Observation and Signalling When Moving Off
In this article
Why do we need to look and signal before moving off?
Moving off is an essential part of learning to drive, and good observation is key to staying safe. You need to look all around and signal if you spot pedestrians, riders and other vehicles nearby. A signal in this situation is necessary and helpful, as it informs other road users of your intentions. The timing of your signal is also important, as you need to give other road users time to respond before you act.
Always use the POM routine when moving off. If you’re driving a manual car, you’ll need to clutch down, select first gear, find your biting point and add a little bit of gas. Once you’ve prepared the car to move, keep your feet still and complete your observations.
Take a good long in each direction, and check all your mirrors and both blind spots. You could cause a serious accident if you move off without completing your observations. Keep an eye out for fast-moving traffic, vulnerable road users and impatient drivers. If you’re moving off in heavy traffic, you may have to wait for another vehicle to give way to you before moving off. Always make sure the other driver is giving way before proceeding.
Observation and signalling when moving off on your driving test
The driving test will assess your ability to move off safely. The driving examiner will check to see if you’re observing correctly and signalling when necessary. Here are some test tips to help you when moving off.
Poor observation when moving off is dangerous, as it could put you and other road users at risk. If you move off when it’s unsafe, you could end up in the path of following or oncoming traffic. You could also miss another road user coming out of a nearby driveway or junction.
You must look around your vehicle and respond to what you see. You will fail your driving test if you make the correct observations but move off when it is unsafe.
You can move off without signalling if there aren’t any road users nearby. However, you must signal when moving off if there are pedestrians, cyclists or other vehicles near your car.
What does the driving examiner expect from you?
- Complete the 6-point check before moving off from the side of the road
- Complete the lifesaver check before moving off from the side of the road
- Be aware of your surroundings
- Act on what you see
- Assess whether you need to signal
- Time your signal so that it doesn’t mislead other road users or cause them to take evasive action
- Cancel your signal in good time so as not to confuse other road users
- Failing to check your mirrors when moving off
- Failing to check your right blind spot when moving off from the side of the road
- Completing the 6-point check, pausing, then moving off without rechecking your mirrors and blind spot
- Signalling when another vehicle, cyclist or motorcyclist is about to pass your vehicle
- Failing to signal when there are other road users close by that would benefit from one
- Failing to signal when it would benefit oncoming traffic
- Failing to cancel your signal once you’ve joined the new road
- Preparing the car to move before you begin your observations will allow you to move off smoothly when the opportunity presents itself.
- You must complete the 6-point moving off from the side of the road. Observe all around your vehicle, check your mirrors and look over your right shoulder before moving off.
- You can fail your driving test if you move off without completing the 6-point check.
- You must complete the lifesaver check before moving off from the side of the road. The lifesaver check is a look over your right shoulder into your blind spot. If you move off without checking your blind spot, and another road user approaches your vehicle, you will fail your driving test.
- If you spot another vehicle approaching at speed, delay your signal and wait for them to pass.
- If you signal in this situation, the other driver could think you’re about to pull out in front of them. If they assume this, they could take evasive action, and your test would come to an end.
- You will pick up a serious or dangerous fault if your signal forces another road user to slow down, swerve, or stop.
- If you complete the 6-point check but you’re unable to join the new road, recheck your mirrors and blind spots before you move off.
- It’s important to recheck your mirrors and blind spots as the road situation could have changed.
- If you move off without completing your observations again, you could receive a serious or dangerous fault.
- Look out for driveways and junctions when moving off from the side of the road, as other road users can appear without warning. If another road user appears and you fail to give way when you should, your test will end.
- No, you don’t always have to signal when moving off from the side of the road. You only need to do so if there are other road users nearby that would benefit from your signal
- Always signal before moving off if you spot a nearby pedestrian, as you need to make them aware of your intentions to move off. A signal in this situation is necessary and helpful.
- You could fail your driving test if there’s a nearby pedestrian and you move off without signalling.
- Do not rely on your signal cancelling itself when moving off from the side of the road.
- If you indicate but fail to turn far enough in both directions, your signal will not cancel.
- If there are other vehicles nearby and you pass a junction while signalling, your test will end.
- You will also fail your driving test if you forget to cancel your signal, and it forces another road user to slow down, swerve or stop.
- Always cancel your signal once you’ve safely joined the new road.
- Yes, you should always signal when moving off if you spot oncoming traffic. A signal in this situation is helpful and necessary, as it informs other road users of your intentions to move off. A signal in this situation can also prevent oncoming vehicles from using your lane to overtake another road user.
- You can fail your driving test if you move off without signalling when there’s oncoming traffic ahead.
- Remember that large vehicles could enter your lane as they go around the parked car,