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  • Writer's pictureSimon Harrison

The Cockpit Drill

The cockpit drill is a sequence of checks which you should carry out whenever you get into your vehicle, especially if someone else has previously driven the vehicle as you need to set it up for your own comfort, vision and safety. There are a number of tasks to perform to achieve the cockpit drill.

Check Your Doors Are All Closed Check that all the doors of the car are closed by:

  1. Checking both your wing mirrors to see if the doors are flush with the frame of the car.

  2. Pull your door handle to see that it is firm and does not rattle.

  3. Listen for the sound of air getting into the car, noises from outside the car would appear louder.

  4. Look at the relevent dashboard symbols in case a ‘door open’ warning light is illuminated lit up.

Check the handbrakeCheck that the handbrake is tight or parking brake is on. Check that the gears in neutral position. These are the first safety checks that you should perform. The Drivers Seat Move the drivers seat – your seat forward or backwards so that you can comfortably press the clutch pedal all the way down to the floor. Then adjust the height of the seat so that you can see clearly above the steering wheel. When the clutch is fully pressed down to the floot, your left leg should be reasonably straight but not overly stretched.

Steering Wheel Adjustment You should adjust the height and depth of the steering column so that your arms are comfortably positioned when holding the steering wheel without being too stretched or bent as you need full control of the wheel. Adjust the headrest so that it’s level with the top of your head and the middle of it is in line with your eyes and ears. The head rest is designed to support your head and neck in case of an impact.

Your Seatbelt

Put on your seatbelt making sure it isn’t twisted or loose.Adjust the height of it if necessary so that it runs across the top of your shoulder, not against your arm or neck. As a driver you are responsible for ensuring that anyone under the age of 14 wears a seat belt or uses an appropriate child restraint as required by law.You should ensure that other passengers obide by the law too. You don’t want to take any risks. Mirrors It is important to adjust the mirrors correctly once you have set up your seat position. Keep your head in line with the head rest and adjust the rear view mirror so that you have a clear image of the rear windscreen. Set the wing mirrors so that the drivers door handle is in the bottom left hand corner of the drivers side mirror and then on the passenger wing mirror you should see the passenger door handle in the bottom right hand corner. You should also see a bit of the side of the car, the curb, objects behind, basically a good peripheral to the side of the car. Basicaly you should be able to see the horizon of the pavement and road about a third of the way up the mirrors.Making the correct adjustment whenever you enter the car and have not been the one previously driving it will prove invaluable, especially when you’re driving in lanes of traffic or dealing with special awareness.

Your wing mirrors are also convex to give you the broadest view possible. This willvdistort the reflection a little bit, so that traffic looks further away. It does not replace the fact that you need to check your blind spots eg looking over your shoulders too before pulling away. The interior mirror however is flat and shows a truer reflection. You are set to go!

If you want to book a driving lesson with 4front Driving School then please fill out our online enquiry form at Or call Simon on 07905657229 You can email We offer tailor made driving lessons in and around Loughborough. Check out our google reviews

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