Learn to Drive Smart Manual MV2075

Learn to Drive Smart Manual MV2075
in this chapter
• Adjust for safety
• Hand controls
• Foot pedals
• Control panel
• Pre-trip check
• Periodic check
• Driving and the
crash fact
Each year on average, just
over 70 per cent of people
injured in collisions report
a soft tissue injury such as
whiplash. Many also had
other injuries. A study of
seven Canadian provinces
found that 53 per cent of
the drivers observed have
head restraints that are so
inadequately adjusted that
they would not protect the
occupant from injury in a
rear-end collision.
Source: MSN: Autos:
Head Restraints: Saving
Your Neck
you and your vehicle
In chapter 1, you in the driver’s seat, you learned how
important it is to make good choices when driving. It’s also
important to learn how your vehicle operates. Mastering the
controls is one of the first steps to safe driving.
Adjust for safety
To drive safely, you need to be able to comfortably reach your
vehicle’s controls and see clearly around you. Before you start
the engine, always adjust your seat, head restraint and mirrors.
Never adjust your seat or the steering wheel while the vehicle
is moving.
Your seat should be upright and in a position where you can:
• push the small of your back into the seat
• sit upright, never with a reclined seat
• with your right foot, reach the floor behind the brake pedal
and still have a slight bend in your leg
• turn the steering wheel and keep your arms slightly bent
• reach all the controls
• keep your left foot comfortably on the space to the left of the
brake pedal or clutch pedal.
You should also be at least 25 cm (10 in) away from the driver’s
Head restraints
Head restraints can help prevent soft tissue injuries such
as whiplash. Whiplash is an injury to the neck, head and or
shoulders after being subjected to a snapping motion. Adjust
your head restraint so the top is at least level with the top of
your head. Position your head restraint as close to the back of
your head as possible. It may be necessary to adjust your seat
back position to do this. Closer head restraints can be twice as
effective in preventing injuries than if they’re set too far back.
Make sure your
head restraint is
adjusted to the
height that is right
for you.
If you are in a
crash and your
head restraint
is not properly
adjusted, this can
be the result.
developing your smart driving skills
There are two good reasons to wear your seatbelt:
• Wearing your seatbelt significantly reduces your chance of
serious injury or death in a crash.
• It’s the law in B.C. — you can be fined for not wearing
your seatbelt.
Adjust your seatbelt so
that it fits snugly over your
chest and low over your
hips. Do not wear the
shoulder strap under your
arm or behind your back
or with a reclined seat
because putting this belt
over the wrong part of the
body could cause serious
internal injuries if you are
in a collision. Pregnant
women should make sure
the lap belt is snug and
below the baby.
It’s also your responsibility as
a driver to make sure that all
passengers are properly secured
with seatbelts or child restraint
Even at low speeds, a crash forces
a pressure of hundreds of kilograms
against your body. If you are
wearing a seatbelt, especially one
with a lap belt and a shoulder strap,
you’re much less likely to be injured,
knocked unconscious or ejected.
Even if your vehicle catches fire or
ends up in water, you have a better
chance of getting out quickly if you
stay conscious.
If your vehicle rolls over or if you’re ejected, it’s likely you’ll
be seriously injured or killed. Wearing your seatbelt can help
prevent you from being ejected from the vehicle. Wearing
your seatbelt also helps keep you in control of your vehicle by
supporting you behind the steering wheel.
When your car stops
suddenly, your body will
continue to move forward
at the same speed the car
was travelling. Without a
seatbelt, your body will
not stop until you hit the
dashboard, windshield
or something outside of
the car.
The lap belt holds you
down, and the shoulder
belt holds you back.
Wearing a seatbelt causes
you to stop when your
vehicle stops.
Buckle up even on short trips, since most injuries and deaths
occur close to home.
chapter 2 — you and your vehicle
Safety restraints for children
crash fact
A correctly used child
safety seat reduces
the risk of fatality by
71 per cent and the
risk of serious injury by
67 per cent. It’s your
responsibility as the
driver to make sure that
children are seated in
the appropriate child
safety seat and you may
be ticketed and fined for
failing to do so.
Every year in B.C., an average of 1,300 children under age nine
are injured and three are killed in motor vehicle crashes. Every
time a child travels as a passenger in a motor vehicle, they are at
risk of being involved in a collision.
The correct use of a Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standards
(CMVSS) — approved child safety seat will ensure a child is
properly restrained and significantly reduce their risk of serious
injury or death in the event of a crash. It’s your responsibility as
the driver to make sure that all your passengers are properly
secured with seatbelts or child-restraint systems.
stage 1 — rear-facing
• From birth until at least one year old and 9 kg (20 lbs).
• Place in back seat.
• Position centre-rear.
• Rear-facing as long as possible.
• NOT on front seat with an active airbag.
stage 2 — forward-facing with tether
• Must be over one year old and over 9 kg (20 lbs).
• Up to at least 18 kg (40 lbs).
• Place in back seat.
• May remain rear-facing if allowed by manufacturer’s weight
• Always use with a tether strap.
stage 3 — booster seat
• Booster seats ensure proper seatbelt fit. They raise the child to
correctly position the adult seatbelt across the bony structures
of the chest and pelvis. It’s safest if a child remains in a booster
seat until they reach 145 cm (4’9”).
• Must be over 18 kg (40 lbs).
• Required until at least nine years old or 145 cm (4’9”),
whichever comes first.
• Place in back seat.
• Booster is used with a lap/shoulder seatbelt.
• Position lap belt low over hip bones and shoulder belt over
shoulder and in front of chest.
• Do not use a booster seat with only a lap belt.
developing your smart driving skills
stage 4 — seatbelt only
• It’s recommended you keep children in the back seat until
12 years of age.
• The lap belt should fit low over the pelvic bones.
• Shoulder belt should fit over the shoulder and snug across
the chest.
• Never put the shoulder belt under the arm or behind the
back. This could cause serious injury in the event of a crash.
• Keep the seat in an upright position, not reclined. Seatbelts
were designed for upright seating. A deeply reclined seat can
cause a passenger to slide out from under the seatbelt in the
event of a crash.
Note:It’s okay to exceed the legal requirements if in
accordance with the manufacturers’ maximum
height/weight specifications for a seat.
For more information on child restraints call the Child
Seat Information line toll-free at 1-877-247-5551 or
online at www.childseatinfo.ca.
Do not place rear-facing
infant or child restraint
systems in a passenger
seat equipped with an
active frontal airbag.
Children in these seats
could be killed or seriously
injured if the airbag
All new vehicles are equipped with airbags. They have been
shown to reduce injuries and fatalities in collisions. Airbags
work by inflating and then deflating to reduce the shock of a
collision. And they do this very quickly — in less than a blink of
an eye, an airbag inflates, and then begins to deflate again.
Airbags can be mounted in front of and beside the driver and
front seat passenger. If your vehicle is equipped with airbags,
you should position your seat so you’re at least 25 cm (10 in)
from the steering wheel.
This allows room for the airbag to inflate and protects you from
further injury.
Consult your owner’s manual for safety precautions.
In a few instances, you may need to deactivate an airbag.
You must contact Transport Canada to do this. For more
information, call Transport Canada at 1-800-333-0371.
Airbags do not replace
seatbelts. Always use
your seatbelt even if
your vehicle is equipped
with airbags. Check
your owner’s manual for
instructions about the
airbags in your vehicle.
chapter 2 — you and your vehicle
Some cars have convex
mirrors. They provide a
wider field of view but
make things look smaller
and farther away than
they actually are. Check
to see how accurate your
vehicle’s mirrors are.
Make sure you can see all around your vehicle when driving:
• Adjust the rear-view mirror so you can see as much as
possible behind you.
• Adjust your side-view mirrors to reduce the blind spots as
much as possible. (Blind spots are the areas beside the
vehicle that you cannot see in the mirrors.) Usually this means
that only a slight part of the side of your vehicle is visible.
See chapter 5, see-think-do, for more information about
blind spots.
Most cars have three
mirrors to help you see
what’s going on around
your vehicle. Some cars do
not have an outside mirror
on the passenger side.
Hand controls
Now that your vehicle is adjusted to fit you, think about
all the controls that your hands operate. Get to know how
each operates before you try to drive. Even when you are an
experienced driver, you will need to get used to these controls
each time you drive a different vehicle.
Make sure you know how
to operate all the controls
in each vehicle you drive.
You may need to check the
owner’s manual.
developing your smart driving skills
Steering wheel
The steering wheel controls the direction of the vehicle by
turning the front wheels. If your steering wheel is adjustable,
make sure it’s in the right position for you before you begin
to drive.
Ignition switch
Get to know all the positions of the ignition switch in your
vehicle. They may include:
• Lock — steering is locked and ignition is off
Don’t turn your vehicle’s
ignition switch to the
“lock” position while it is
still in motion. This can
cause the steering to
lock if you try to turn the
steering wheel and you
could lose control.
• Off — ignition is off but the steering is not locked
• Acc — ignition is off but some electrical components may be
used (for example, radio)
• On — ignition is on
• Start — turn to this position to start the engine, then release
switch so that it returns to the On position.
Gearshift lever
The gearshift lever lets you control the vehicle’s transmission.
There are two types of transmissions: automatic and standard.
Both control the connection between the engine and the wheels.
An automatic transmission automatically chooses the most
efficient gear. In a vehicle with a standard transmission, the
driver chooses the best gear. Using the best gear keeps the
engine from stalling and allows it to operate as efficiently as
possible for fuel economy.
A standard transmission is always used with a clutch.
The gearshift is mounted on the floor or on the steering
column. Standard transmissions are built in three-, four-, fiveor six-speed models. Check your owner’s manual when
learning to use your vehicle’s gearshift.
chapter 2 — you and your vehicle
Comparing automatic and standard
P – Park
Use when starting the vehicle
and when parked. Locks the
R – Reverse
Use when backing up. Turns on
reverse (white) lights.
Use when backing up. Turns on reverse
(white) lights.
N – Neutral
If vehicle stalls while moving, use
to restart the engine.
Use when vehicle is stopped or when
starting the engine.
D – Drive
Use for normal forward driving.
1 – First gear
Use when pulling heavy loads
or when going up or down very
steep hills.
The lowest gear. Use it from a stopped
position to speeds of 10 – 15 km/h. Use
when pulling heavy loads or when going up
or down very steep hills.
2 – Second gear
Use when pulling heavy loads
or when going up or down very
steep hills.
Use from speeds of 15 – 30 km/h, for hills
and when driving on snow or ice.
3 – Third gear
Use for speeds between 30 – 60 km/h.
4 – Fourth gear
Use for highway speeds on 4-speed models.
5 – Fifth gear
Use for highway cruising on 5-speed models.
6 – Sixth gear
Use for highway cruising on 6-speed models.
O – Overdrive
Use at speeds of over 40 km/h to
save fuel.
* The speed guidelines are approximate and will depend on your vehicle.
Parking brake
This brake keeps the vehicle from moving when it’s parked.
Depending on your vehicle, you may have a foot or handoperated brake. Make sure you fully apply the parking brake
when parking and fully release it before moving.
The parking brake is sometimes called an emergency brake
because it can be used to slow the vehicle if the foot brake fails.
See chapter 8, emergency strategies, for more information on
these situations.
Turn signal lever
This lever turns the left- and right-turn signals on and off. You
use your turn signals to communicate to other road users that
you want to change direction or position.
developing your smart driving skills
driving tip
Drive with the low beam
headlights on during the
day if your car does not
have automatic daytime
running lights.
driving tip
Daytime running lights
do not activate the tail
lights. Do not use them
for nighttime driving or for
low visibility conditions.
The first position of the light switch controls the tail lights,
parking lights and side-marker lights, as well as the dashboard
and licence plate lights. The second position controls
the headlights.
Your vehicle will have another switch position or separate switch
that controls the two brightness settings of the headlights —
low beam and high beam. Use the high beam setting only on
unlit roads at night when there aren’t any vehicles approaching
or in front of you.
Use the parking lights when you are stopped and want to make
sure your vehicle is visible. Don’t use these lights when your
vehicle is moving — put the headlights on instead.
Vehicles made after 1991 have automatic daytime running lights
(DRL), a safety feature that makes your vehicle easier for other
drivers to see during daylight hours. Daytime running lights do
not activate the tail lights. Do not use them for nighttime driving
or for low visibility conditions. Use the low or high beam lights.
Hazard light switch
The hazard light switch activates both turn signals at the same
time. These flashing lights tell other road users to be careful
near your vehicle because you may have stopped for
an emergency.
Cruise control
Cruise control lets you pre-set a speed that will stay the same.
Use it only under ideal highway driving conditions. Never use
the cruise control feature:
• on wet, slippery, snowy or icy surfaces
• in urban traffic
• when you are tired
• on winding roads.
Wipers and washer control
Practise finding the different wiper speed settings. Make sure
you know how to turn on the windshield washer. The wipers
should always be in top working condition to give you a clear
view during rainy and snowy weather conditions.
Your horn is an important way to communicate warnings to
other road users. Be sure to use it wisely.
chapter 2 — you and your vehicle
Heater, defroster and air conditioning
The panel of levers that control the defroster, incoming air and
air conditioning are located within easy reach of the driver.
Check your owner’s manual to see how they work. Practise with
them so you can easily turn on the defroster without looking at
the controls.
Foot pedals
You will operate two or
three controls with your feet,
depending on whether your
vehicle has an automatic or
a standard transmission.
Use your right foot to
operate the brake and
gas pedals, and your left
foot to operate the clutch.
Practise doing this until you
can find each pedal easily.
This will help you react
quickly in an emergency.
The accelerator controls the amount of fuel going to the
engine. The more fuel the engine gets, the faster the vehicle
will go. You need to practise putting the right amount of
pressure on the pedal so you keep control over the speed and
acceleration of your vehicle. Always operate the accelerator
with your right foot.
The brake pedal is located to the left of the accelerator and
is used to slow down and stop the vehicle. Always use your
right foot to operate the brake. You need to learn to apply the
right amount of pressure on the brake so that you can stop the
vehicle smoothly and precisely.
Be familiar with the braking system of your vehicle. Power
brakes need less pressure than standard brakes.
developing your smart driving skills
Anti-lock brakes
Most vehicles have an anti-lock braking system (ABS). Look for
an indicator light on the dash. This electronic system keeps the
wheels from locking.
Always wear shoes when
driving so you have good
contact with the brake
and the accelerator. Avoid
driving in shoes that have
high heels or platform
Vehicles with anti-lock braking systems also have regular
braking systems. The anti-lock braking system is activated only
when you press heavily on the brake pedal — for example,
during an emergency stop. Read your owner’s manual for
more information about your vehicle’s anti-lock braking system
and how to use it properly. Also see chapter 8, emergency
strategies, for more information on ABS braking.
If your ABS indicator light stays on after you start the vehicle,
the system may be malfunctioning. Take the vehicle in for repair.
In a vehicle with a standard transmission, pressing the clutch
pedal disconnects the engine from the transmission so you
can shift gears. You use your left foot to press the pedal when
changing gears. Do not keep the clutch pedal pressed part-way
down (“ride the clutch”) when the vehicle is moving because
this causes unnecessary wear.
When you begin moving after a stop, release the clutch slowly
and smoothly to avoid stalling the car. When you stop, use the
brake first and then depress the clutch just before you stop.
This will avoid coasting with the clutch in.
Control panel
When you sit in the driver’s seat, you’ll see the control panel
directly in front of you. Match the numbers in the chart to the
numbers in the illustration to find out what each item does.
Remember that control panels are different in each vehicle.
1 Speedometer
3 Trip odometer
2 Odometer
5 Airbag warning light
4 Fuel gauge
6 Turn signal
indicator light
7 Temperature gauge
8 Engine temperature
warning light
9 Tachometer
19 Door ajar
warning light
10 Electronic
stability control
warning light
18 Anti-lock braking
system warning
11 Low tire pressure
warning light
17 Check engine
warning light
12 Alternator
warning light
16 Seatbelt
warning light
15 Oil pressure
warning light
14 High beam
13 Brake warning
chapter 2 — you and your vehicle
The control panel
Shows the speed the vehicle is travelling.
Displays the distance that the vehicle has travelled since
Trip odometer
This can be set when you start on a trip to show you how far you
have travelled.
Fuel gauge
Indicates the amount of fuel in the fuel tank.
Airbag warning light
Indicates that the vehicle is equipped with air bags. If it comes
on while driving, there may be a fault in the air bag system. Have
it checked by a mechanic.
Turn signal indicator
Shows whether a turn signal is on. Both will flash when the hazard
lights are on.
Temperature gauge
Shows the temperature of the engine coolant and whether the
engine is overheating.
Engine temperature
warning light
Shows the temperature of the engine coolant and whether the
engine is overheating.
Displays the engine speed in revolutions per minute (r.p.m.)
Electronic stability
control warning light
Indicates the vehicle is equipped with an electronic stability
control system.
Low tire pressure
warning light
Comes on if one or more tires have low air pressure.
Alternator warning
Shows whether the battery is charging.
Brake warning light
Reminds you to release the parking brake before moving. If the
light comes on while using the foot brake, it means the brake
system is not working properly. Have it checked by a mechanic.
High beam indicator
Usually a blue light that indicates the high beam headlights
are on.
Oil pressure warning
Indicates the oil pressure in the engine. It does not tell you how
much oil is in the engine.
Seatbelt warning light
Reminds you to fasten your seatbelt.
Check engine warning
Indicates there is a possible fault in the engine. Have it checked
by a mechanic.
Anti-lock braking
system warning light
Indicates the vehicle is equipped with anti-lock brakes. If the
light stays on after starting the car, there may be a fault in the
anti-lock braking system. Have it checked by a mechanic.
Door ajar warning
Indicates a door is not properly closed.
developing your smart driving skills
Pre-trip check
Even if you’re in a hurry, you should always check your vehicle
to make sure it’s safe to drive. The pre-trip check doesn’t take
long, and will soon become a habit. It will help prevent a
vehicle breakdown.
Area behind:
clear of obstacles?
Seat, head restraints
and seatbelts:
all adjusted?
clean front
and back?
Rear-view and
side mirrors:
adjusted to reduce
blind spots?
and washers:
working properly?
Rear lights:
clean and working?
Lights and
turn signals:
clean and
in good condition,
with plenty of tread,
no cuts or bulges?
working well?
free of fluid and oil patches?
Area in front:
clear of obstacles?
Use this illustration as a guide when you do a pre-trip check.
driving tip
Just as you check the
safety of your vehicle
before starting out, check
your planning:
• D
o you know your
route? Use a map if
• D
o you have enough
time? It pays to allow a
few extra minutes.
Periodic check
Your pre-trip check will help you feel confident that your vehicle
is safe as you set out for your destination. However, to ensure
good maintenance, you need to do a more thorough check
every few weeks. How often you do the periodic check will
depend on how much you drive.
Use the following checklist to keep your vehicle in good
running order:
❏❏ Is the engine oil at the proper level? Is it clean?
❏❏ Is the radiator coolant topped up?
❏❏ Do you have enough washer fluid?
❏❏ Is the brake fluid level okay?
❏❏ Is the power steering fluid level okay? Are the other fluid
levels okay?
chapter 2 — you and your vehicle
❏❏ Is the parking brake properly adjusted?
❏❏ Are the engine hoses cracked or leaking?
❏❏ Are the engine belts in good condition?
❏❏ Are all the lights working? (Remember to check both the
brake and backup lights too.)
❏❏ Are the wipers in good condition?
❏❏ Do you have enough fuel?
❏❏ Are the tires properly inflated?
❏❏ Are the tires in good condition?
driving tip
Check tire inflation when
the tires are cold. Refer to
the owner’s manual or the
sticker on the driver’s door
for the proper inflation
level. Do not use the
numbers on the side of
the tire.
Tire tips
Tires are key pieces of safety equipment, so remember to:
• Keep your tires inflated to the recommended pressure level.
• Check that the tread isn’t too worn.
• Replace any tires that show bumps, bulges, cuts, cracks or
exposed belts.
• Use only tires that match the specifications for your vehicle.
• Make sure all four tires are similar so they work together.
• Keep the spare tire at the required air pressure. A space-saver
spare tire has the correct air pressure marked on its side.
When you use this type of spare tire, never drive faster
than 80 km/h.
• Rotate tires regularly for even wear.
• Avoid sudden starts and stops — they reduce the life of
your tires.
Properly inflated tires help
keep you safe by increasing
your vehicle’s traction.
Properly inflated
developing your smart driving skills
Prepare for winter driving
In B.C., we need to make sure our vehicles are prepared for
winter driving conditions:
• Make sure your car’s battery is in good condition.
• Check the exhaust system. Any leaks can be extremely
dangerous because carbon monoxide can collect in cars
when the windows and vents are closed.
• Replace oil and other fluids with winter-grade products.
• Install four snow tires. This will improve vehicle handling and
control when you’re driving through slippery conditions.
Using chains on icy roads is a good idea. Make sure you are
familiar with how to mount chains on tires — practise putting
them on your vehicle before you need to use them.
In extremely bad conditions, it may be safer to park your vehicle
than to continue driving.
Driving and the environment
Cars and trucks use over half the world’s yearly oil supply. We
know there is a limited supply of oil. Automobiles and light-duty
trucks emit almost two-thirds of the common air pollutants in
the Lower Fraser Valley (Greater Vancouver Regional District,
1998 Emissions Inventory).
Most air-conditioned vehicles manufactured before 1995 also
contain chloroflorocarbons (CFCs) which are a major cause of
the depletion of the ozone layer of the earth’s atmosphere.
acid rain
respiratory diseases
habitat damage
global warming
dying forests
greenhouse gases
One out of every two Canadians owns a car or light truck and drives about 19,800 kilometres per year,
according to Environment Canada statistics. Exhaust emissions from cars and trucks are one of the
leading causes of climate change, urban smog and acid rain. On average, each vehicle releases over
four metric tonnes of air pollutants per year.
chapter 2 — you and your vehicle
Here are some things you can do to help protect the
environment — you’ll save money, too:
driving tip
Good safe-driving habits
can reduce your fuel
consumption by as much
as 30 per cent, save wear
and tear on your car, and
reduce emissions.
For more smart ways to
be fuel-efficient, visit the
Natural Resources Canada
Office of Energy Efficiency
website at
www.oee.nrcan.gc.ca or
call 1-800-387-2000.
Use other forms of transportation
• Walk, cycle or take public transit whenever possible.
• Arrange carpools. Instead of driving children to school, walk
or cycle with them or enroll them in a walking school bus.
Reduce fuel consumption
Driving safely reduces fuel consumption and saves money, too:
• Be a smooth operator —
­ avoid “jackrabbit” starting and
stopping, drive at a steady speed.
• Slow down and save — keep to posted speeds or below.
• Plan your route — combine several errands into one trip,
and plan the route so that you go to the destination that is
farthest away first — this will allow your vehicle to warm up
to normal operating temperature which helps reduce fuel
• Avoid idling — turn the motor off if stopped for more than 60
seconds, such as when stopped at the side of the road.
• Check tire pressure at least monthly — under-inflated tires
increase fuel consumption.
• Avoid excess weight — remove any items in the car that you
don’t need, such as things in the trunk.
• Roll down your windows ­— refrain from using air conditioning
under 50 km/h. Use your vehicle’s flow-through ventilation
rather than air conditioning on the highway.
• Remove roof racks and roof boxes to reduce drag.
Reduce emissions
Choose a fuel-efficient vehicle.
• Keep your vehicle tuned up to reduce emissions.
• Change the oil regularly and use the right grade. Have any
oil leaks fixed.
• Keep the air filter clean.
• Make sure your air conditioning system doesn’t have any
Do not pour motor oil, gas,
antifreeze or battery acid
down drains. Take these
fluids to recycling locations.
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