Automatic Driving Lessons In North Dublin-Cockpit Drill
What is the cockpit drill?
The cockpit drill is a sequence of checks which you should carry out whenever you get into your vehicle and intend to drive. The ‘cockpit drill’ includes various safety and comfort checks which are done before turning the vehicle on, these include fastening your seatbelt and adjusting your mirrors. During your driving test, you should perform the cockpit drill at the beginning of your test to ensure you are safe and comfortably positioned to begin your drive.
Why do I have to do the cockpit drill?
The simple answer is that it will help make sure your drive is problem-free. You don’t want to drive off and then remember you aren’t wearing your seatbelt, you also don’t want to get onto the main road only to realise your mirrors aren’t correctly positioned. You should make sure your cockpit drill has been done on the lesson before your practical driving test so you can jump straight into your car and not have performed all of your checks again. Your examiner will realise that you had already been sitting in the vehicle and therefore adjusting the seat/mirrors will not be necessary again.
What do I have to check?
1) Doors – Check your door is shut and that your passengers doors are shut
The reason for this is obvious as you don’t want you or your passengers door to fly open when you take a turn. Check your door by pulling the door handle (not the opening lever) towards you, also ask all your passengers to check their doors.
2) Seat & steering – Adjust your seat according to your size to a safe driving position
You need to be able to reach your foot pedals without stretching, use your left foot to depress the clutch and make sure it goes all the way down to the floor of the car without you feeling you are too close or too far. If you need to adjust your seat, a bar is normally directly under your knees which you should pull up, you should use one hand to hold on to the steering wheel to pull you closer and prevent your seat from flying back. You will also find a recline adjustment in the form of a round dial (usually on the right side of the driver’s seat), you should adjust it so that you aren’t leaned back too far and are generally comfortable with your seat position. You shouldn’t be too close/too far from the steering wheel because this will make steering very tricky. Finally, you need to adjust your head restraint so that the top of your head is level with the top of your head restraint, figure 1 below shows the optimum driving position.
3) Mirrors – Adjust your doors mirrors and your rearview mirror
Your wing-mirrors should give you the best possible view of the situation behind you and from your rearview, you should be able to see out all the back window and being able to see the outline of the interior of your car.
4) Neutral and handbrake.
Once your car’s mirrors are in order, simply check that your car is in neutral and that your handbrake is up.
Now that you know the vehicle is safe, put your seatbelt on, making sure the belt is straight and not twisted. Also, make sure the seatbelt goes over your right shoulder and across your chest. Do not go under your armpit.
Turn the ignition and you are ready to drive.