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Basics | Shoulder Checks | Braking | Parking 

Just like in contact sports shoulder checks are everything! The one thing new drivers fear most is shoulder checks, because they involve turning your head while holding the wheel in its current position while moving forward, which is not natural for your brain. Make sure to only turn your head, not your whole body, and avoid turning the steering wheel in the direction of your shoulder check. Would you skate down the ice while playing hockey without checking around you? Of course not because you would get smoked by another player. Hockey players always have their heads on a swivel because they know that their are hazards (other players) all around them that they may not see coming.

A Hockey Player Doesn't Spot The Hazards Around Him And Gets Caught With His Head Down

In the top images our blind spots look clear in the side mirrors. In the bottom images we can see that the side mirrors did not show us our entire blind spot but a quick shoulder check to the side reveals that there is something in the blind spot.

The side mirrors of a vehicle don't show the blind spot unless they're adjusted much further outward than normal. Most motorists, including me, keep their mirrors adjusted slightly inward, but if the side mirrors are adjusted all the way outward the way engineers designed them to be used, then a driver would technically see all of their blind spot. But there are many other reasons to shoulder check even if the side mirrors are adjusted all the way out. When another motorist is speeding passed you it's very easy to miss them in your side mirror in that split second that they're passing by. Never rely solely on your side mirrors. Casey The Car Guy explains how to properly adjust the side mirrors of a vehicle in the video below.

Casey The Car Guy on YouTube. He is a professional race car driver who is an expert on all aspects of driving.

Bad Drivers 2022 (most of these crashes are due to drivers not shoulder checking)

How To Drive Defensively

Shoulder Checks And Vulnerable Road Users

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Wheel Guards save the lives of pedestrians and cyclists by keeping them from going under the wheels if they get hit.

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Cyclists can sometimes ride as fast as vehicles so be sure to always check your blind spot before turning. 

How To Check Your Blind Spot

Motorcyclists know better than anyone, how important it is to shoulder check.

How To Drive In Downtown Halifax

Braking

This is what your brakes look like. When you push the brake pedal this thingy called a caliper, squeezes the rotor (the circle thingy) and that's what your wheels attach to. That's what slows the vehicle down. When your brakes start to squeak, that's your vehicle talking to you and it's telling you that your brakes require servicing. Addressing these small squeaks and noises right away will always save you money. 

When you apply the brakes while moving forward all of the kinetic energy of your vehicle goes into the front suspension of the car which causes the car to lower slightly in the front. This is why you never want to brake harshly for a speed bump or animal. If you brake to harshly for a speed bump the car could bottom out on the bump and that can cause the car to bottom out on the bump which will damage the underside of your vehicle. If you were to brake harshly for a deer it would have a much better chance of coming through the windshield because the front of the car is sitting lower in that moment. 

speed bump

Hitting Speed Bumps Full Speed (What Will Happen?) in Slow Motion

Braking is all about thinking ahead. 

Covering The Brake Pedal - You place your foot over the pedal and let it hover there until you are sure there is no risk of a collision or any other hazard.


Early Braking - Applying the brakes early and steady helps you to slow down smoothly.

Casey The Car Guy On Braking

Parking

Reverse Parking

Reverse parking makes every new driver nervous but like with everything else in driving there is a secret that will make it super easy. The secret is to slow down and take your time. Steer as much as possible before moving the vehicle. This helps the car to pivot more and you won't waste as much space while moving forward or backwards.

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Reverse cameras are great but if the weather is bad they usually going to be useless as the lens will be covered in water or snow.

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Some parking lots will have points of reference in the centre of the parking space. Line up the middle headrest on the rear seat of your vehicle with the point of reference.

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Curb Parking

The secret to curb parking is to think a little further ahead and don't steer sharply to the curb. This helps by keeping the car straight as you gradually drift the car closer to the curb. The closer you get the slower you go. That way if your right front tire happens to touch the curb, it won't be anything intense. The tires of your vehicle must be within 15 cm of the curb.

curb parking

The secret to curb parking is to think a little further ahead and don't steer sharply to the curb. This helps by keeping the car straight as you gradually drift the car closer to the curb. The closer you get the slower you go. That way if your right front tire happens to touch the curb, it won't be anything intense. The tires of your vehicle must be within 15 cm of the curb.

Jeep Drives Off The Edge Of A Retaining Wall In Halifax

Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Parking

PARKING JOBS GONE BAD

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