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Giving Signals

The following advice on signalling comes from the IAM Advanced Driver�s Manual:

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Some drivers wrongly use two hand signals in the belief that they are being courteous to other road users. These are the �You can overtake me� wave to a following vehicle and the �Please cross� gesture to pedestrians.

The problem with these is that if you make a mistake you could be guilty of causing an accident through your good intentions. It is not always possible for you to judge whether other road users, either drivers or pedestrians, can safely accept your invitation. Leave it to them to make their own judgement.

Since irresponsible drivers seem increasingly willing to break the law by overtaking on either side of traffic halted at a pedestrian crossing, the consequences of someone stepping into the road at your request could be serious.

Driving Tip � Why backwards is best

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In a car park, do you reverse into a parking space and drive out, or drive in and reverse out? The next time you are in a car park, have a look around and see how many people reverse into the space. You will probably find that most people actually drive in and reverse out. There is no doubt this may be safer/more convenient if the spaces are angled, when you have to load/unload items from the boot or if it would cause inconvenience to other road users.
On the other hand, reversing into the space provides you with several advantages. The first of these is that it is safer to reverse into somewhere you can see into (the parking space), rather than reverse out into somewhere you can�t (the line of moving traffic). Many people find that it takes them a few minutes to settle into �driving mode� when they start their journey. Therefore it doesn�t make sense to undertake a potentially high risk manoeuvre such as reversing when you are not concentrating fully. It is also easier to control a car going forwards rather than backwards when the car is first started and the automatic choke is activated. The reduction in wear and tear on you and the car is useful too � plus the fact that you can pull away immediately while the engine is cold, rather than labour it doing a reversing manoeuvre.
From a security point of view, reversing close to an object such as a wall can make it more difficult for thieves to access your boot. If you need to exit a parking space quickly for personal security, driving out provides you with better acceleration and improved vision.
Over the next week why don�t you try reversing into a parking space? You may find it helpful, if you have electric mirrors, to lower your left (nearside) mirror as this will provide you with a guide to your lateral position. Another option where all the spaces run in parallel rows is to line your car up with the space in front and reverse back in a straight line. This should automatically position you in the centre of the space.

MATLOCK (Derwent and Hope Valleys) Group of Advanced Motorists Tel 01629 812732

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