A Conversation for Advanced Driving Techniques

Most dangerous lot of nonsense I have ever read!

Post 41


Thank you for your acknowledgement on that.

I will however address your elimination of blind spots and hopefully you will see the error of your ways.

To begin with, we do not drive leaning up against the door and most certainly not whilst leaning our heads against the window so why would anyone adjust their mirrors from a position they will never adopt. I really hope your not suggesting adjusting the nearside mirror whilst sitting in the passengers seat, whilst evidently leaning your head against the passengers window, as merely adjusting it from the passengers seat would render it unusable from the drivers seat.

Mirrors should be adjusted from a normal seated position in the drivers seat. They should be adjusted so that there is visible in perhaps a quarter of the mirror, the side of the car which, as I mentioned before, provides the eyes and mind with something to measure distance and width from. Without this it is extremely difficult for the brain to interpret precisely what position a following car is in. The amount of your vehicle visible in the mirrors can be reduced slightly with experience but distance perception is vital and one should always be able to see the side of your vehicle.

The job of judging where vehicles are is then reliant on effective observations and we should be checking our mirrors and speed every 10 seconds or so depending on circumstances. Only if there was considerable doubt as to the whereabouts of a vehicle which had, say, driven into your blind spot and remained there for some considerable time would you make a shoulder check if you were attempting to change lane. That particular circumstance is usually only ever going to occur on a dual carriageway of some description as anyone foolish enough to hang about in your blind spot whilst overtaking on a B road for example deserves all they get.

You then go on to discuss the heeling and toeing technique. This is a technique used principally for motorsports and has no place on the road. The technique introduces using a downchange to aid stable braking and correct gear selection in a manner entirely appropriate to racing. On the road the brakes should be exclusivly used (unless the footbrake fails which is what the handbrake is, an emergency brake) to conduct any significant slowing down before selecting the correct gear depending on the road and engine speed.

Driving Instruction using engine braking on the roads was (eventually) abandoned by the DSA. It was originally required because of the appalling braking systems on cars with drum brakes up to the 1970's or so. The problem was that it increased engine and drivetrain wear dramatically which is precisely what heeling and toeing promotes. It's a lot cheaper to replace a set of brake pads than it is a new gearbox.

Most dangerous lot of nonsense I have ever read!

Post 42

Gnomon - time to move on

I have difficult taking anyone seriously who says that someone "deserves all they get". Nevertheless, ignoring that, I'll address your points.

1. Your discussion of positioning the mirrors seems to miss the point entirely. "Why would anyone adjust their mirrors from a position they will never adopt"? Because that puts them into the correct position for using them to the greatest advantage.

You say that the side of the car should be visible in the mirrors. But as pointed out in the entry, this introduces a blind spot. The method described in the entry eliminates the blind spot.

I mention the heeling and toeing technique, but I don't say much about it and suggest it should only be taught by a professional.

I'm stunned by your suggestion that the engine should not be used to aid braking - I can't understand how having to fight the engine with the brakes rather than getting the brakes and engine to work together can be a good thing. But I don't think I say anything about engine braking in the entry, so it is not really relevant.

Most dangerous lot of nonsense I have ever read!

Post 43

Lanzababy - Guide Editor

You seem to be taking a lot of bashing here Gnomon smiley - rolleyes

I just thought I would like to say I thought the piece was absolutely fine. I don't consider myself an Advanced driver, just careful.

I was taught to double de clutch, when I was 17, so I understood what was going on inside the synchromesh - but I'm glad to say I never have needed to use it except once when the gear box was failing in a hire car.

I am glad to know that when I change from 5th to 3rd, I am not doing my car any harm.

My dad ( aged 85) liked the piece and he has been driving too since he was 17 without any accidents, he especially liked the mirror suggestion and has taken the advice.

I also liked to know why my ABS brakes made that sound and vibration when braking sharply - I was taught to release the brakes everso gently for a split second when I first started driving. Now - I am happy to let the braking system do it all by itself.

I think people don't seem to realise that this site is run by volunteers, not BBC staff, and that the article you are singlehandedly taking the flak for was written as a joint project over six years ago, by a group of authors, most of whom are no longer around.

I would now suggest that someone who is an Advanced instructor, or such like, write another article, giving advice on how to get trained as an Advanced Driver. New authors and subjects are always gladly received in Peer Review.

And Gnomon, you are doing a sterling job smiley - hug

Most dangerous lot of nonsense I have ever read!

Post 44

Gnomon - time to move on

Thanks, Lanzababy. If this Entry advocates techniques which are dangerous, I am certainly interested in removing them, but I have yet to be convinced.

Most dangerous lot of nonsense I have ever read!

Post 45


If someone is overtaking on a B road which is the scenario I used, and they care to dawdle in your blind spot instead of getting on with the overtake swiftly and safely they will suffer the consequences one day. The expression 'getting what they deserve' was simply that, an expression.

Kindly don't try to divert attention from your appalling logic and over zealous approach to eliminating blind spots as an excuse to promote bad driving practise. Encouraging anybody to adjust a drivers, nearside mirror from the passengers seat is not only dangerous it demonstrates your complete inability to drive safely; unless you have the neck of a giraffe you cannot see properly in a nearside mirror adjusted from the passenger seat.

Furthermore, the mere fact you are questioning my contributions simply exposes you as a fool with no right to be posting in a public forum on a subject you know nothing about. I might not agree with many of the DSA's driving practices but they and all the advanced driving organisations in the country recommend the methods I have described as the correct way to deal with mirrrors and blind spots, not some hair brained method promoted by you.

If you also doubt the wisdom of not using the engine to slow down a car then you can also consult the DSA via any one of their Approved Driving Instructors and, once again, any advanced driving organisation in the country. When slowing down with the brakes you should not have to fight the engine unless you still have your foot on the accelerator, which in your case I expect is entirely possible. If, like most drivers, you take your right foot off the accelerator and apply it to the brake you will not be fighting the engine as the engine is only being supplied enough fuel to idle. I suggest you examine your fundamental understanding of how the three pedals on the floor work before doubting whether what I am telling you is considered good practice.

The mere fact that you mention heeling and toeing, despite as you claim "but I don't say much about it", in an article with a title suggesting it is an advanced driving article automatically condones the practice.

Lanzababy - Tragically your 85 year old father is risking his and everybody elses life by taking the advice on mirrors advised in that article. I too have a 80+ year old relative, my father in law believes himself a safe and good driver with no accidents. Unfortunately he is as deluded as your father probably is as well, at 52 years old my eyesight and my judgement are not quite what they were when I was in my 20's and 30's and I know what I'm doing. At 17 your father probably passed his driving test only a few years after the introduction of the driving test in the 1930's which was designed to be taken in Austin Sevens and such like. There has been little change in the test since the 1930's indeed in a recent consultation paper entitled 'Learning to drive' a department of transpot official stated that a driving examiner from the 1930's could conduct a driving test today. Take my advice and tell your father to read the highway code for probably the first time in his life and follow the correct procedures for adjusting mirrors not the advice of some internet snake oil salesman writing advanced driving articles that he knows nothing about.

Most dangerous lot of nonsense I have ever read!

Post 46

Gnomon - time to move on

Since you have started attacking me personally, I am not going to continue this conversation. I am going to unsubscribe, which means I won't see any further comments you make.

I will, however, try and reword what is in the Entry to make it simpler, since you and some other people seem to have difficulty understanding what I thought was plain English.

If you had been more polite, perhaps you would have got your point across.


Most dangerous lot of nonsense I have ever read!

Post 47

Lanzababy - Guide Editor

Hmmm, I'm with Gnomon

sorry Dreaduk, but you are coming over very belligerently - you are not convincing me of your superior knowledge, rather you are battering people round the head.

As a volunteer Scout for h2g2 I would have welcomed an article from you, but you seem far happier to be insulting rather than take up a genuine offer.

In fact, I just realised that you have only been a member of h2g2 for a few days, just long enough to start this diatribe.

I wonder if you speak to people like this in your daily life? Anyway, as I said, I'm off, so you won't get a response from me either.

Most dangerous lot of nonsense I have ever read!

Post 48

I'm not really here

"I note that the advanced driver has made no comments on the two main issues raised: arm position and the change fromp 5th to 3rd gear."

If you mean me, I did not comment on these things because:

a) I've never driven a car with an airbag so I have no experience of positioning my hands to deal with one. I drive with my arms outstretched naturally because I'm tall and drive a small car. I feel it's safer to be as far away from the windscreen as possible - I've often wondered if stats are collected re driver height in fatalities, as I have seen shorter women sitting *very* close to the windscreen so they can reach the pedels, and I don't think the seatbelt would have had space to work. I don't feel my driving position affects my ability to control my car, or I wouldn't be accident free for nearly 20 years.

b) I do not know, and never have, understood double declutching. I have no worries about changing gears either up or down and missing one out if appropriate, as I choose the gear to match my speed, not my speed to match my gear.

I liked this comment very much:

"Furthermore, the mere fact you are questioning my contributions simply exposes you as a fool with no right to be posting in a public forum on a subject you know nothing about."

As it seems to say so much about the author, who came along and questioned Gnomon', (and the other credited authors) contributions, but does not feel Gnomon, or anyone else, has the right to question his own.

Most dangerous lot of nonsense I have ever read!

Post 49



'Outstretched' can be understood to mean 'to *stretch* out to the fullest length' and that may be have been at the root of the query. The entry has now been changed (on that and double-declutching as well) by Gnomen.

smiley - coolsmiley - bubbly

Most dangerous lot of nonsense I have ever read!

Post 50


Aw diddums, you post an irresponsible article and when your attacked for it being dangerous you take a hissy fit and flounce off.

Lanzababy - When you have to scrape a child off the road who has been run down because of stupid driving tips then accuse me of belligerence, especially if its your own child.

Most dangerous lot of nonsense I have ever read!

Post 51

Gnomon - time to move on

Not a hissy fit.

You've demonstrated that you don't have a great grasp of how cars work or basic driving practices. The statement about the engine not fighting with you proves that.

You don't appear to be able to read and understand what's in the Entry - you don't sound as if you're stupid so it must be that you're so full of your own ideas you're not capable of considering other people's ideas.

And you're insulting as well. So why should I hang around?

Most dangerous lot of nonsense I have ever read!

Post 52


hi, DreadUk.
Whilst I respect and agree with much of what you've said, I must take issue with your rather derogatory comments about ADIs. Their qualifying tests are not the same as Learners. Sure, there's a lot of common ground, as you would expect, but the learner theory requires 43 out of 50 questions, whilst the ADI's test requires 85 out of 100, and their test includes a much wider range of questions, including instructional techniques and other instructor related questions. The driving test for the ADI part 2, driving test has a maximum of 6 driver errors (minor faults) whereas the learner gets away with up to 15 - so clearly you need to be better than a learner - additionally, the overall expectation is higher, by the examiners, anyway, so a learner with less than 6 errors wouldn't/shouldn't be driving as well as a potential adi. The instructional side of things is the only think that's reassessed - that's correct, but, it is a teaching job after all. You possibly feel that we all should have re'assessments of our driving every few years. I'm certainly happy with that and I'm sure adi's with be in agreement, too, so driving assessment for instructors wouldn't rattle too many cages, I'm sure.
I've been ADI for years, but I am dismayed when new pupils tell me of their previous adi, who takes pupils on test routes all the time, 'forgets' to do emergency stop (that's a common one), or right hand reverse, or right hand parallel park (because they're not on the test). Some ADIs do under bonnet checks OK but neglect to teach pupils how to ACTUALLY check tyre pressures, put fuel in, check oil etc -- because they're not on the test. We, ADIs are supposed to be teaching 'safe driving for life' and whilst many will be doing that, some are blatantly not doing so. And don't get me started on the low numbers of new drivers NOT doing Pass Plus - it's not marketed effectively, many ADIs can't be bothered and there's an attitude around, that their driving on the test is the pinnacle of their supposed driving excellence. As if!

Most dangerous lot of nonsense I have ever read!

Post 53


There is definitely some well intentioned advice in original posting- I don't think there was any need to ridicule completely. I don't think you need to go to advanced driving courses to find out how to jump start a battery. And on that point the first reply that suggested disconnecting the donor battery is nuts- you will at least wipe the radio code and probably upset many other electronics like alarms, central locking etc.

I passed my test when I was 17, 18 years ago. I had an examiner well-known as a "failer" and done the test on a February day in snow and ice. When I went into a skid in the emergency stop going down a hill I presumed I had failed- but the examiner asked me if I had ABS and we moved on. Later he complemented me on my ability to control car by pumping the brake to come out of skid. So to say this technique is only for highly experienced drivers is wrong.

And to say if everyone kept to a safe speed is all well and good- but it doesn't actually happen.

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