Preparation Observation Manoeuvre – POM Routine
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What is the POM driving routine
The POM driving routine is a procedure you go through when the car is stationary and you are about to move off. The acronym POM stands for Prepare, Observe, Manoeuvre and it is designed to ensure you move off in a safe and controlled way, each time the car is at a standstill. The individual elements of the routine are as follows.
The preparation stage is the first part of the process and at this point, you are preparing the car to move. To prepare the vehicle, depress the clutch pedal completely, the pedal should be on the floor at this point, put the car in first gear, add about a pound’s worth of gas and slowly bring up the clutch pedal to find your biting point. Once you have reached your biting point, the car is officially prepared to move.
You perform your observations to make sure there are no hazards in your immediate vicinity and it is safe to move off. When you are parked on a kerb you want to perform a 6 point observation starting on the side of the kerb and finishing on the side of the road you will be pulling out from. Look at your left door mirror, the passenger window, the front windscreen, the centre mirror followed by the driver side window and the right door mirror.. After your 6 point observation, you need to perform a final check over the shoulder making sure there are no vehicles or pedestrians in your blind spot. Not checking your blind spot before pulling out can lead to a failed driving test as it is a major cause of accidents. If there are pedestrians or other road users in the immediate area who would benefit from you using a signal, you should put one on once your observations are complete.
Once the car is prepared and your observations complete, it is time to perform the final part of the routine which is the manoeuvre. If you are driving a car with a traditional style handbrake, at this point release the handbrake to avoid stalling the car, slowly ease off the clutch pedal and as the clutch starts to come up, the car will begin to move. Good clutch control is essential for this section and as long as you do not take your foot off the clutch too quickly, you should pull away quite smoothly. Perform a final check of your door and centre mirror as you get going to ensure it’s completely safe and gradually add more gas to pick up speed.
When should you use the POM routine?
The routine is an essential one and you should be using is often as possible. You should use the routine whenever you are about to move off from a stationary position, be it a junction, crossroad, roundabout, red traffic light or a kerb. You need to constantly use the routine if you want to pass your driving test and your examiner will be observing how often you use the procedure.
Why should you use the POM routine?
This routine forms the foundation for many of the other driving manoeuvres you are required to learn. When stationary and before each manoeuvre, you need to prepare the car and select the appropriate gear, it’s easy to move off in the wrong gear and completing the first part of the routine normally corrects that issue. The observation section is critical, it can save your life and help you avoid accidents and collisions by having you take a thorough look before moving off. Finally, the manoeuvre section is necessary to get going and this routine will ensure you set off in a calm and controlled way each time you move the car.