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Cockpit Drill

ADI Part 3

Cockpit Drill

You will be very wise to use a standard and consistent routine to teach your pupils how to set them selves up ready for driving.

Make certain that your pupil carries out the cockpit drill correctly every time they get into the car

During lessons the pupil may get complacent and for example set the mirrors incorrectly unless you insist that they run through the correct routine before every driving lesson. Before carrying out the routine the driver should check the car interior for any loose objects that could potentially cause danger in the event of accidents.

The D.S.S.S.M. Routine need not necessarily be carried out in the afore mentioned order, It is advisable though to make sure that setting the mirrors is last on the list as they may move the seat if they do it first, then they will have to be  set up again as the view to the rear will have changed, they may not be able to see anything except the back seat or ceiling. One exception to this rule are the setting of the door mirrors in order to see that the car doors are flush with the body of the car, even then they must re adjust the door mirrors at the end of the drill if required.

One of the standard cockpit drills is the D.S.S.S.M. Routine.

D. Doors
S. Seat
S. Steering
S. Seat belts
M. Mirrors

Doors - Are the all closed properly? Listen for the doors rattling if not closed properly, look into the door mirrors explaining at this point how to adjust the door mirrors and what they need to see in them, for example, you need to see down  the car body but mostly the road, then half road and half sky, then check the doors are flush with the body work.

Seat - explain where the seat moment levers are, starting with the slide lever, get the pupil into a position such that he can depress the clutch to the floor without stretching the leg and has a slight bend at the knee joint. Then show the rake or back of the seat lever, explain how to set this part of the seat in conjunction with the steering wheel, at the same time going into detail of the adjustable steering wheel. After this the driver may have to re adjust the lower part again because he may have been pushed out of position. Then explain the importance of setting the head restraint correctly and that he should advise any passengers how to set them if required.

Steering - As explained above. Making certain that he is comfortable and has a slight bend at the elbow so he isn't stretching.

Seat belts - Explain how to hold on to the seat belt fastener with the left hand while sliding it through the thumb and fore finger of the right hand, this way there will be no twists in it which are potentially dangerous. Explain the importance of feeding the belt back into the inertia mechanism when taking the seat belt off as simply letting it go could cause serious injury or smash the car side window. Make sure the pupil understand the importance of checking on all passengers seat belts.

Mirrors -  Explain how the centre mirror needs setting, making sure not to touch the glass to avoid marking it with fingerprints. You need to see all of the rear window if possible, and the side of the head restraint in the far right. At this point you could explain the difference between the centre mirror and the door mirrors, get him to look at an object behind and to notice the difference in size and why the door mirrors are convex.

 Instill in your pupil the need to look after any passengers, even if they are responsible adults, that way the drill becomes a good habit that may prevent serious injury throughout the pupils driving life.

Cockpit DrillWhen on the ADI part 3 test or a real driving lesson, don't get complacent with the pupils cockpit drill, if you don't enforce the seriousness of the routine the pupil may not bother doing it correctly after they pass the driving test