EMERGENCY STOP ... made easy
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How to do the Emergency Stop for the UK Driving Test.
Information is Knowledge
One in three driving tests in the UK will be assessed on a Controlled Stop, (also known as Emergency Stop).
On your driving test your Examiner will ask you to pull up and explain that he wants to assess you on this exercise, (you may get this on your test or you may not, only one in three tests are assessed on the Controlled Stop).
Your Examiner will brief you similar to the following, "I want you to drive up the road and build your speed up to 30mph if it's safe to do so, at some point I will raise my hand and say Stop!
This will be your signal that I want you to stop the car as if it were a real emergency, imagine a child has run into the road.
Before I ask you to do the stop I will check over my shoulder to make sure it is safe, but don't take that as the signal. You must stop the vehicle promptly and under full control, you will then be asked if have any questions then drive on when you are ready".
What the examiner will be looking for.
The examiner will want you to react quickly, promptly and stop the car under full control, no skidding if you do skid regain control quickly.
The car should come to a halt with the engine running although not necessarily a fail if you stall, (if you do stall, secure the car and restart the engine).
Once you have stopped the vehicle apply the parking brake and check your mirrors so as to be aware of what is going on behind you, (you may need to put a signal on if another vehicle appears after you have stopped your car). Sit and wait for your next instruction from the examiner.
When the Examiner asks you to stop, keep both hands firmly on the wheel, (they should not move from the steering wheel until the car has come to a halt).
You should get your foot quickly to the brake pedal and press firmly enough so the vehicle stops very quickly but doesn't skid or stall, I would expect the seat belt to lock and feel my self being restrained by the seat belt.
The clutch pedal goes down at the last second to stop the engine from stalling, we leave the clutch pedal up as long as possible so as to make use of engine braking.
If the clutch pedal goes down too early then your brakes have to work harder and you may travel a bit further which could mean the difference between hitting someone and not.
Once the car has stopped - not until, apply the parking brake, (also known as handbrake), and put the gear into neutral, check your interior mirror so that you know what is going on behind you, sit and wait for your next instruction.
Your next instruction will be; "drive on as soon as you are ready" the examiner will at this stage say; "that is the end of the Controlled Stop, if I raise my hand again don't slam your brakes on but if a real emergency arises respond as you should".
Reasons for failing.
This is intended as a guide only, please take advice from your instructor.
Not reacting quickly enough. Not getting to the brake pedal quickly enough, causing the vehicle to travel further than it should.
Not stopping quickly enough. Not pressing the pedal firmly enough, resulting in the vehicle traveling further than it should.
Vehicle skids out of control. Stamping on the pedal resulting in a skid, although a small skid if bought under control quickly might not fail you.
Hand taken off steering wheel before the vehicle stops. Hand goes for the parking brake or gear stick before your vehicle has stopped.
Applying the parking brake before the vehicle has stopped. This could result in the vehicle going out of control.
Not checking your mirrors once you have stopped. You will not be aware of what is going on behind you.
Not completing an all round observation once you are asked to drive on. This must be done as always before you drive on, having stopped at the kerb, before moving off from a controlled stop or other manoeuvres, exception would be stopping in traffic queues unless you felt it was necessary.
Not signaling if there were someone to benefit while stationary or before moving off after the Controlled Stop. It could be a car in front or behind you, let them know you are stationary or let them know you are about to move off, if it is safe to do so.
Practice makes perfect, particularly if you take advice from a Professional Driving Instructor, they can help guide you when things aren't going to plan.
Sometimes breaking the routines down and practicing them slowly but in correct order and then building them back up works wonders.
Many thanks for reading and hope that this helps you in your Lessons/Test.