a bit worried about this. Stay at the stop line until your exit is clear. Watch out for people crossing the road as well, probably texting.

Amber doesn’t mean foot down you can make it if you try. It means Stop unless you have already crossed the stop line or you have to brake so hard you may cause an accident. Always check the mirrors and if a vehicle is really close behind them be careful how you brake. If a green light has been on for some time and ‘gone stale’ then ease off the gas and be prepared to brake if it changes.

Finally, keep an eye out for green filter arrows. New drivers tend to miss these as they don’t stand out as much as red and can be difficult to see if you are driving in fog. Don’t start daydreaming and miss them either or you’ll be hearing car horns from behind, and that’ll be embarrassing.

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Driving in the Dales

Careful when driving on country roads

Well hello there. Here is my first blog post! It’s all about driving around the Yorkshire Dales with me Girlfriend last weekend and the poor driving that takes place on country roads with a few tips for you to enjoy.

driving lessons nottingham country roads It’s a big change when you get on the country roads and loads different from driving lessons Nottingham style. The roads are tiny and have stone walls right next to them with no pavement. This means loads of people are walking in the road. As the roads are bendy and on hills you can’t see if anyone is there until you’re almost on top of them. Keep the speed down and look well into the bend. You could tell the city drivers from the way they piled round the bends too quickly going wide on to the wrong side. This could be deadly and you take a chance every time you do it. Always be able to stop in the distance you can see to be clear. It’s the way forward. If you are walking, don’t spread out all the way across the road so you can have a laugh together. And while you’re at it, don’t let your young kids run on ahead in the road. Put them on a lead if necessary.

Plenty of cyclists use the roads and they are almost as fast as a car. There were many serious expressions on the faces of cyclists up in the dales. Obviously they were into some serious training. You can’t hear them coming in a car so be extra careful. Stunning scenery will try to lure your eyes away from the road ahead so beware of temptation and find somewhere to stop if you want to take it all in. Cyclists, please ride single file rather than side by side having a conversation.

Those passing places are tiny. If I pull into one to let you pass, please don’t wait in a narrow bit and flash your headlights in an attempt to be overly helpful. Notice I’m in a passing place and be on your way, there’s a good chap. We can all make it if we try. Be careful you don’t break off those door mirrors on the dry stone walls as you squeeze past.

If you do walk up to the top of Malham Cove, do make sure you’ve got some water cos it’s a long way up and believe me you will get thirsty. Tara for now.

By Russ Chaplin
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Driving lessons Nottingham by Russ Chaplin. Driving instructor training for driving schools Nottingham.