This is a sample plan incorporating the EDT driving lessons used in Dublin City & County. We can tailor the lessons to suit your level of ability. Driving lessons can be done in your car or our dual-control driving school car. Non EDT, practice driving lessons can also still be done.
If you have a driving test coming up take a look at our Pre-Tests page.
Driving Lessons include:
EDT Lesson 1a – Pre-Drive Checks
- Doors: All closed properly.
- Handbrake: Check that the brake is on.
- Gears: Check if the vehicle is in neutral.
- Seat: Adjust the seat to your driving position.
- Steering Wheel: Adjust the wheel to your driving position.
- Safety Belt: Ensure you and your passengers are safe.
The internal mirror should show as much of the back window as possible. You should be able to see a small amount of your car in the side of the wing mirrors and the end of the road should be halfway or slightly above halfway on the mirrors. Feel free to adjust the mirrors and seat at the start of your driving lessons.
Mirrors should be checked before and after all actions.
They can be used to learn and confirm your road position.
Windows should also be used to help check blind spots.
Post Ignition Checks:
- Turn on electrics such as; lights, wipers and demisters.
- Do you have enough fuel to get where you want to go?
Safety / Maintenance and Legality.
- Tyres: Properly inflated and sufficient thread (1.6mm).
- Is the car generally in proper working order?
- Make sure to keep insurance, tax and NCT in date.
EDT Lesson 1b – Primary Controls
The more you press down (smoothly), the faster the engine turns. If that is connected through the clutch and gears to the wheels the faster the vehicle drives. Ease off, the vehicle moves “less fast”.
As you smoothly adjust the pressure on the brakes they:
- Signal the vehicle behind that you are slowing with the brake lights
- Steady / stabilise the vehicle
- Slow the vehicle at a controlled rate, “progressive braking”
- Stop the vehicle and keep it stopped.
The left foot controls the clutch. It opens and closes the link between the engine and the gears / wheels. Therefore it controls whether the vehicle “drives” or not. The clutch can take a few driving lessons to get used to.
If you press fully down on the clutch it separates the engine from the gears and wheels. This allows the gears to be changed or for the wheels to be stopped, without stalling the engine.
Partway up is the biting point. Here the engine has a partial grip on the gears and the vehicle is just about trying to drive.
Fully up off the clutch allows the vehicle to drive properly. Don’t come fully off the clutch in 1st gear.
You should be trying to drive your vehicle slightly before releasing the brake to prevent rolling backwards. Fine clutch control must be practiced to achieve good controlled driving. If you are pressing on the clutch you are not “driving” and your control of the vehicle is reduced.
- Left hand stays left side. Right hand stays right side.
- Use the push-pull technique.
- One hand pushes or pulls the wheel while the other hand matches it in height, ready to take over.
- Indicators follow the direction of the wheel.
- Take the strain off the wheel to release the steering lock
- To be used if stopping for three or more seconds, on hills or if gas is needed to move off easier.
- Up is on / down is off.
- To release: Take the strain, press the button, bring the lever down fully, release.
- To engage: Press the button, pull the lever up, release the button before the lever.
EDT Lesson 1c – Gears
- Bring your hand to the gear stick.
- Press fully down on the clutch.
- Make a smooth and precise gear change.
- Come smoothly up on the clutch and away.
- Bring your hand back to the steering wheel.
You need to be mostly off the accelerator as you are pressing on the clutch. However you can keep your foot on the brake if you need to be slowing. The gear change between 1st and 2nd is often so early that you don’t take your foot all the way off the clutch. Some people get used to the gears quickly some need to practice for a number of driving lessons.
Ranges and Common Uses.
Lower gears are more powerful. Higher gears can be more efficient. Below are some guidelines of speed ranges and typical uses.
1st 0 to 15kmh Manoeuvring and moving off.
2nd 10/15 to 30kmh Simple left and right turns.
Difficult sections of road.
3rd 25/30 to 45/50kmh Slow continuous driving.
Housing estates and villages.
4th 40/50 to 60/65kmh Mid-speed driving.
Big easy roads in built up areas
and some faster roads.
5th 55/65+kmh Fast Driving.
Where speed limits, conditions, etc allow.
6th 75+kmh High-speed driving.
Big easy roads,here speed limits, conditions, etc allow. e.g. Motorways
You will often need to use a lower gear further into the next range in a diesel engine car, in an older car, to accelerate faster, go up steeper hills or move more weight in, on or behind the vehicle. Listen to the engine revs as a prompt to change up. Look at the road ahead as a prompt to change down.
You can stop in any gear, leaving the clutch alone until you have slowed down. Also you can change down through each gear, coming off the clutch to use each gear. The best method may be, if you are in a high gear, make one completed gear change and then stop.
EDT Lesson 1d – Moving Off / Hill Starts
- Gears: Engage 1st gear.
- Observation: Check your mirrors and blind spots to see if you will be able to move off without causing other road users to change their speed or direction.
- Signal: Indicate that you intend to move off.
- Set the pedals: Press on the accelerator to give the vehicle enough power to move off. More power may be needed for hills, busy roads, etc. Set the clutch at the biting point so the vehicle is trying to drive.
- Handbrake: With a final check of the road, release the handbrake. Press down further on the accelerator and come smoothly up on the clutch.
- Get into the appropriate road position. Typical road position is slightly to the left of the centre of the lane. Road position can vary for different obstacles and road types.
- Change up through the gears to the appropriate speed.
- Check your mirrors as you go.
Generally when you are moving off from shorter stops you should get the clutch to the bite before releasing the foot-brake. This GOSH sequence will be referred to throughout your driving lessons.
EDT Lessons 1e – Stopping on the Left
- Check your mirrors before any manoeuvre.
- Signal your intention to park.
- Adjust position smoothly.
- Reduce speed by braking. Add the clutch if or when the car is slow. Try almost stop a couple of metres before you need, so you can ease slightly off the brake to stop gently.
- Look around to ensure you are parked Safely and Legally .
- Apply the handbrake, select neutral, cancel the signal, relax.
Generally when you are stopping you should Brake Before Clutch ( BBC ) to slow down. If you have been creeping, using clutch control you will already be on the clutch.
Parking on hills: Ensure the handbrake is properly engaged. Turn the wheels so the vehicle would not roll out onto the road. Leave in the gear that would be used for driving up the hill (1st or reverse).
EDT Lesson 2/3 – Left & Right Turns
Remember your MSPSL sequence. Many future driving lessons are based on a variation of this MSPSL sequence.
EDT Lesson 2/3 – RoundaboutsThis ad by the RSA explains well, how to use roundabouts.
Click here to view the video.
EDT Lesson 4/10 – Speed, Progress & E-Stops
Can we stop the vehicle in the distance we can see to be clear?
Can we control the vehicle?
Factors that affect our potential to stop or control the car.
- You, The Driver: Your ability to drive and level of concentration. Your knowledge of the road. Your experience. Are you sick, tired, etc. Are you distracted be something inside or outside the vehicle? You have a range of options between just taking it a little slower then usual, to not driving at all.
- Your vehicle: There are differences between one vehicle and the next. For example size, shape, blind spots, mechanical features. Your vehicle can also change with load and maintenance. Ensure your tyres are properly inflated and have minimum 1.6mm thread depth.
- Other road users: Pedestrians walking across the road, along the road, playing, directing traffic, doing road works, loading or unloading a vehicle, alighting, walking a dog, moving farm animals. As well as push bikes, motorbikes, cars, buses, lorries etc. Basically the closer you get, the more careful (slower) you should be. Also consider the number of other road users and how many different directions they are going.
- The road: The size of the road. The number of lanes, road markings, bends, junctions, traffic lights, hills, speed limits, etc. As the road gets easier you can often drive faster. But as it gets more complicated you should consider slowing down, before getting to the more difficult point.
- The conditions: Rain, snow, condensation, mist, fog, frost and darkness can all effect your ability to see through the window, through the air or to see the road markings. Water on the road can double your stopping distance. Snow or ice can multiply it by ten. Strong winds can also affect your control.
This manoeuvre is to be used to stop the car very quickly, in an emergency.
- Do not check mirrors. You have to stop as soon as possible.
- Brake quickly and firmly. If your vehicle has ABS press down fully. If it has no ABS then quickly and repeated release a small amount of pressure and re-engage fully.
- Hold firmly onto the steering wheel.
- Add the clutch when the vehicle has slowed.
- Apply the handbrake once stopped.
- Have a full look around before moving off again.
EDT Lesson 5 – Turnabouts & Reversing
Turnabout key points:
- GOSH sequence moving off.
- Low clutch to drive very slowly.
- Steer fast, ideally while the car is moving and try straighten up just before stopping.
- Look 360′ out all the windows throughout. Particularly while stopped.
Reversing key points:
- Pull in properly and remember to move off properly afterwards.
- Lots of 360′ observation from before the start to after the finish.
- Stop if anyone comes near. Give them time to pass. But if they don’t you have to go back to the start.
- Low clutch to drive very, very slowly.
Steer based on the left mirror. Keeping a small gap to the kerb.
EDT Lesson 7 – Anticipation & Pedestrian
How can we tell where other traffic is going? No one of these signals is good enough on its own. We will always want two or more to make it a more educated guess.
- Look at their indicators, to see if they are signaling or not. If the indicators come on as they are approaching it is a little more likely then if it has been on as long as you have seen them. If they are not indicating they may be going straight. But the driver may not be using their indicators properly.
- Notice at their position. If they are positioned left, right or centred it may suggest they are going left, right or straight. Also if they adjust their position it is a little more believable. If they are in a lane specifically marked for going one direction, that is a much stronger signal and almost completely believable. Although the driver may simply not be in the correct position for what they plan to do.
- Judge their speed. If they are staying fast they are probably going straight. If they are slowing down it may be to turn or they may just be cautious. It may still be an opportunity to pull out.
- Use local knowledge and common sense. Some roads are more used they others. Particularly at certain times, days or when events are on. For example, traffic going into town for work in the morning and coming out to the suburbs in the evening. People going to beaches or parks on sunny days. As well as school pick ups. Consider which road leads in and out of a housing estate.
- Look at which way they are actually going. Again, none of the above can be believed on its own. They need to pair up. But this little detail can allow us to react to a gap just that little bit earlier and sometimes allow us out onto that busy roundabout.
If a pedestrian is crossing the road ahead of you they have priority (right of way). You have to make the decision as to how you will react.
- Simply check your mirrors and keep going.
- Just check your mirrors and ease off the gas.
- Check your mirrors and break.
- Or perform and emergency stop.
Any of these are possible solutions depending on how far ahead the pedestrian is. The earlier you see them, the less drastic your reaction may be. You need to try and figure out if the pedestrian is going to still be on the road as you get near or whether they will have finished crossing the road.
If the pedestrian is at a designated crossing point, then you should have checked your mirrors and be more prepared to stop.
Also if a pedestrian is about to cross the road you need to figure out whether they have seen you or not, whether they are planning on waiting until you have gone past or if they are going to cross regardless.
Look out for someone who is running; late for work, jogging, trying to get out of the rain, children playing. Also, look out for someone who is not paying attention; on their phone, talking to a friend. Additionally look out for someone who sees you but will ignore you and cross anyway. Finally also be aware that some people will begin to cross the first half of the road, waiting for you to drive past on the opposite side.
EDT Lesson 6 – Traffic Lights / Crossroads
Sequence and Meanings of Traffic Lights
- Green means GO if it is safe to do so.
- Amber means stop IF IT IS SAFE TO DO SO. You should have checked your mirrors and stop in a controlled manner before the stop line allowing the vehicles behind time to stop comfortably as well.
- Red means STOP before the stop line, if it is safe to do so.
- Flashing Amber at a pedestrian crossing means go IF IT IS SAFE TO DO SO.
Amongst the many complications at crossroads is what to do if you are trying to turn right. If a solid green light shows you are to move forward, if safe. Also, if a green arrow shows you can usually continue in that direction. If on the green light there is a gap in oncoming traffic you may be able to complete your turn. If you are in the junction as the lights change amber and red you are entitled to clear the junction. It is the correct thing to do. Your waiting position can vary in different situations. This same procedure also applies to yellow box junctions.
EDT Lesson 6 – Obstructions / Meeting Traffic
If there is an obstruction (ie a parked car) in your lane you will need to go around it. Ideally, if you can maintain a doors width from the obstruction and not cross the line or car see clearly that there is no oncoming traffic, there is little need to slow down.
However, if there is oncoming traffic and the road ahead is a little narrower, you may need to intentionally go slightly closer to the obstruction to keep further from the oncoming traffic. This would require you to slow down to a speed that both you and the other driver will be comfortable with. The less space the slower you should be, to the extent that you might stop in good time before the obstacle. You should position yourself so that you can see the oncoming traffic, they can see you and get past. Do not get so close to the obstacle that it will become difficult to get past or so close to the kerb that following traffic thinks you are parked.
More complicated situations with obstructions on both sides may have a variety of solutions. Technically, whoever gets there first may be entitled to continue through. Commonly, one driver will choose to stay back from the constriction until it is clear. Sometimes, both vehicles may be able to continue with greater care. At longer constrictions drivers may be able to find spaces in between the obstacles to get past each other.
Note: You would always signal before overtaking a cyclist or pedestrian walking along the road. However, you would cancel any signal sooner if you are approaching a junction.