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Motor Accident?

Car driving tips: moving off safely. 04/06/14


Moving off safely may be second nature to an experienced car driver, but it is surprising how many people fail to take the proper precautions and cause road accidents when performing this basic manoeuvre.

If you were taking your driving test, your examiner would be checking three key things when moving from a stationary position.

  • Your observation. If you make the correct visual checks before moving off

  • Your Accuracy. Whether or not you judge the distances and speeds of other vehicles correctly

  • Your ability to control your vehicle. How you use your vehicle controls to perform the manoeuvre


Your vehicle should be ready to move when when it is safe to do so.

You will need to have your vehicle in first gear and up to the bite point, whilst having your left hand on the hand brake (which should be on) and your right hand on the wheel at the 2 o'clock position.

If necessary put on the relevant indicator to show that you are pulling out from a parked position. Indicating is not always required but it can be done anyway as a precaution to warn other drivers that you are about to move off.

Check all your mirrors but particularly the one on the side the traffic is approaching from. Also glance over your shoulder to check your blind spot before looking forward to start your manoeuvre. Be especially careful to check for pedestrians and cyclists.

If you are pulling out into a traffic flow, allow plenty of time to manoeuvre your vehicle without forcing other drivers to slow down.

Release the hand brake and pull away promptly when safe to do so, but check your rear view mirror in case you need to accelerate more quickly to join following traffic.

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