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Driving Lessons Basics Page 1


You must be able to read a car number plate with letters 79.4mm (3.1 in.) from a distance of 20.5 metres (about 67 feet). You are allowed to wear glasses or contact lenses if necessary.

If you have any doubts about your ability to meet the eyesight requirements, you should seek advice from an optician before you start to drive or take your test. It is illegal to drive a car if you cannot pass the eyesight test.

On the day of your test before you get into your car your examiner will ask you to read a number plate with letters 79.4mm high from a distance of 20.5 metres (about 67 feet), wearing glasses or contact lenses if you need them. If you can’t read the number plate you will fail your test immediately and your test will go no further.



Driving a car one needs to carry out a safety checks before driving off. It is important that you always go through a series of checks to make sure that you are comfortable before you drive off.

Always remember to take care walking into the road and before opening the driver’s door. Opening a door of a car carelessly can put you and others in danger. It may force them to brake or swerve and could cause an accident doing so.

To carry out a safety check I recommend for you to have a habit with a planned method to remind you each and every time you get into your car.

When I did my training to become an ADI I was taught DSSSM method which works perfectly and is remembered very easily.

DSSSM stands for Doors, Seat, Steering, Seatbelt, Mirrors (D treble S M).

Doors. Firstly before you start the car and drive off, make sure all the doors are properly closed. You don’t want any of your door flying open as soon as you go round the first corner.

Seat. You must check if the seat is adjusted in the right place. Your seat needs to be in a position so that you can reach and use each controls easily and comfortably, for example you should be able to reach the “clutch” or “brake” or the “accelerator” pedal without stretching your left or right leg.

Your head restraint should be in correct position, if not adjust that as well, because it will minimise the risk of whiplash in an accident. It should be at least as high as the eyes or top of the ears (roughly).

Steering. You must make sure that the steering wheel is adjusted in a way so that you are able to move your hands around the steering wheel freely. You should not be too far or too close, so if you put your hands at the top of the steering wheel you should have a slight bend in your elbows.

Seatbelt. Make sure you always wear your seatbelt, unless you are exempt. This is a legal requirement. It is you the drivers responsibility to make sure that the seatbelt is or are worn by any child under the age of 14 in your car.

Mirrors. Make sure all mirrors are clean and adjusted to give you the best possible view of the road behind and to the sides. Adjustment of the mirrors should help you to make safe and sensible decision.

Mirrors are very important, it gives you all the information you need to make a decision, so always use them to keep up to date with what is behind and to the sides of your car.

The interior mirror should be adjusted so that you can get the best possible view through the rear window, especially to the offside, without moving your head.

Side mirrors are adjustable either manually or by an electric switch. Adjust them so just a sliver of the side of the car is showing in the mirror, and be angled so that you can see as far down the road as possible. Make sure they are not pointing down to the road nor up to the sky.


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