All about K53 (Part 1)

A happy K53 driver!

All about K53 (Part 1)

Avant Garde Driving School is the driving school near me. We take pride in your safety. It is crucial to understand why you do what you do. 

We do not only teach you to drive but also to drive safely.

During the next few months, we will show you everything you need to know about driving. Here is part 1 to understand K53.

Why K53

When learner drivers realize they should drive according to the K53 method, they often feel frustrated. Why should a person do so many things nobody else does?

When did K53 start?

Initially, a person did not need a license to drive a car. Drivers needed more skills when traffic increased. Another factor was that many soldiers, especially pilots, wanted cars after the second world war. Pilots were accustomed to speed and drove accordingly. Many died because of that.

It became necessary to educate drivers. Licensing requirements developed into the K53 method of driving.

What is the reason for K53?

K53 is all about safety. Not only for driving in traffic but also for protecting the vehicle as well as the driver. Why must you do the observations? Nobody does after passing the test. Why may you not cross your arms when turning?

K53 in a nutshell

Let us examine the rules of K53.

  1. You must observe
  2. You may not cross your arms when turning
  3. You may not have your foot above the clutch while driving
  4. You must press the button when pulling the handbrake
  5. You must first slow down and push the clutch moments before stopping
  6. You must keep your hands on the steering wheel except when you change gears
  7. You may not down-gear when stopping. 

You must observe

Many years ago, I stopped at a red robot. When the robot turned green, I pulled off. A traffic officer stopped me as soon as I crossed the road. He wanted to take my driver’s license. I refused to give it to him and demanded a reason for his demand.

I was driving a bakkie with a closed canopy. It turned out that a student on a skateboard was holding on to my vehicle while I waited for the robot to turn green. I couldn’t see the student behind me. When I pulled off, he held on to the vehicle to gather speed. I noticed him passing me when the officer stopped me. The officer told me I put someone else’s life in danger without knowing what I was doing.

I did the same while driving a bicycle. I realize the danger in doing so.

What will happen when you pull off without knowing there is a fool like me clinging to your car, and that fool loses his balance?

Can you see the importance of observing before pulling off?

When you observe before indicating, you make sure you do not miss anything when you turn. Observe again before turning to ensure you do know.

You may not cross your arms while turning.

Do you know what tennis elbow is?

Tennis elbow is damage to the muscles in the arms. Repetitive movement creates a tennis elbow.

How many times do you turn corners when traveling somewhere? Each time your arms make the same movement.

Sit in your car. Put your arms on the steering wheel and turn the wheel in an old-fashioned way. Your arms are crossing. Notice the tension in your arms.

Repeat the exercise without crossing your arms. Do you notice there is no tension in the arm muscles?

The tennis elbow is extremely painful. I am sure you prefer to prevent such pain.

There is another reason for not crossing your arms.

It is difficult to retain control when you cross your arms like a koeksister. It is difficult to act quickly should anything go wrong. You may even damage your wrist when you go through a pothole. 

You may not have your foot above the clutch while driving.

When your foot is above the clutch, your foot will get tired and drop down without notice. The clutch will wear down, creating unnecessary expenses. Take your foot away from the pedal. Only use the clutch while changing gears or when you stop. When stopping, do not press the clutch first. When pressing the clutch down, it will be harder to stop. When you slow down to stop, the car will start to vibrate. Then the engine will stall. Press the clutch just before the vehicle vibrates.

That is all for today.

Next week we will discuss more K53.

To learn more, keep in touch with Avant Garde Driving School, my driving in Pretoria.

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