The cockpit drill is one of the most important concepts that the driver of any vehicle, whether an LTV or HTV, has to know and practice. This might be one of the first things that you learn in a driving school. However, now we are going to discuss this in great so that you are already familiar with the concept even before joining a driving school.
This drill has to be performed every time you sit in the driving seat of your car. Initially, it might take more effort, but as you become accustomed to it, this process will take no more than just a few seconds, with you performing it at a subconscious level. The cockpit drill is also referred to as DSSSM in driving, standing for doors, seat, seatbelt, steering wheel, and mirrors. Let’s discuss every element of this drill individually.
The first thing that you have to do when you sit inside your car, or any other car for that matter, is to check if the doors have been securely closed. There are a few methods of knowing this.
Modern cars have the feature that if any of the doors, bonnet, or boot are open, a signal lights up in the instrument panel of the car. Cars that do not come with this light signal do make beeping sounds when one of the doors is open.
You, as the driver of your car, have to be seated in such a manner that you are not uncomfortable. Otherwise, long driving times may cause back fatigue, quite often resulting in injury. A comfortable seating position means that you can turn the steering wheel and reach all the driving pedals without having to stretch yourself.
Now that we have discussed the significance of a good seating position, we now discuss how to achieve it.
Once you are assured that all the doors, bonnet, and boot are properly shut and are seated perfectly, then you fasten your seatbelt. You put on your seatbelt in a way that:
According to the traffic law, you are required to have your seatbelt on at all times, except for the situation when you are driving in reverse since a seatbelt hinders the best possible view of the rear of the car.
The possession of a medical exemption certificate can also waive your liability to fasten a seatbelt. Furthermore, in the case that you have passengers present with you in the vehicle who are under the age of 14, it will be your responsibility to make sure that they are all wearing a seatbelt.
Almost every modern car sports a steering wheel, which comes with a level adjustment. Adjusting your wheel to an angle and height that aligns with your comfort level allows for better driving experiences.
However, here are some things that should be remembered:
The mirrors play a significant role in a driving situation. These are there to provide the driver with a 360-degree view of his vehicle so that if the situation ever arises, he can apply emergency breaks or make a correcting manoeuvre to get out of any potential driving incident.
Mostly, cars tend to have three mirrors, two placed on either side of the vehicle and one inside facing the rear window. When adjusting any of the mirrors, the driver should be in his usual driving position. Otherwise, the view can change drastically with a change in position.
Although this is not part of the DSSSM acronym, the handbrake should also be monitored whenever the driver is seated in the car. Locking the handbrake in place ensures that there will be no unintentional or unexpected movement of the car.
DSSSM in driving is a safety protocol that every driver should follow every time he sits in his car. Initially, the driving cockpit drill might feel like tedious work. However, as the driver familiarises himself with every element of it, he starts performing it automatically without much conscious effort.
Are you looking to join a driving school? Guidelines Driving School is an option worth considering. Our driving instructors and advisors have great experience in the field and would impart the best knowledge.