Best driving practice-Mirror Signal Manoeuvre

Mirror Signal Manoeuvre is a system to develop best driving practice.

But, it can be a lot to learn for new drivers, especially when it’s broken down into it’s core parts of Mirror, Signal, Manoeuvre, where the manoeuvre element consists of Position-Speed-Look, followed by Assess-Decide and Act, MSPSLADA.

Phew, no wonder most learners feel bamboozled when they first start to learn this sequence.

MSM is a drivers systemised approach to every change needed to be made while driving.

Without correct use of the MSM system, a driver can unknowingly leave a trail of carnage behind them.

In the year ending 2018, there were 26,610 killed or seriously injured casualties in road traffic accidents reported to the police. Source department of transport.

A vehicle in the wrong hands is a deadly instrument. The destruction and devastation that accidents cause has taken the many lives of children and adults, and has decimated many families.

People don’t go out to cause accidents, they happen because of a lack of concentration, planning or awareness.

I sure that every time you or a family member go out on a drive, you never think that you might not return home, after all if that were the case many of us wouldn’t go out at all.

But, most of these accidents could be avoided with just one simple system.

You’ve heard it mentioned so many times, Mirror Signal Manoeuvre, but in simple terms it means Look Before You Do, and Let Others Know What You Intend to Do!

So, how can this simple system called Mirror Signal Manoeuvre save lives?  

Okay let’s look at an example. Let’s say you are travelling on a straight road, with no other vehicles, pedestrians or hazards, and you are travelling at 30mph.

In this situation there would be little requirement to use MSM, because there’s no one around and you don’t intent to change speed or direction.

But if there was a cyclist ahead of you, and vehicles following behind you then things would be different.

So, lets imagine you first you see the cyclist, next you look behind and see the following cars, you signal to tell them that you intend to move out to pass the cyclist, and then if it’s safe to do so you complete the manoeuvre and pass the cyclist.

That’s how MSM works.

So, what do you think could happen if you didn’t use MSM routine and just moved out to pass the cyclist?

Remember we are on a long straight road with following traffic. The driver behind you is travelling faster than you and can see there’s no oncoming vehicles, so decides to overtake you.

He can’t see is the cyclist ahead of you because you are blocking his view.

So, now he’s made a decision to overtake you at the same time you have decided to move out and pass the cyclist, what happens next?

Scenario 1: You move across to the right not realising that you are being overtaken, forcing the driver of the passing vehicle to swerve to avoid you, in doing so the driver panics and loses control of the car, and his vehicle collides into a tree on the right of the carriageway.

What could be the result for the driver of the passing vehicle?

Scenario 2: You move out to pass the cyclist slamming into the side of the passing vehicle, you lose control and swerve and collide into the cyclist.

What could be the result for the cyclist?

Scenario 3: You move out to pass the cyclist, the driver who is passing you sounds his horn, you realise last minute that you are being overtaken but by then its too late and you still hit the cyclist.

Again, what could be the result for the cyclist?

But the mirror and signal are just part of the MSM routine, so looking at the previous example of passing a cyclist, here’s how to implement the manoeuvre part of the sequence.

Manoeuvre is broken down to position, speed and look, so you have seen the cyclist checked the mirrors both centre and right door and see the vehicle passing you.

Manoeuvre: So, you slow down and signal right as the passing vehicle comes alongside you. Signalling here isn’t going to be seen by the passing driver, but it warns others behind that you want to move right.

As soon as the passing vehicle is clear, and the following traffic have seen and obeyed your signal, you can then move out to the right giving plenty of clearance to the cyclist. You might consider increasing your speed to get by the cyclist briskly, especially because you’ve slowed while the overtaking vehicle passed you.

As soon as you are ahead of the cyclist, use your interior and left door mirror to check you are clear and its safe to move back to normal driving position.

MSM it’s such a simple yet very effective routine but easily forgotten, which is why so many accidents occur daily on our roads.

Do you ever stop to think how do we survive on todays crowded roads.

You can only hope and pray that the other drivers sharing the same roads you are travelling on are competent drivers who practice the Mirror – Signal – Manoeuvre routine.

Anticipation: The “What if” part of driving!

Well, there’s another blog dedicated to this subject. But anticipating people performing a manoeuvre without checking the mirror or signalling their intentions, is a skill you’ll also need to get good at if you want to make it home at the end of the day unscathed.

So, make MSM a systemised sequence before you do anything when driving.

So, remember keep it simple and “Look Before You Do”.

Keep Safe.




Continuing to provide driving lessons in troubled times

Driving lessons in troubled times to the NHS

It might not be driving lessons as usual, but we can continue helping the NHS key workers to stay safe so they can continue helping us!

As the UK lock down shows some signs of easing the social distancing guidelines are still in place, which means no driving lessons.

The government haven’t mentioned driving instructors or driving lessons in any recent bulletin, and so we remain uncertain as to when we can get back to work.

Thousands of people are poised ready to start or continue driving lessons, but for the moment driving schools are still closed to all but front line workers.

But their is some good news;

NHS front line worker Yahya Khedr passed his essential driving test today at his FIRST attempt.

Yahya an NHS key worker who was previously driving on an international licence still found it quite nerve racking taking a driving test, but still managed to pass with a virtual clean sheet.

Yahya now plans to buy a car as soon as possible to avoid relying on buses, and taxis to get to work.

The BIG Question, when can you start to take driving lessons again?

There may already be a few instructors back to work, but most driving schools are waiting for some sort of confirmation to go back from either the DVSA or the government.

Whether this will come in June or July no one knows but it would be a nice gesture if some government official actually acknowledged the driving instruction industry, and gave us some dates.

We are planning to return on the 6th July unless we here otherwise, so if you want to beat the rush to book driving lessons call us today and book in advance.

03332 004130

In the meantime, I’ll keep you posted.

Why Emotions Play an Important Role in Learning to Drive

Emotions, why do they play such a big role in driving?

Emotions in your body can alter your physical state.

Emotions such as fear, anger, guilt, contempt, and embarrassment precede feelings. The feeling is what you associate to the emotion.

Feelings are mental associations and reactions to emotions, and are subjective being influenced by personal experience, beliefs, and memories.

A feeling is a mental portrayal of what is going on in your body when you have an emotion and is the byproduct of your brain perceiving and assigning meaning to the emotion.

Your emotions and feelings play a powerful role in how you experience and interact with the world because they are the driving force behind many behaviors, helpful and unhelpful.

Emotions can effect the way we drive or react to everyday situations for example other drivers.

Often learners feel harassed by other drivers, whether they are behind, ahead, or at a junction.

Although other drivers can be attributed to why a learner might stall their vehicle at a traffic light, they are not the problem.

It starts with the learners emotions. The learner might feel fear in this situation, they become afraid of stalling the vehicle, which they assume will result in anger or contempt from other drivers.

The pressure on the learner to get the vehicle moving now becomes huge, and if the learner panics when the lights change, they will rush with the controls resulting in a stall.

It’s difficult for the instructor in this situation, because no matter how hard they try to calm and reassure the learner, the anxiety the learner feels forces them to rush and the vehicle stalls again.

So, thereafter every time the learner is in the same situation they feel anxious, and their focus is on stalling rather than smooth use of the control’s to get the car moving

So in this situation the emotion the learner feels is associated with a memory from an earlier mistake made, but it can also be from a similar experience passed from person to person.

In a conversation with others in a group, one of the members tells the story of how they stalled the vehicle virtually every time the came to a stop.

Their heart would start pounding, their breathing would become rapid and sallow, and they would actually start sweating at the thought of having to get the vehicle moving.

In fact it got so bad that it forced them to stop their driving lessons because the fear of stalling became greater than the desire to drive.

So, experiences from other people can be so powerful that it can often be passed on to others.

So how do they overcome the feeling they get from the emotion?

This is easier said than done, but by understanding the difference and becoming aware of your emotions and feelings, you will learn to respond rather than react and driving will magically become more under your control.

So, the next time you are stationary at traffic lights and you start to become anxious, you can respond to the feeling and become determined to focus on using the controls smoothly resulting with the vehicle pulling away easily.

When you master the skill of choosing your feelings and behaviors, life behind the wheel will settle down, and you’ll become a calmer, and  less stressed driver.







Driving test nerves, how can you deal with them!

Driving test nerves, could possibly be one of the biggest reasons why people fail driving tests!


Is there a cure for driving test nerves?

Driving test nerves

Well there’s a lot of advice available online to learner drivers who think they might suffer with driving test nerves, from hypnosis to beta blockers (you must speak to your GP about taking any kind of medication).

But do any of these methods really work?

Some of these methods will have proved successful in helping people pass their driving test, but they may not work for everyone.

Test passes in the UK

Generally, the yearly test pass statistics produced by the DVSA show a national pass rate of between 40 to 50%.

This means that at least half of the candidates taking a driving test each year are unsuccessful.

Looking at the figures, you could assume that a reasonable percentage of those candidates will have failed due to poor preparation, in other words not being at the required standard to pass a driving test at the time of taking it

If you take lessons from a professional driving instructor, and take their advice when to take the test, you should be above the required standard to pass the driving test.

However, the learners who do fail could be those who struggle with nerves on the test, and have made an error which would be out of character.

How can you deal with driving test nerves?

Those pesky nerves stop many people from doing things that they would like to do but just can’t face.

I remember once attending a sales training course. During the first day I was asked to play the character of a car salesperson, and to deal with a customer who had worked in to a car showroom.

The scenario was a role play model that took place in an empty training room, or so I thought.

The trainer finished the brief and said, “I’ll leave you both to role play the scenario and listen from outside the room to avoid distraction”.

Well, that made the exercise a lot easier knowing we were not being watched, so I settled into the role.

I greeted the customer and we started chatting about his desire to buy a new car. Everything was going quite well…

That was until half the wall opened up and at the other side was 50 people sat in a cinema like surrounding watching our performance.

Well I clammed up and struggled to make any sense of what I was saying.

It’s amazing how we can put ourselves under such pressure when you are pushed out of your comfort zone.

It wasn’t the audience that put me under pressure, they were probably sh**ing themselves waiting for their turn, especially now they knew the entire course candidates would be watching.

So, the same applies to learner drivers. On a normal driving lesson, they drive with ease and confidence, but replace the instructor with an examiner in the passenger seat and they act like a chimp trying to control a car.

The examiner isn’t the one putting them under pressure, they’re just doing their job. The candidate put’s them self under pressure!

So why does this happen?

Well I’m no expert, I’ve been in similar situations all my life, and each time i venture out of my comfort zone I act like a chimp.

But it’s the pressure you put yourself under when you are being watched or judged.

I’ve read books on the subject, watched videos and attended seminars, but I still haven’t found any conclusive evidence of one thing that works for the majority of learners.

What I have found interesting, and which might be helpful in reducing driving test nerves is the following techniques.

  1. Visualization: It works by imagining yourself in the future driving your own car. You actually have to believe that you’ve passed your driving test and driving the car you hope to get.

This is something that you’ll need to do on a daily basis, and for long enough so that you can recall that image of you driving without effort.

2. Stop the head chatter: How many times have you had an argument or conversation with someone in your head, that really isn’t real, it’s just you playing out a scenario?

Well many learners see themselves finishing the driving test and hearing the examiner mutter “sorry you’ve been unsuccessful this time”

They reply this image daily in their head as they approach test day, hoping to pass but thinking they will fail.

The problem is they reply the image so many times that their subconscious mind might believe it to be true.

The trick is to stop the head chatter. Every time you find yourself failing the test in your head stop, it and replace it with test success, and the thought of you driving your own car.

3. Don’t let others influence you with their stories: Failing a driving test isn’t cool for some people and those who fail might not actually tell you what really happened!

Their ego prevents them from accepting it’s their fault, so they might blame the examiner, or someone else caused them to fail, or it was a freak incident.

The truth is if you drive well, and don’t get any serious, or dangerous faults you’ve passed, it’s that simple.

So, take guidance from your instructor, take a MOCK driving test to see if you are at the standard required, and focus on the positives not the negatives.



You can read articles from other organisations regarding driving test nerves here

#driving test nerves

Passing the driving test and what it means to Amanda

First of all congratulations to Amanda Gould for passing the driving test at her FIRST attempt.

passing the driving test by Amanda Gould

Amanda who took her lessons with instructor Phil Hardcastle said having a full driving licence will be really helpful to her, because she will be able to drive herself to work instead of begging lifts from others, or hoping the buses are on time.

A driving licence offers different opportunities to each individual after passing the driving test.

For many people owing their own car is the ultimate reward for the hours of persistence behind the wheel learning to be a safe and responsible driver.

I think for me owning a car meant real freedom. For 2 year prior to passing my driving test I rode motorbikes, starting on a 50cc moped before passing the bike test and eventually moving up to 1000cc racers.

But although bikes give you freedom, cars add a different dimension. With a car you can carry more passengers, chuck your gear in the boot and keep dry.

With a bike you need protective clothing and you’ve got to carry it around with you. You can’t exactly go on a shopping trip either because where do you put your new purchases.

With a car life’s a lot easier, whether it’s commuting for work, shopping or going on holiday.

Nostalgia takes many of us back to our first car reminding us of the fun and excitement we experienced. Which is why we always remember our first car with such fondness, even if it was a complete banger!

For me bikes are exciting, but cars are practical, and they can be a nice place to spend time, especially if you can afford a luxury motor.

But, until you pass your driving test and experience owing your own set of wheels you’ll never really understand the benefits of being able to drive, because you haven’t had the experience before.

I’m sure Amanda’s always going to remember the day she passed her driving test as one of life’s great achievements.



5 Star Review from Dan Mitchell!!

Here is a WONDERFUL review from Dan Mitchell regarding his lessons with Elite Driving School!!

I would rate Elite Driving School: 5/5

I went with Elite due to recommendations from my friends who went with them.

The excellent quality lessons I was given allowed me to pass my test first time!

My experience with Elite has been amazing. Each lesson was planned out brilliantly allowing me to improve my driving skills significantly each time.

At first my confidence with driving wasn’t very good but my instructors always encouraged me and it sky – rocketed.

I would definitely recommend Elite to anyone looking to learn to drive and would like to say a big thank you Stu and Kev!


The perfect learner mindset

Why you should get the right Learner Mindset!


For the average learner driving lessons are not cheap, on average a lesson cost £25 per hour but there’s a lot of expense that goes in to each lesson.

First your driving a car which is adapted for teaching which might be costing the instructor £450 a month, insurance is another £150, fuel £3 per hour, maintenance, tyres, tax, and that’s before we start adding marketing cost’s and extra insurance to the mix.

Then after all expenses the instructor get’s paid his hourly rate which we already know isn’t £25!


So, how can the savvy learner save money on lessons?

driving tips for new drivers

Well, here’s a few tips:

  1. Book the same day & lesson time each week, this conditions the mind for learning.
  2. Read information relevant to the previous lesson and the next lesson to keep your mind focused.
  3. Don’t skip lessons, make sure you’re there ready and on time every week.
  4. Be active in your lessons, rather than expect your instructor to tell you everything, be responsible for your own learning. Ask questions offer solutions to problems where you can.
  5. If possible book lessons when your not tired. Avoid late evenings after a long day at work.
  6. Wear appropriate shoes, high heals and flip flops are out!
  7. If you don’t understand something your instructor says, ask them to explain what they are trying to acheive.
  8. Don’t panic about other road users, or worry about what they think about you, just do your best, besides they’ve got their own stuff to worry about and probably won’t spare a moments thought over you.


Above all don’t stop and start lessons, or leave big gaps between them, because this will increase the lessons you’ll need and you could be learning for years.

After each lesson reflect on what you’ve learnt and write the important stuff down so you remember what you’ve learnt.

Before each new lesson read your notes from the previous one, this will avoid the instructor having to cover too much old ground.

Before you drive away make sure everything in the car is set correctly and that you are comfortable.

And finally, make sure you understand the purpose of the lesson, and what you are trying to acheive. Set a goal for improvement at the start and see if you manage to accomplish it at the end. This might be as simple as giving yourself a figure out of ten.





Craig Flintham passed his driving test with Joe!!

Congratulations to Craig who passed his Driving test in July 2019!

Passing your driving test is an awesome stepping stone in life. It provides freedom and independence, career opportunities, and those insta moments of being able to post a pic of your first car! Driving around with your friends, being able to go places in Summer, or even driving to maccies on a Sunday morning. Once you get a car, you’ll always want to be the designated driver. Plus, lots of careers require you to have a license! All these amazing opportunities have opened up for:

craig flintham!

Craig passed his driving test, with Elite Instructor Joe! Joe really enjoyed teaching Craig and instilling him with safe driving for life!

We want to wish Craig all the best for the future!

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Jordan Passed his Test!

Congratulations to Jordan Hampton who passed his Driving test in July 2019!

Passing your driving test is an awesome stepping stone in life. It provides freedom and independence, career opportunities, and those insta moments of being able to post a pic of your first car! Driving around with your friends, being able to go places in Summer, or even driving to maccies on a Sunday morning. Once you get a car, you’ll always want to be the designated driver. Plus, lots of careers require you to have a license! All these amazing opportunities have opened up for:

Jordan Hampton

Jordan passed his driving test, with Elite Instructor Tim! Tim has taught Jordan to be a great driver, and just in time before he leave Hull after graduating from University!

We want to wish Jordan all the best for the future!

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Christabel Passed!

Congratulations to Christabel who passed her Driving test in June 2019!

Passing your driving test is an awesome stepping stone in life. It provides freedom and independence, career opportunities, and those insta moments of being able to post a pic of your first car! Driving around with your friends, being able to go places in Summer, or even driving to maccies on a Sunday morning. Once you get a car, you’ll always want to be the designated driver. Plus, lots of careers require you to have a license! All these amazing opportunities have opened up for:

Christabel Fisher

Christabel passed her driving test, with Elite Instructor Tim Richards! Tim has taught Christabel to be a safe and conscientious driver, meaning she is instilled with safe driving for life!

We want to wish Christabel all the best for the future!

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