About the System of Car Control

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Most drivers were taught the MSM (Mirror Signal Manoeuvre) or something similar, process of dealing with hazards and many have received no further training. There is a more advanced and safer process called the System of Car Control which is used by all advanced and defensive driving organisations including all emergency services.

WHAT IS A HAZARD?: A hazard is anything that contains an element of actual or potential danger. There are three main types:

  • Physical features, such as junctions, roundabouts, bends or hill crest;
  • Those created by the position or movement of other road users; and
  • These created by variations in road surface or weather conditions.

There are five features of the System each of which is considered in sequence. They are applicable in all circumstances and leave nothing to chance. They enable you to achieve the one essential aspect of safe driving – TIME TO REACT – and by implication, the maximum cocoon of space around your vehicle.

INFORMATION: You take in information through good observation all around you. You use the observed information in prioritise hazards, anticipate what will happen and as a result form a driving plan. You made decisions as to what signals you need to give other people and give them appropriately and in good time.

POSITION: You decide on the best position to take for approaching and negotiating the hazard based on what you have observed.

SPEED: You use the accelator or brakes to adjust your speed appropriate for the hazard based on the principle of being able to stop on your side of the road in the distance seen to be clear.

GEAR: You select a gear appropriate for the speed and control required.

ACCELERATION: You ask yourself if you can commit yourself to continuing through the hazard andif so smoothly annd appropriately accelerate.