Driving Lesson

  • Speed Management

    Speed management You must drive at a safe and legal speed, managing your speed to suit traffic, weather and road conditions.



    Maintain space to the front


    You must adjust your speed to maintain crash avoidance space to the front of your car. The minimum safe distance needed in front is three seconds. This must be increased in poor conditions, or when you are being followed too closely by another vehicle. When you change lanes or if another vehicle moves into your three-second gap, you will be expected to create a new gap by gradually dropping back. To calculate a three-second crash avoidance space when following another vehicle use this basic technique: as the rear of the vehicle in front of you passes a stationary object at the side of the road such as a power pole, tree or sign, start a three-second count ‘one thousand and one, one thousand and two, one thousand and three.


    Maintain space when stopped


    Maintain space when stopped When you are stopped in traffic you must keep one to two car lengths from the vehicle in front to reduce the risk of colliding with it if you are hit from behind. You may move forward to within one metre once other vehicles are stopped behind you and the risk of being hit from behind is reduced.


    Reduce speed


    Reduce speed You must slow down if you do not have a clear view of the road ahead. Situations where your vision may be reduced include: blind corners; blocked intersections; crests and poor weather conditions. Slow down if you cannot see five seconds ahead. To calculate five-second vision in a curve, pick a fixed point in the oncoming lane that has just come into view and start a count ‘one thousand and one, one thousand and two... one thousand and five’. If you reach the point before five seconds you are driving too fast for the available vision.


  • Road positioning

    During the test you will be expected to maintain a safe, legal position on the road. This includes during manoeuvres such as a three-point turn and reverse parking


    Buffering is keeping as much space to the sides of your vehicle as practical in any situation. You should have at least one metre from other vehicles and hazards. Where you are not able to keep space from other vehicles and hazards you must slow down. You are also expected to change your position on the road to create space from hazards. On crests and curves, slow down and move away from oncoming traffic. When possible, you should be at least one metre from the centreline on blind crests and curves. In multi-laned traffic, avoid driving in the blind spot of other drivers and in the high risk area beside other vehicles. If you unnecessarily drive on the wrong side of the road, or unnecessarily cross any edge lines or lane markings, you will fail. 


  • Decision making

    A critical decision must be made whenever you enter traffic, change lanes, cross or turn at an intersection. Affecting the crash avoidance space of others The testing officer will be checking that you go only when there is a safe gap in the traffic and that you are not affecting the crash avoidance space of other drivers. A safe gap ensures that other vehicles do not need to change their speed or position. When turning across traffic make sure your vehicle is clear of the intersection by at least three seconds before the approaching vehicles arrive. When joining a traffic stream select a gap that allows you to reach the traffic speed before the approaching vehicles are within three seconds of your car.

  • Vehicle Control

    Operating the controls Some of the driving tasks that the testing officer will observe and record are listed here

    • Adjust driver’s seat posture and steering column (if adjustable) to ensure you have good control of the vehicle.

    • Operate accelerator smoothly when accelerating and decelerating .

    • Operate brakes smoothly and effectively.

    • Coordinate clutch and gear lever to make smooth gear changes.

    • Select appropriate gear for the situation including when coming to a stop and parking the car.

    • Avoid over-revving on take off and gear changes.

    • Driver’s seat belt is correctly fastened, fitted and adjusted (low, flat and firm)

    • Apply a brake when starting the vehicle.

    • Prevent rolling back when starting on hills.

    • Use the park brake correctly when preparing to secure the vehicle and ensure it is fully released when driving.

    • Steer with both hands on the steering wheel (except when using another control), using either ‘hand-over-hand’ or ‘pull-push’ method with hands on the outside of the steering wheel.

    • Use other controls such as indicators, windscreen wipers and demisters. You must be confident in your use of all controls and be able to operate them without being distracted.

  • Night driving

    Crash data shows that the risk of provisional drivers crashing is greater at night, particularly on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. Avoid driving at these times if at all possible.

  • Manoeuvres

    On the driving test you will be asked to do a number of maneuvers that will be selected from the following:

    • A kerb side stop.

    • A hill starts.

    • A three-point turn.

    • Parking, reverse parallel

  • Observation

    Observation is an essential skill for a low risk driver. The testing officer will be assessing your observation techniques throughout the test. You will fail if your observation is poor. When scanning muast look

    • In the distance.

    • At the road surface.

    • To the left and right.

    • In your mirrors.

    • At the instruments and gauges.

  • Overtaking and merging

    Overtaking safely The faster a vehicle is travelling, the more distance and time you need to overtake. Before overtaking another vehicle:

    • Check the road ahead is clear, with enough distance for you to safely overtake.

    • Check side streets and other lanes to make sure nothing will enter your overtaking space.

    • Check mirrors and blind spots for motorcycles and other vehicles.

    • Indicate to warn other drivers you intend to overtake. When overtaking:

    • Stay under the speed limit.

    • Make sure there’s room to move back into the lane (you should be able to see the vehicle in your rear vision mirror).

    • Indicate when you move back into your lane.

  • Responding to hazards

    Your hazard perception skills are essential to low risk driving. During the test you will be assessed on your ability to recognise hazards and make an appropriate response. Hazard and response During your test you must respond appropriately to hazards. As you scan the traffic environment you should be asking yourself whether the things you see could possibly enter your crash avoidance space. If the answer is yes and something could block your path, your response should be to protect your crash avoidance space by:

    • ‘Setting up’ or covering the brakes.

    • Easing off the accelerator.

    • Reducing speed.

    • Creating a ‘buffer’ from the hazard by changing your position on the road or changing lanes.

    Your ability to respond means that you are better able to deal with any dangerous situation that might occur.

  • Explaining the Driving Test

    The way the test works The driving test follows a set course comprising 25 zones. During the test a testing officer will be in the car with you directing you where to drive, and recording your performance on a score sheet.

    You are assessed against five key performance areas:

    Speed Management (S)

    Road Positioning (P)

    Decision Making (D)

    Responding to Hazards (H)

    Vehicle Control (C)

  • Locations We Serve

    Doonside, Sevenhill and Toongabiee