The system of car control is a safe, systematic way of driving and approaching hazards. This system was designed by the British Police and is now used all over the world to make drivers safer.
TUG – Take Use and Give information. Information is an essential part of the system of car control and is used throughout the process.
Take – Examples include looking, scanning your environment, checking mirrors, and listening along with other senses. Take can include smell too – can you smell fuel, smoke? What could this mean? Take is all about looking as far ahead as you can to help you plan. Once you have taken in information, you’re able to think and plan ahead.
Use – This looks at the cognitive element of driving and what you have seen. Think! What could that cyclist do? He is looking over his shoulder. What about that person on her mobile phone approaching a crossroads? Has she seen me? That car looks to be going too fast to be turning off before me. Has he left his indicator on? It’s all too easy to spend time looking but not really doing anything with it – looking but not seeing!
Give – Now you have seen things in your driving environment and have processed them, what information do you need to give? Sometimes, your vehicle will help you out, for example, by automatically applying brake lights when slowing down. Other information you can give to help others include hand signals, your position on the road to indicate a hazard in advance, and use of signals – indicating, will anyone benefit? Would a signal be misleading?
Positioning yourself early can help you negotiate a hazard safely and smoothly. You need to consider things such as your road speed, type and size of the vehicle, road conditions, and others around you when positioning yourself for hazards. Position yourself for maximum advantage.
Nearside position – Allows an early view on right-hand corners, a better nearside view past vehicles, and extra space for oncoming vehicles. It’s the best position for left-hand turns when there is no other hazard.
Central position – gives a good margin of safety on both sides. It allows you to change to nearside or offside quickly.
Offside position – allows an early view on left-hand corners, increased safety distance from nearside hazards, it’s a good position for right turns, and allows a better view if looking to overtake, too.
Following Position – Your following position is a critical point to consider; use the 2-second rule in dry weather, double it in the wet, and up to 10 times in the snow.
Positioning for approaching the brow of a hill – position yourself to the nearside to help minimise the risk of a collision with an oncoming vehicle, which you may not have seen yet. Be aware of cyclists and other nearside hazards when doing this. It may not always be safe.
Adjust your speed appropriate to the approaching hazard. Good acceleration sense will help here. Acceleration sense is your ability to alter the vehicle speed based on the prevailing road traffic situations so that you use the brakes less or, in some instances, not at all. Acceleration sense is used in every driving situation, from moving off, overtaking other vehicles or hazards, obeying the speed limits, following other vehicles and more.
Fine-tuning your acceleration sense requires developing your powers of observation, anticipation, and the ability to judge speed and distance. With our driving courses, a lot of time is spent on developing your forward planning and observation, so you’re looking far ahead and thinking a lot about what’s going on. Commentary driving is a great way to develop this – getting a driver to speak out loud about what they can see has so many benefits.
As the system of car control progresses, you need to look at gears. You have already taken the information, positioned yourself well, and considered your speed. Now, you need to engage the right gear for the speed at which you’re travelling. If you’re driving an electric vehicle, there are no gears, so you do not need to deal with gears.
Once you have dealt with a hazard, it’s time to move on and leave the hazard safely. Take account of your speed, other road users and the traffic and weather conditions. You will need to select an appropriate point to move away. At this final stage, you will still be using TUG – Take Use Give information and will continue to do so throughout your drive.
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