Fear of driving needs a refresher training!

2014 HTM Driving School fleet Linkedin rev1

We know that not all of us are fortunate to own or have access to a vehicle that we can drive daily and for this reason, there are many people who have drivers’ licenses and some are renewing them every 5 years without having driven a car.

Then the questions is; will these people be able to drive a vehicle safely when they get the opportunity to?

The brain is wired to prioritize and make available the most important information that is daily used and files the ones that are rarely used hence if you don’t drive regularly, you will temporarily forget the skill. It is even worse if you receive improper driver training because you will just completely forget what you were taught due to memorization in order to pass the test.

So most people are faced with two challenges; one is bad training and the second is not being an active driver and these two are the major causes of fear of driving in heavy traffic.

We are not here to tell you which code is better as we have different personal reasons for choosing one against the other, but our intention is to make you aware that you need to seek help whenever you feel that you lack certain knowledge.

Code 8 and code 10 vehicles are different in sizes and obviously they will be driven differently due to the length and width perception.  .

Majority of people with code 10 drivers’ licenses find it difficult to drive code 8 manual vehicles due to the sensitivity of the clutch pedal.  The problem is even worse for drivers who only received driver training just to go and pass their license test because they will never know what is wrong with their car that keeps on switching off at every robot or stop street.

They then develop fear of driving in town or on roads where there is heavy traffic which forces them to wake up before sun rise in order to be the first to find open parkings and leave after sunset to avoid traffic. They don’t realise that they put themselves in danger by driving in the dark whilst still learning to drive and they risk being robbed or highjacked.

These are the risks that our people are daily exposed to because there are very few driving schools that are concern about quality driver training.

HTM Driving School provides refresher driver training to the following people:

a) Those who have fear of driving due to having been involved in accidents.

b) Those who have driver’s licenses, but are not actively driving.

c) Those who recently got their driver’s license, but feel like something is missing whenever they are driving.

There is no way one can improve without first acquiring new knowledge and accidents/crashes can be avoided.



The number 1 cause of road crashes and fatalities


ABC Manual pedals

Were you taught or are you currently teaching someone to use ABC or ACB method when preparing to stop the vehicle? You could be putting yourself or someone in danger if you use the ACB method.

That we have a crisis on our roads is no longer a secret judging by the number of emergency vehicles that we daily see or hear responding to “accidents” and the number of cars driven with an L sign on the back windows.

Our roads are like mini war zones and survival is purely depended on luck for most “licensed” drivers due to lack of knowledge and skills on how to operate their vehicles safely.

Most learner drivers do not worry much about being competent drivers; they instead focus most of their attention towards getting the driver’s licenses quickly. What they fail to understand is that a license does not give one experience, it merely permits one to drive a vehicle legally on road.

One thing for sure, figures do not lie and the United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety report found on the Arrive Alive website contains two graphs listed below that caught our eyes. They both confirm what we already know, that our roads are not safe due to drivers’ and pedestrians’ lack of knowledge and total disregard of rules of the road.

These graphs clearly show that if people can prioritize receiving quality driver training instead of just being happy to acquire driver’s licenses, we could save lives. We must bear in mind that we daily lose students, professionals and business people in road fatalities most of whom are active participants in our economy.

Fatalities percentage

The report states that 82.84% of road fatalities are caused by human factors, which includes:

  • Excessive speed and ignoring of speed limits.
  • Pedestrians jaywalking, not using pedestrian facilities or ignoring traffic signals and signs.
  • Unsafe and unlawful overtaking across barrier lines leading to high impact crashes and fatalities.

Fatalities per country

South Africa seems to lead other countries for all the wrong reasons and we should not be proud to have high numbers of road deaths because people are not replaceable.

“The rates in the graph above show that the RSA recorded the highest rate, 27.9 in 2009 in comparison with a rate of 22.0 for Botswana and a rate of 3.0 for Ethiopia. Comparing the four BRICS (Brazil, India, China and South Africa) countries in the graph above shows that RSA still recorded the highest rate followed by Brazil”, states the report.

As a driving school that has been operating for more than 7 years, we know that the major problem is caused by the way we operate the three pedals. The Clutch, foot Brake and Accelerator  form the ABC system of control, which is the correct way of slowing and eventually stopping the vehicle.

If you were to ask most licensed drivers what is the purpose of a foot brake, most will say it stops the vehicle, which is half-truth. However, the real purpose of the foot brake is to slow the vehicle and eventually stop it.

Most driving schools do not teach their learners the correct sequence of operating the three pedals (ABC) to prepare to stop the vehicle, which the one cause of most road crashes. They instead use the ACB method, which is a quick way of teaching a learner to stop but highly dangerous during emergencies.


Step 1: Remove the right foot from Accelerator.

Step 2:  Gently press the foot Brake to slow the vehicle down.

Step 3: Press in the Clutch pedal just before the vehicle stops with the brake.

This is the correct and safe way of driving the vehicle but very few driving schools teach this method because it is “time-consuming”.


Step 1: Remove the right foot from Accelerator.

Step 2: Press in the Clutch pedal with your left foot.

Step 3: Press in the foot Brake to slow and stop the vehicle.

Looking at most crash/accident scenes, one can hardly see any tyre marks before the collision which clearly prove that a clutch was use first before the foot brake was applied hence most vehicles get written off due to the high force of impact.  

Through our refresher driver training we are able to retrain the licensed drivers to correctly use the pedals and be able to defend themselves during emergency situations.


Difference between an automatic and a manual vehicle


By just looking at the two vehicles one cannot immediately tell which one is an automatic or manually driven vehicle until one enters the vehicles. There are differences between the two in terms of  how to operate them and the license type that is issued after the test.



Manual simply mean that you as a driver have to physically change the gears of the vehicle in order to move fast or slow. The clutch pedal on the left and gear lever has to continuously be used. The gears cannot be selected without pressing the clutch pedal completely and once the vehicle start moving, the gear ratio must correspond with the speed at which you are travelling and this you must be properly taught by going to a credible driving school.

Advantages of driving a manual vehicle

  • The license allows you to also drive an auto vehicle
  • It is cheap to buy
  • Good fuel efficiency
  • Less maintenance required
  • Driver has more control over the vehicle’s performance

Disadvantages of a manual vehicle

  • It is difficult to drive in heavy traffic
  • Wear of clutch and gearbox are quicker if badly operated due to bad driving
  • More skills are required to drive it.



Beside the difference in gear lever types, an automatic vehicle doesn’t have a clutch pedal making it the easiest vehicle to drive. This vehicle doesn’t need your interference when it comes to changing of gears as it does it for you. Your task is simply to select the direction of movement either reverse (R) when you want to go backward or (D) if you want to go forward and then press the accelerator pedal to start moving. Before leaving the vehicle put the gear lever on (P) to park your vehicle and apply the hand brake. The accelerator pedal is much more sensitive and most people have caused unnecessary accidents/crashes hence gently pressing it is so important.

Advantages of driving an automatic vehicle

  • It is easy to learn to drive
  • It is fun to drive in heavy traffic
  • Gear changing is easy as it is done automatically
  •  No wear of clutch

Disadvantages of an automatic vehicles

  • You cannot drive a manual vehicle with an auto license
  • It is expensive to buy
  • It is lesser fuel efficient
  • Maintenance cost is high
  • It can disable your left foot from operating a clutch pedal

Even though most car manufacturers are slowly moving to automatic vehicles, it is very important to do a manual license test as it will allow you to drive both vehicle. You will receive a traffic fine, should the traffic officers find you driving a manual vehicle with an auto license.  

How to choose a driving school

Channelizing lineNot knowing the road markings

There are very few people who know and understand what the white line mean and what to do/not to do when you come across it. This is because we study question papers for our learner’s theoretical test and we go to driving schools that don’t train us in order to apply the theory. It is impossible for one to follow the rules of the road if he/she doesn’t know them hence the unnecessary many road crashes we are experiencing.

It is now becoming more difficult to choose a credible driving school from a fly-by night one as they all look and behave the same hence doing research before enrolling is very important. As our roads are becoming more and more congested due to many people opting to buy their own vehicles, acquisition of better driving skills is no longer an option in order for one to stay safe but a requirement.

Some parents/partners opt to train their children/partners to drive a vehicle without checking whether if they are effective teachers? Where did they learn to drive? Who taught them how to drive? How will they handle the parent-child/ partner-partner dynamic play? It is not about training that matters but how someone is trained will determine their safety. The problem with these dynamics is that most of those people who were trained by the parents/partners end up being the most aggressive drivers due to their “teachers” impatience during training.

The best place to be taught everything that has to do with the vehicle and rules of the road is at a driving school but the problem is “how do I choose the one that is genuine?” There are so many driving schools around the country meaning customers are spoiled for choice, isn’t it? Not really, driving schools are currently not regulated and this is the main reason why we have so many of them around with a sole purpose of making money as opposed to providing you with quality driver training.  This then leads to you being asked to pay a bribe in order for you to pass your driver’s test because they know that you have not been taught properly.

Following this procedure before registering with a driving schoolwill save you a lot of money and headache:

1. Do an internet search, this will give you an idea as to how many are they in your area, compile a list and visit them but don’t commit yourself and I can guess HTM Driving School will be one them.

2. Ask your friends/colleagues/ family members, this is the most easiest way because we trust these people but don’t rely on their information only, just note the names and HTM Driving School will be mentioned.

3. Visit each one and compare them by asking the following questions: Are they registered? Imagine doing business with an unregistered business, you won’t be protected by law. Are their instructorsqualified? Instructors should know what they are doing by first being assessed. Do they issue an invoice as proof of payment received? This is one document you must receive after making a payment, demand it. Do they provide question papers for your learner’s test preparation? You need to be taught the learner’s theory.  How do they track your progress? With no program, they can’t. When will you complete your training? Structured training should have an actual end date. Will you be allowed to drive in heavy traffic? Training without this, is not complete. Will they book your tests and how much will they charge you? This you can do on your own and save your money. Will you be required to pay a bribe? If they hesitate, they will request you and it will be just before you go for your test and at that time you will be desperate. Any driving school  that will give you positive answers without hesitating has a potential to train you better but don’t commit, yet. HTM Driving School will answer all these questions honestly and satisfactory.

4. Ask for references from the list of their previous and current customers, the willingness to provide you with reference that you have selected is an indication of their confidence in their services that they provide to their customers. HTM Driving School doesn’t mind doing that.

After having reaching step 4, your list of driving schools that you have compiled earlier on will consists of one or two companies and HTM Driving School will be one of them leaving you with a question, why are you not joining HTM Driving School?

General K53 procedure

If all of us were to follow the general K53 procedure, our roads could become safe and all the unnecessary road crashes that we are daily exposed to could be reduced/minimized. The procedure involves 10 steps that are divided into three (3) main groups and they are as follows:


1. Observe by checking the mirrors and your surrounding.

2. Check the blind spot on the side you intend turning to (Left or right).

3. Signal  your intention by switching on your left or right indicator.


4. Check your rear view mirror to make sure that there is no one following you too closely.

5. Press the foot brake gently to slow the vehicle down.

6. Change down the gear if necessary.


7. Check the blind spot on the side you intend turning to.

8. Steer/turn to side you are signalling to only when it is safe to do so.

9. Accelerate gradually to merge with other traffic.

10. Cancel your signal/indicator.

We at HTM Driving School believe that our roads can become safe if we could all aspire to gain knowledge to drive safely and daily apply it.

Driver’s knowledge vs Driver’s license

Knowledge is potential power but applied knowledge is powerful. Most people focus on getting their driver’s licenses without worrying too much about improving their driving skills which we find very odd. There are lots of people with licenses who are not qualified to drive on our roads but they are currently driving hence the many unnecessary road crashes and fatalities. It is nearly impossible for one to follow the rules of the road if one does not know them, at HTM Driving School we daily interact with customers who claim to be “busy” and “not having time” for training but request us to “organize” them a learner’s/driver’s license. Who are these people fooling? We always advise them “that a driver’s license card stays in your pocket, gives you permission to drive but knowledge & skills will be required to control the vehicle safely and without knowledge & skills that vehicle is a danger to other road users”.

Our driver’s licenses have lost so much credibility due to the easy ways through which they can be acquired. We continuously lose people unnecessarily in road crashes/accidents due to lack of driving knowledge & misunderstanding of rules on the roads resulting in them deciding incorrectly and taking wrong actions. Most of the people we are losing are economically active and contributing positively to their families, communities, the economy at large etc and we at HTM Driving School believe the problem deserves to be given the highest priority. If all of us were to follow all the K53 rules and not selectively, our roads can become safe and few real accident will occur but this can only be achieved when all of us make a conscious decision to go to credible driving schools with the intention of LEARNING in order to KNOW and not concentrating on getting a pass only.