Leaving a parked position can be quite the hazard, if your not sure of the proper procedure.
You are about to move forward from a parked position. Position you’re hands at ten o’clock and two o’clock on the steering wheel. If you let go of the steering wheel, you’re hands should continue to rest on the wheel. Some drivers prefer the 3 o’clock and the 9 o’clock position. If your driving an automatic, the right hand should not have to go too far to change gears, placing it back to the 2 position. The left hand should slide down the steering wheel without leaving the steering wheel to signal. Place your hand back to the ten position when you finished signaling. One hand on the wheel is not the safe way to drive a vehicle.
Now your ready to drive forward and you have done all the safety checks before you roll forward and signaled out of you’re parked position. Safety checks include checking your mirrors and shoulder depending on the direction your pulling out of. If you do not pull out right away after your checks, you will have to recheck again. Keep in mind that you are leaving a parked position and you are hardly moving. Traffic behind you can be moving fast. Check you're shoulder just before you think you are going to accelerate and glance a second time, after you have looked forward to check you're path ahead. Checking a second time gives you that option to go back to the brake, in case a vehicle comes around some corner and surprises you. Use you’re review mirror as much as possible to avoid this situation.
When you’re parked between two vehicles. Position you’re vehicle so you are clear of the vehicle in front of you, by inching back far enough. Position the nose of your vehicle forward, in a clearance position ahead of you. When you are on a wide roadway, you typically have a couple of feet without obstructing traffic and cyclists. Make sure you are not entering the nose of your vehicle into a potential hazard! Keep in mind the amount you turned the wheel. If you have cranked the wheel quite a bit. Make sure you do not end up on the other side of the road. To avoid this potential hazard, ease off the gas pedal when out of the parked position and gain control of direction by correcting the steering wheel position.
Reviewing the proper procedure of leaving a parked position from a curb.
- Path ahead
- Shoulder check
- Path ahead
- Recheck shoulder
- Proceed when all is clear
The first thing you check is your path ahead to make sure it’s clear.
Check your mirrors to see if it’s safe behind you.
Signal to traffic behind to let them know your intentions. (Hand signal if you think other drivers can’t see you’re signal. Also bring you’re hand back in before you start to maneuver the vehicle out of the parked position.)
Glance over to your blind spot just in case another vehicle pulls out from across the road, just before you make the maneuver.
Recheck your path ahead and proceed forward with one more glance over you’re shoulder. Do not release the brake pedal until after you have looked forward. A pedestrian may have approached you’re vehicle while you were looking the other way.
I hope these defensive driving tips will help you in you’re goal in becoming a defensive driver. Have an expierenced driver, or a recognized defensive driving school help you for further instruction on this topic.