CONTROLLED STOP

When driving there may be occasions when something unforeseen happens, for instance a child running out from behind a parked car. Human life is at risk here, so we need to stop promptly but under control. For this skill one of the main points required is a quick reaction. This means transferring your right foot from the gas pedal to the brake pedal as quickly as possible and then braking progressively; gently at first and harder towards the end. You should leave the clutch pedal alone until the very last second. This will give greater engine braking power. The longer the clutch stays out, the more the engine will help you stop. You should keep both hand firmly on the wheel; much more firmly than usual. Firstly, because you are braking so hard, all the weight of the car is thrown to the front so you must stabilize yourself to maintain control. Secondly, you may not have enough time to stop for the child and will therefore have to steer round them. Thirdly, it is possible you may get into a skid and need to correct it, for which you need both hands firmly on the wheel.

When you come to a stop hopefully everything will be find and you will need to pull away again.

Please remember you may be in the middle of the road, so do not forget to carry out your six point check (both blind spots).

As mentioned above, there is the possibility of a skid. Let’s look at the cause of skids: weather, driver error and road conditions. Should you get into a skid, as stated earlier all the weight of the car will have been thrown to the front and the back of the car becomes lighter. So in order to correct the skid you need to steer into it. So if the back of the car goes to the right you steer to the right. If the back of the car skids to the left you steer to the left. Most modem cars have an ABS braking system. This is an antilock braking system. It works by the computer braking for you in a manner we call cadence braking. The brake will apply, release, and reapply itself 10 to 12 times per second which will eliminate the danger of skidding in a straight line. If you get into a straight line skid when driving an older vehicle which does not have ABS, the way to correct the skid is to release and reapply the brakes several times until you bring the vehicle under control.