The cart is empty

Cannot find your purchased courses? Click here to Login!

Learn to control the steering wheel, the brake, and the gas pedal.

How to Operate Vehicle's Primary Controls to Pass Road Test


Closed Caption


Hi there, smart drivers, Rick with Smart Drive Test.

I am licensed driving instructor teaching cars, trucks, buses and air brakes.

And I've authored the book "Air Brakes Explained Simply".

You can find that over at the website there: www.smartdrivetest.com

Today, we're talking about primary controls.

Primary Controls

The steering wheel, the throttle, and the brake.

And the throttle can also be called the gas pedal or the accelerator.

For those of you driving manual transmissions, you're also going to be working with the clutch.

Learning how to drive a car for beginners is going to be a bit easier if you have previous experience such as riding a bicycle in traffic, or driving a lawn tractor.

Now, if you don't have any previous experience driving, you didn't grow up driving the lawn tractor cutting the grass, home, didn't grow up on a farm driving equipment, and those types of things, or you haven't ridden a bicycle in traffic, this is the place to start.


If you drop me a question down in the comment asking me how much to turn the steering wheel when you go around a corner or your corners are too wide and those types of things, these are the exercises that you need to do.

Fundamentals of Driving

These are the fundamentals of learning how to drive.

These slow-speed manouvre driving exercises are comparable to drills in sports and they're comparable to scales in music.

When learning how to sing or play a musical instrument.

Slow speed manoeuvres are to driving, what scales are to music and what drills are to sports.These are the fundamentals of learning how to drive.

And it will make you a better driver overall.

And accelerate your learning in preparation for taking a road test and earning your license.

So, do these.

And for a handout of the exercises done here, click the link down in the description.

Driving Exercises for Beginners

A new driver successfully passes his road test...FIRST TIME! Get your Road Test Checklist!


FEAR :: Know that you WON'T be thrown into traffic without the correct abilities, skill, and knowledge;

SELF-CONFIDENCE :: Get the exact skills and abilities that will guarantee success on road test day;

CONFUSION :: Cut through the conflicting driving procedures information;

QUALIFIED :: Smart Drive Test has helped 1000s of students learn to drive...and we can help you!

Get Your Driver's Test Checklist Now!

Return to the Fundamentals

And, as well, when you get about halfway through your driving lessons, come back to these fundamentals and practice them again to get mastery of the primary controls in preparation for your driver's test and earning your license.

So without further ado, let's get started.

Exercises #1 - Driving Back and Forth

First thing you want to do is just drive straight forward and backwards.

So, set your cones up at a fair distance apart, probably six or eight car lengths, and then just drive forward.

So, we're just going to drive down the parking lot.

Seatbelt on, both hands on the steering wheel, (engine roaring) and we drive up to the pylon, and just a little bit a throttle, and then just brake so you can see the top of the cone.

How to drive a car for beginners dictates that you must look out the rear window when reversing, and this technique is a must to pass a road test.Don't worry about driving into it, that's what the next lesson is for.

So, reversing, looking out the back, hand over the back of this, looking out the back window, and driving straight back, (engine whirring) to the other pylon, (computer beeps) and then just a little bit of throttle, see what it feels like, push down, let up, push down.


And then come to a stop.

Do that three or four times.

You can see, I'm not in line, so I'm moving the steering wheel, okay.

So just back and forth a couple of times, get used to that, get used to reversing, (gear shifts) into reverse, looking out the back window, because you have to do that for the purposes of a road test.

Driving Fast - Punch the Throttle


(engine whirring)

And again, I'll put, and all this, the videos down in the description about what you need to do to pass your driver's test.

Okay, so we've done that a couple of times, now we're going to work the steering wheel a little bit.

Exercise #2 - Driving Around the Pylons


And what I want you to do is just go down and drive around the one pylon and figure out what the steering radius is on the vehicle.

(engine roaring)

So, we just turn the steering wheel hand-over-hand for most of you.

Some of you are going to be hand-to-hand.

Driving in a circle around the pylons will teach you how to combine the use of the throttle (accelerator) and the steering wheel.

(asphalt crunching under wheels)

But for most of you, you're going to be, hand-over-hand.

All right, hand over hand and we're just working the steering wheel here, a little bit a throttle.

You can let down, push down on the throttle a little bit, and then let up on the throttle.And just see what the response is on the throttle.

Driving around in circles here.

(engine whirring)


And it's not that complicated, just get used to the steering wheel.

Get used to the throttle, throttle up a little bit, drive around the other cone up here, and then let off the throttle.All right.

Now, next one I want you to get used to the brake.

So, race down the parking lot, give it some throttle, (engine accelerating) And then push the brake in really hard.

See how it feels, okay, get used to that.So, another one.

Up the parking lot, hit the brake, and see how it responds.

(engine roaring loudly)

You can see in throttling up quite a bit, on the tachometer there, it's going up to 4000 R.P.M.

Okay, so now, you've, steering wheel, the throttle, and the brake, and I would suggest you work on that for half an hour to an hour and you get really comfortable with what the pylons are, sorry, what the primary controls are doing.

Exercise #3 - Forward Figure '8s'

You don't really have to worry about hitting the pylons and those types of things.

And then the last exercises we're going to do, we're going to do figure eights, my favorite.

For figure eights, you're going to need the pylons about three car lengths apart.

And as you get better and better at it you can move the pylons closer together.

The fastest and most challenging exercise when learning to drive a car for beginners is the forward and reverse figure eights.

Essentially, you just drive forward, (tires crunching on asphalt) cross the pylons like this, and then come back around the other way.

And remember, the slower you go, the sharper the vehicle turns.

So, know that when your trying to go around the pylons.

As you get the pylons closer together, you're going to have to go slower in order for the vehicle to turn.Okay.

Parking Manoeuvres

It's when you see cars in the parking lot and they're backing up and you watch the driver and it's a really tight space, they're close to the other vehicles and they go, (gasps quickly) (laughs)

The car doesn't get smaller, that's not the car getting smaller mechanism.

What happens is, is they suck in their breath, they let their foot off the throttle, the car slows down, and it actually turns sharper.

So that's what happens.

So, nice and slow, do that a few times.

Forward figure eights, when you get comfortable with doing forward figure eights, and the fun part begins.

Reverse Figure '8s'

You're going to do reverse figure eights.

And this is going to mess with your head a little bit, as well.

It'll also make you a much better driver.

So, nice figure eights.

And the other thing is, is don't, you know, you're going to be looking around, you're going to be moving your head around a lot as you're doing this exercise.

And it's really good for combining the primary controls, combining the steering wheel, combining the throttle, and if you're working in a manual transmission, it's also combining the clutch as well.

Forward and reverse figure eights will teach you mastery of the primary controls and where your vehicle is in space and place.<pThese are critical skills for learning how to drive a car for beginners.

A little bit a brake because we're going down hill here so we're going to have to brake a little bit.

So, those are the exercises that I want you to do.Straight back and forth.

Work the throttle, work the brake.

Be aggressive with the throttle and the brake.And then go around in circles, and get used to, turning the vehicle, feel what the steering wheel does, throttle up a little bit in the corners as well, and feel it break loose a little bit.


What it's called over steering or under steering, as well, when you're going around corners, and then finally do your figure eights, forward figure eights and reverse figure eights, and you can see I'm doing reverse figure eights here.

And I'm not going very fast.

(engine roaring)

And this exercises, these three exercises, straight forward, around in circles, and forward and reverse figure eights is going to teach you mastery of the primary controls.

Reversing back in a straight line between the pylons will teach you use of the brake and the throttle (accelerator).<pAnother critical skill for learning how to drive a car for beginners. And you need to have mastery of the primary controls before you head out into traffic.

Please do not head out into traffic if you don't know how far to turn the steering wheel when you're making a right or left turn.

Because you are not ready to be in traffic yet.

Work in a Closed Circuit Area Before Heading Into Traffic

You need to do this by yourself without any other vehicles around so you can focus just on doing this, because you can see, I'm a veteran driver and I can talk to you at the same time while I'm driving around the parking lot doing reverse figure eights.

I've got enough experience that I'm able to do that.

But you as a new driver, a learning driver, are going to have to give your complete concentration to this.

So, do that.

For another video, click here.

And remember, pick the best answer, not necessarily the right answer.Have a great day.

Bye now.

Log in to comment

© Smart Drive Test Inc. 2022. Hosted by Cybersalt