ADI Part 2 Manoeuvres – Emergency Stop
Although The Emergency Stop is an exercise carried out on only about one in every three learner tests, it is carried out in just about all ADI part 2 tests.
That’s not the only difference . . . in the leaner test, the manoeuvre is usually carried out at around 20 to 25 mph, just as the learner changes up from 2nd gear to 3rd gear.
Not so in the part 2 test. Not so at all.
Yes, the SE may just ask you to carry out this exercise at about the same speed, under the same conditions as on a learner test, but will more than likely carry out the test at a much higher speed, under much more difficult circumstances.
It is certainly not uncommon for the SE to carry out this manoeuvre at speeds of between 50 and 60 mph, whilst the car is in 4th or 5th gear.
It stands to reason, then, that you’ll want to get plenty of practice at this exercise under various conditions and speeds. Your trainer should advise you on this and guide you through. It is not a difficult exercise to achieve, none of the manoeuvres are, but it does take plenty of practice to get it right and to make it instinctive.
There are various dangers and pitfalls to avoid in The Emergency Stop . . .
The Dangers And Pitfalls
Firstly, this exercise should be carried out exactly like it sounds . . . as if in an emergency. Many, many trainees try to use the pedals gently and smoothly, but that is not what is required in The Emergency Stop. You are required stop as if in an emergency. Use of the mirrors is not only not required, but would probably be marked as a serious driver error.
The thing to realise is that the life of a child could be at stake. There is simply no time to check the mirrors. What is behind you, and the risk of getting a rear end shunt, is of no concern at all. The overriding priority is the situation of absolute danger ahead of you. Deal with it by reacting quickly and with firm actions.
If the car is fitted with anti lock brakes (ABS), there will be no real danger of skidding. If the vehicle does not have ABS, then you may have to release some brake pressure to avoid skidding.
A skidding car is under no Control at all, either steering Control or braking Control. Under conditions of skidding, the car becomes a lump of metal that will move according to the laws of physics, and nothing else. You must avoid skidding for this reason. Therefore, if your car does not have ABS, your trainer will no doubt explain to you the techniques of cadence braking used to avoid it.
Another common part 2 pitfall is failing to keep both hands on the wheel throughout. If you do release your grip on the steering wheel, you take the risk of being unable to Control the vehicle fully and effectively.
It is also not uncommon for trainees to receive driver errors for simply refusing to drive with due progress. The SE stops the car, explains that they would like you to carry out The Emergency Stop, and you drive off. You know the command to stop is coming soon . . . you get to 35 mph . . . 50 mph . . . “it must be soon” . . . you continue at this speed just waiting for the “STOP” command. Eventually it comes, and you stop but you receive a driver error for failing to make progress prior to the command. A far more common situation than many would realise.
The DVSA still insist that the clutch should be left alone until just before the car stops.
The reason for this, is that with the clutch engaged, the car is subject to a certain amount of engine braking which assists in the process of slowing down.
We find this argument to be dubious, to say the least. Modern advances in vehicle technology rendered this argument redundant very many years ago. The brakes on modern vehicles can stop the car on a sixpence, and engine braking adds nothing. In fact, we believe it’s far more dangerous to risk stalling than it is to lose the negligible clutch braking effect.
On Advanced courses, we teach you to get the clutch down ASAP and well before the car stops, however, for an ADI part 2 test we do not teach this method. Clearly, for part 2, follow the DVSA recommendations.
When you have brought the car to a complete standstill on this exercise, you will invariably be out in the middle of the carriage way, rather than at the side of the road. You will have to move off when told to do so by the SE.
All round effective observations are absolutely vital, because of the position of the car. Think about it. Did the child you ‘Emergency Stopped’ for have a friend with them? Can you be sure?
Make sure your observations are fully 360 degrees and effective. Show the SE that you are looking.
Poor observations after The Emergency Stop account for a great many part 2 driver errors.