In accordance with the traffic rules of my country, a driver is considered to be a person who drives a vehicle and has permission to do so. A permit is a certificate that is issued after training and passing an exam. During the training process, theoretical knowledge and practical skills are embedded in the head of the future driver. Collectively, this information becomes a set of skills and habits.

This material contains useful driver skills, which in theory should be developed during training in a driving school. For various reasons, many drivers lack these skills. Moreover, there are bad habits. But it depends on how you operate the car. Road safety, your comfort and that of your passengers, the service life of the vehicle, and the number of traffic violations and fines largely depend on your skills. The lack of useful skills often leads to accidents, moral and material damage, and even death.

A skill is the ability to perform an action, formed through repetition and brought to automaticity. Information about a skill is located in procedural memory. And it is performed with minimal conscious effort. The development of a skill is achieved by performing exercises, thanks to which the ability to perform the same action is improved and consolidated. An indicator of the presence of skill is when the driver performs an action without thinking about it in advance and does not isolate separate operations from it. Thanks to the presence of skill, a trained action is performed quickly and accurately.

(1) Daily vehicle maintenance

All drivers must have the skill to assess the technical condition of a vehicle. Regardless of gender, age, driving experience, education, physique, way of thinking, mood. Daily maintenance ensures that the vehicle you plan to drive on public roads is in good condition. Those who do not have this skill often encounter unexpected troubles on the road.

A skill consists of actions aimed at testing:

  • engine oil level;
  • brake fluid level;
  • antifreeze level;
  • tire pressure;
  • operability of external lighting and signaling devices.

For a novice driver, these steps can take a lot of time. An experienced driver, if he has the skill, can handle this in a minute. There is a separate material on car maintenance on the website Auto without a service station.

If the car was parked or on the side of the road, walk around it in a circle. Perhaps someone caught it, something fell off, a tire went flat, an animal fell asleep under it...

(2) Safety belt

Get in the car — buckle up. First thing. Many drivers buckle up at random. After starting the engine, with first gear engaged, while driving... If you do this, or don’t buckle up at all, you don’t have this useful skill. Passengers are also required to wear seat belts. To develop the skill, buckle up immediately after getting into the car. If you do it randomly, the skill will not appear.

(3) Warming up the engine

A cold engine consumes a lot of fuel, reacts poorly to the gas pedal, and stalls when starting off. It is also worth adding fogged windows in winter and rainy weather. There is a separate material on warming up the engine on the website Auto without a service station. Take the time to develop this skill. In the future, this skill will save you a lot of time, nerves and money.

(4) Rear view mirrors

You need to look at them before:

  • the beginning of movement;
  • rebuilding;
  • overtaking;
  • turning;
  • braking.

When driving on the road, check your mirrors periodically, even if you are just driving straight. More often than not, you won't see anything special about them. But sooner or later danger will appear in the mirror. If you don't have this skill, you won't see it and won't take timely action.

(5) Driving a car

The actions required to operate a vehicle must be at the level of skill, not ability or knowledge. This includes working with pedals, gear shift levers, and steering wheels. Everyone knows how novice drivers drive a car - they look at the controls, distracted from the road. This indicates a lack of skills. It is advisable to bring these actions to automaticity before you drive onto public roads.

(6) Direction indicators

Turn signals are designed to inform other road users of your intentions. You need to turn it on before starting to move from the side of the road, changing lanes, turning and other maneuvers. Very often there is no such skill, and the driver uses the direction indicators only when he considers it necessary. When there is a skill, the indicators turn on before each maneuver. Regardless of whether the driver sees other road users or not.

To develop this skill, force yourself to turn on your turn signals no matter the situation. Especially when you don't see anyone around. It is equally important to include a sign that matches your intent. There are many areas on the roads where drivers use this signal incorrectly, misleading other road users.

(7) Clutch pedal

The clutch pedal has three main positions - on, off and engagement point. At this point the car starts moving from a standstill. When the clutch is engaged (the pedal is not pressed), the car moves. When it is turned off (the pedal is pressed all the way), it does not move. The most important skill is working with the trigger point. You need to feel it, because on different cars it works at different pedal positions.

You should always depress the clutch pedal quickly and confidently, all the way to the floor. But not with a blow.

When moving away, the pedal is released smoothly to the engagement point. Then it is held in this position until the car starts moving and drives a little. After this, the pedal can be released completely. Smoothly. But confidently.

When driving in reverse gear, the clutch pedal is held at the engagement point or slightly higher.

When changing gears, the pedal is pressed quickly, confidently, to the floor. And it releases smoothly. There is no longer any need to linger at the switching point.

Whenever operating the clutch pedal, the heel of the foot must be in the air.

If the car does not twitch while operating the clutch pedal, then you have the described skill.

(8) Gas pedal

The gas pedal is designed to control engine speed and vehicle speed. It needs to work smoothly. The heel of the foot should always be on the floor. This allows you to dose the force smoothly and accurately.

Basic moments:

  • When starting off, increase the speed a little (up to 1200), this will make it easier for the engine to move the car. Hold the gas pedal in this position until you release the clutch pedal completely.
  • When accelerating, add speed smoothly.
  • Before shifting to the next gear, hold the gas pedal in one position while the car accelerates.
  • When changing gear, release the gas pedal while pressing the clutch pedal.
  • After changing gear, gently press the gas pedal after removing your foot from the clutch pedal.

The skill is complemented by controlling the gas pedal when starting up a hill and switching to a lower gear. The sign of the presence of skill is the same as in the case of the clutch - the car should not twitch. If it does this when you operate the gas pedal, then you are using it incorrectly.

(9) Brake pedal

In normal situations, you need to operate the brake pedal so that the car stops in the right place, smoothly, without body nods or wheel slips. This is easy to achieve. The heel of the foot should be on the floor. This will allow you to accurately does the force. To stop, press the pedal with appropriate force. When the car has almost stopped, release the force slightly. This will avoid nodding. But do not release the pedal completely, as the car may roll forward or backward due to inertia or incline.

Emergency braking. This is a special skill that requires practice. The task is to stop the car so that the braking distance is the shortest. To do this, you need to press the brake pedal quickly, but not all the way. Pressing hard all the way will cause the wheels to lock and increase the braking distance. The presence of skill is evidenced by stopping the car with a minimum braking distance and without slipping wheels.

(10) Reading traffic conditions

This is one skill that is difficult to perfect. There are so many different situations on the road that it is impossible to develop the only correct actions for each. There are too many factors - the condition of the road surface, the skills of you and other road users, the level of illumination, visibility, visibility, stress resistance... This list can be continued for a very long time.

Once the driver has developed basic skills, there is more time to read the road situation. It is also impossible to describe in a nutshell how this is done. But the essence is not difficult to formulate: reading the road situation is the driver’s readiness for unexpected, unlikely events. For example, if there is a cyclist in front of you, you should be prepared for the fact that he:

  • suddenly and without a warning signal begins to change lanes or turn left;
  • will lose balance, and to regain it will suddenly swerve, ending up right in front of your car;
  • will fall;
  • will start to turn around at the sound of your car and lose its balance;
  • driving while drunk;
  • somewhat deaf;
  • with limited mobility...

And that's just the cyclist. And there are other types of transport on the road - cars, trucks, motorcycles, mopeds, scooters... There are pedestrians. Children without parental supervision. Animals crossing the road. Birds.

The skill of reading road conditions is constantly being improved and expanded. Unfortunately, not everyone does. You can improve this skill both from your own experience and from the experience of others. The simplest and most accessible method is to consciously review videos of road accidents on the Internet. To benefit from them, you need to do more than just watch. We need to analyze what is happening. Identify mistakes made by drivers. Imagine what you would do in a given situation.

Additional useful driver skills

In conclusion, a list of useful skills, most of which are not developed in driving schools when taught by instructors:

  • regularly pay attention to the dashboard (is there fuel, is the engine overheated, is the battery charging lamp, oil pressure and other malfunction indicators on);
  • when choosing a parking spot, think about other people;
  • after stopping the car, activate the handbrake;
  • do not leave keys and documents in the car;
  • when leaving your car in a parking lot, even for a short time, lock the doors and turn on the alarm;
  • make sure that all doors are closed;
  • when parking near a curb, turn your wheels toward it;
  • before each ride, make sure that the seat, steering wheel and mirrors are adjusted to suit you.

This list will be expanded. Including you. If you know useful driving skills that are not mentioned in this material, write them in the comments below. I'll definitely add it.