top of page

Cockpit drill/ Moving off

Cockpit drill + Moving off / Stopping: Cockpit drill /moving off

Cockpit drill






The above routine is to make sure that you the driver can
reach and operate all the controls safely and effectively.


As a driver it is your responsibility to ensure the vehicle is
secure and safe before moving away. Check all the doors
are closed.
The law states that you the driver should be seated in a position
that you can control the vehicle and reach the pedals and have
a proper view of the road.

Your head restraint should be adjusted correctly to prevent you from
whiplash injury in the event of having to stop quickly.


You should be able to move your hands around the rim of the
steering wheel without catching your hands on your knees etc.

When driving remember your hands will follow your eyes,
so look where you want to go !



These are important that they are set up correctly.

INTERIOR MIRROR :- Flat glass gives you a true image, the one we judge speed and distance of vehicles behind.. You should not touch the glass as this could leave marks which may distort the image behind.

There is a normally a switch underneath the mirror this adjust the mirror to take an image off of the roof of the car when night driving and someone's lights are dazzling you. This is called the anti-dazzle switch.

SIDE MIRRORS :- Convex glass and makes the image look further away. Adjusted so you can see the horizon through the middle and rear of the car. These are used to make sure there is nothing coming up either side of the Vehicle.


It is important that you and your passengers are strapped in the car.

So make sure when you apply your belt that there are no
twists or turns in it.

The driver is legally responsible for passengers under the
age of 14
 to make sure they wear a seat belt.

"Tell all your mates to BELT UP before you drive away."

Handbrake (Parking Brake) & Neutral

You should first check the handbrake is applied and that no gear is selected (the loocar is in neutral)

This is also referred to as "precautions before starting the engine".

Moving Off and Stopping

You should normally use 1st gear for moving off except when moving off down a steep hill, then it may be best to use 2nd gear.

Move off safely and under control on a level road, from behind a parked vehicle and on a gradient

Use the MSPSL routine

Check your blind spot for traffic and pedestrians



Make balanced use of the accelerator, clutch, brakes and steering

Use the appropriate gear

Get ready to move - Take your first look to the front and into the mirrors for traffic and pedestrians and then get yourself ready to move. Press the clutch down as far as it will go. Select first gear.

Set the gas press the gas pedal slightly and then hold it sttill. Press it to generate sufficient power to move. Listen to the engine noise. Don't let the engine roar! Bring the clutch up until the sound of the engine drops slightly and then keep both feet still (this is called the biting point)

Check it's safe - Look in your interior and door mirrors again and look round to check the blind spots (the areas you are unable to see in the mirrors). Be prepared to wait if the coast is not clear. Decide if you need to signal.

The rule about signals in any circumstances is that they should be given "to help other road users". If there is not the slightest chance of any-one being affected by you moving off, including oncoming traffic and pedestrians, there is no point in signalling. But if there is then signal , why risk it? Have your hand on the handbrake ready for release.

Move away - It's safe ? Check the blind spot again by looking over your right shoulder and release the handbrake. The car should slowly move forwards. If the car doesn't move, let the clutch up a little more.

To increase your speed, press the gas pedal gently and gently raise the clutch and take your foot away from the clutch pedal. You will need to change into 2nd gear soon after moving away

Uphill Starts

Moving off on a gradient demands good co-ordination of the gas pedal, clutch and handbrake, for the obvious reasons that without it you will roll backwards
The normal routine for moving off  from the kerb applies, mirrors-signal-manoeuvre

Select first gear, bring the clutch to the 'biting point' and apply higher-than-usual revs. Check your mirrors, make sure too, check over your right shoulder , then if a signal is needed then give it. If it is safe to move off, release the handbrake and let the clutch bite a little more - enough to get the car rolling forward, but not enough to cause the car to jerk. Give a bit more gas as the car moves off, letting the clutch up smothly as the car gathers speed.
Remember you must build up more momentum than usual in first gear before changing, and be sure not to fumble selection, otherwise all momentum will be lost.
Lastly if you signalled check that the indicator has cancelled, then drive the car normally and engage higher gears when required.

.Downhill move off

Select the appropriate gear. If it is a slight slope, 1st gear should be sufficient, a steep slope then select 2nd gear. Firmly apply the foot brake and release the handbrake keeping the foot brake on.

Complete the usual all round safety checks and signal if necessary.

Release the foot brake and bring the clutch up smothly as the car starts to roll forward. Gently increase the gas.


Find a safe, legal, and convenient stopping place


Apply the Mirrors, Signal, Manoeuvre routine for stopping. Check your interior mirror and left door mirror to ensure it is safe, signal if it will benefit anyone.

Steer closer and parallel to the kerb.

Press the brake pedal progressively and just before the car stops begin to ease off the brake slightly and depress the clutch pedal fully

Finally, make the car safe:

Apply the handbrake

Select neutral

Remove your feet from the pedals

Cancel your signal if you applied one. 


Emergency stop   

You'll need quick reactions when you get the signal

Take your right foot off the accelerator (gas) pedal and the apply foot brake firmly and progressively

Don't slam on the brake as this may lock up your wheels which would then cause the car to skid.

Then after a slight pause apply the clutch pedal with your left foot.

Try not to put the clutch down too soon. Allow the engine (whilst in gear) to assist with the braking, so you can stop sooner and less likely to skid.

As the weight will be thrown forward when you brake keep both hands firmly on the steering wheel to maintain control.

when you've stopped, apply the hand brake and select neutral.

Observations before moving off

When you have stopped the car in an emergency you may be positioned more to the centre of the road, therefore check all areas around the car so you know it is safe to move off again.

If you have traffic approaching then you should give them the opportunity to pass before moving off.



ABS brakes- Anti-lock braking systems

Most modern cars have ABS brakes - the braking system is assisted, the car is fitted with a sensor control which releases the brake and immediately applies it again, therefore preventing the wheels from locking.

Correcting a skid without ABS


If the wheels have locked up then your car has been put into a skid. You need to release the footbrake and re-apply the brake again, apply the brakes firmly and progressively




bottom of page