VIDEO - How to Shoulder Check
Here are two videos on shoulder checking featuring Rick from Smart Drive Test. He tends to wave his arms a lot, but the messages that he delivers are clear and concise. If you find them useful, there are currently 86 videos on the YouTube Smart Drive Test channel.
My money says he is right handed:-) I would have liked to have seen the speed displayed, hard to tell if he slowed for the 30 km zone, did not look like it to me, but hard to tell, so he may have. But on the second video at the 4:09 mark he was likely being tailgated, you will see how quick the silver car is going by him as he starts the right turn, like to see a rear view as well, but still a good video over all:-)
How to shoulder check
It's interesting that he says you have to shoulder check twice for a right turn, once half a block ahead and once just before the turn but he doesn't say why. The first shoulder check is to watch for bicycles or anything else that may be there before you move closer to the right edge of the road prior to the turn, effectively to close off that space to anything coming up behind you and getting on your inside before the turn, the second check is to make sure that nothing got on your inside.
Actually he does say why
Watch the 2nd video, You will see from the 1 minute mark to the 1:15 minute mark he does explain why, and very well I might add.
I've been meaning to respond to this thread ...
... just haven't had the spare time to tackle it properly. If you're going to take the time to read through this, you may want to go get a beer and a snack to sit down with, because heaven knows, I can be loquacious ...
The video seems mostly aimed at Class 7 'L' drivers, looking for answers on how to pass their Road Test that they're perhaps unable to get from ICBC publications, local Driving School Instructors, or Co-Pilots i.e. Parents. It isn't a "How you should drive" type of production, just a "How to Pass your Road Test" presentation. Which is a bit annoying in and of itself, because there really shouldn't be any difference between the two.
Driver Examiners spend much of each and every day, trying to determine whether C7L applicants have met the criteria necessary to receive their Class 7N License. It's no different, fundamentally, from when most of us got to move on from being issued a Class 5 Learner License to getting our actual Class 5 Driver License (at which point we were provided full unrestricted driving privileges so long as we went in and renewed every five years).
From the DE's point of view, the Applicant already holds a license. They studied the book (to whatever degree), had their eyes tested, satisfactorily responded to some fundamental health questions, answered a sufficient percentage of questions correctly, etc, in order to get that Learner License; and it is a License, not just a permit to practice driving a car.
So what's being determined by this Driving Exam isn't whether or not they can drive, exactly; it's whether or not they will be able to drive, in a safe manner, by themselves. No Co-Pilot required. Not so much a physical task (a monkey could drive a modern car, pretty much) as a mental one. What do they see, and how do they react to it, without prompting, assistance, or guidance? Is their use of visual skills and good judgment evident in how they navigate the road ahead?
So whether it's Driving Schools that spend all their time with their students rehearsing the road test route(s), or Driving Instructors who try to teach robotic behaviour, the DE's ability to reach the right conclusion is made more difficult.
Something I should also mention, is this. In the marking criteria, the Applicant can be marked for improper/insufficient/non-existent use of the mirrors. The difficulty, though, is that it only takes a nano-second for any of us to take a glance at a mirror. The DE knows this; he/she will be doing so ten to twenty times a minute, without the Applicant noticing. Meanwhile, even if the Applicant is doing so, it obviously won't be obvious (I like that terrible turn of phrase) unless the DE is staring at their eyeballs the whole time - instead of the conditions ahead and around them. Hence, the emphasis on shoulder checks. And, unfortunately, the common failure to note how well (or not) the applicant makes use of the mirrors.
So let's see how many errors Rick makes - this may surprise you, because his presentation is pretty slick.
NO, you DON'T. It's pointless and robotic. The necessity for shoulder checks is based on whether you're about to make a lateral movement such as moving over prior to the turn, and whether something or other (such as a bicyclist or pedestrian) has gotten into, or is approaching, the blind spot on that side of the vehicle.
In the practical application then, let's say a driver is northbound on a side street approaching a Stop Sign (as an example) and about to turn right, it will be expected that he will shoulder check before moving over nearer the right curb - and then, after scanning the crosswalk area and main road (at which point he no longer knows what might be in that blind spot) he will need to check again before proceeding.
But it's still not that simple (still referring to a right turn, here, where the Applicant was facing a Stop Sign.). There will be occasions when the view is limited, perhaps due to buildings, fences, bushes, etc near the road edge - it can be quite different out here on the wet coast, compared to the interior, for instance; both in terms of land value and useage as well as natural vegetation. So sometimes, incremental vehicle movements are needed before the driver can determine whether the turn can be made safely; and any time the driver may have lost track of what's adjacent to him in the blind spot, such as cyclists who are dumb enough to be there, or pedestrians who are actually in conflict, or pending, can be accommodated.
But hang on a minute, what if you're a different driver, westbound, approaching from the right, on the main road? Do you have to make two shoulder checks before turning, according to ICBC Road Test criteria? Heck, no! An initial check before moving the car over nearer the curb, yes, but after that and a scan of the intersection area, a simple glance in the right hand mirror is sufficient before turning (provided the driver didn't stop for some reason, and lose track of what wasn't there on his right).
I'm not done, yet. Every turn means the same thing for left turns, right? And that's certainly how Rick is demonstrating what he thinks is mandated. Well at risk of repeating myself, NO, you DON'T. It's pointless and robotic.
Logically, prior to those left turns where he doesn't even need to stop before the turn, what does he think he's looking for with that left shoulder check half a block beforehand? Some rocket powered cyclist, passing him in the oncoming traffic lane?
So what about when he gets into the intersection, immediately prior to executing the maneuver? Well yes, a left-shoulder check, but it's more than that when done properly - it's a scan of the whole crosswalk area, and it's sidewalk approaches; which is really what you do with right turns, too, with the second shoulder check. (Really important when turning left from a one-way street of course, but they don't typically do that on Road Tests).
Seriously, eh? It's apparent in the way that he keeps his left hand at 9:00 o'clock on the wheel virtually all the time, even though he's driving a gearshift car (one would expect the left hand to move up the wheel rim for better control) - but also in the way he turns left. Take a look at that first left turn around 1:46 in the video; that right hand starts turning the steering wheel the moment he takes his foot off the brake, cutting the corner. He hasn't properly sighted the turn (as in where he should complete it) until he's already commenced it. A common error, with many drivers who haven't ever been taught how to turn properly.
OK, now let's look at some other things he says - and does - that might be marked as errors on a Road Test, shall we?
Also, a word of advice for those who may be going for their Road Test soon. Don't expect to wear cool shades like that, the Driver Examiner will almost certainly ask you to remove them. Why? Because they want to be able to see where your eyeballs are looking - not where your chin is pointed.
More advice, for Co-Pilots trying to figure out what your Learner Driver has seen, and whether they're using their mirrors properly before shoulder-checking. If they turn their head right around, kinda like this, then they're not making any use of the mirrors at all, as they're looking behind them rather than into the blind spot.
Whatever Rick got his PhD in, it sure as heck wasn't driving, or driving instruction.
A rocket powered cyclist
I have seen some pretty fast motorized bicycles, but even a pedal bike can easily travel at 45 feet per second. Sure the bike should not be in the oncoming lane, but I have seen it many times.
Is there any reason a driver shouldn't double check just to be safer? Would the driver get demerit points on a road exam for double checking?
I just don't see it as pointless if it could even save that very rare occurrence that a long boarder or cyclist or something a driver missed seeing because there was something happening on the right side of the road that made them miss seeing something on the left.
Cyclists can travel quite quickly at times, and may indeed achieve 49.37757074 km/h (I converted for Canadian viewers). But I think it would be absolutely astonishing for a driver checking his mirrors relatively often (or perhaps, not at all) to be travelling in a straight line in a residential neighbourhood and suddenly discover one overhauling him in his left blind spot.
Besides, it wouldn't matter if this was the situation, if you note what I said in my post. That initial shoulder check, approaching an intersection turn, is for the purpose of ensuring there's nothing adjacent to the vehicle before the driver moves it laterally to set up for that turn. A driver approaching an intersection intending to turn left has no need to move left beforehand, (unlike the preparation for a right turn, where you need to move over beforehand).
But it isn't a 'double check' at all. Please, again, note what I said in my post.
The intitial check (where necessary) is to ensure the driver isn't going to move his vehicle laterally into an adjacent vehicle or object existent alongside, that wasn't noticed in his mirrors beforehand.
The next expected check (or checks) will be to ensure nothing has come up alongside when the driver was looking elsewhere, such as at oncoming traffic, cross traffic, or approaching pedestrians, skateboarders, cyclists, or whatever - that might be putting themselves into conflict with the turning vehicle.
As for the demerit points, well no, a driver won't be penalized from looking over their shoulder, even when it's utterly pointless. But what a Driver Examiner is expecting the Applicant to demonstrate is a logical comprehension of where they are in time and space, and what might be coming into conflict with them.
And that's why Rick's advice on the subject is fundamentally wrong. That is not what you're required to do on a Road Test. It's also why Check Ride's remark ...
... is dead on, except that he didn't mention this in the context of left turns, also.
A DE has only a short amount of time to determine whether the Applicant has met the necessary criteria. And on C7L tests, it's not so much a matter of demerit-based (where a certain number will disqualify them) as it is on whether they actively demonstrate the six essential skills I listed in my earlier post.
Hope this helps!
Especially in residential
Is where I don't understand that checking twice can be as you say again "Pointless" as a bike can cut across from hidden areas and never have been in your mirror to begin with, and being human it is very easy to miss something only checking once, so how can checking twice be pointless. I see it as extra safety for the time it takes.
Maybe I have just driven too far and seen to much "Unexpected" out of the blue things happen while driving, and seen by checking twice it has saved me and all I have taught, I have seen near crashes happen after coming to a complete stop at a 2 way stop, and watching the driver I am teaching look both ways and then start to proceed totally never seeing the vehicle or other hazzard coming from where they just looked, and the very reason I don't find it pointless at all to check twice, I'm fully aware how the human mind can miss seeing something even though they are looking or paying attention.
But hey, your allowed your opinion. I will continues to STRESS to check twice, it's paid off way too many times to ignore that it's safer.
Another Way to Look at it
Perhaps he's saying that the mid-block check is redundant because if you are following a regular routine of scanning you already have the awareness of your surroundings needed and the shoulder check at the start of the movement is sufficient.
... and in fact, I hope I made that pretty clear to anybody reading my post.
But how many new & inexperienced drivers have the knowledge or ability of being able to have the proper awareness of their surroundings.
It takes many years to learn what to look for and how to read traffic and always expect the unexpected. Even after years some just don't get it so checking twice just doesn't seem redundant to me. Including me and every class 1 professional I have taught, after passing their class 1 road exam, they "think" they are now professional drivers, after all they are now holding the top drivers license you can get, and after all that training and experience that alone should prove it,,,,,, correct?
Well LOL,,,,, once a driver obtains a class 1 professional license, trust me, they are NOW just beginning to Learn to drive correctly, and with the correct attitude they just might learn, many semi drivers will never be good drivers or professionals, the know it alls are the worst. Ask any real professional and you will hear them call a new class 1 license holder a green horn, or just green, never mind a class 7 or 5 driver.
But that's just my opinion as a professional and almost 4 decades and multi millions kms of experience, after all I am still learning so what do I know,,,,, eh
Professional advice, and input here, and like that.
Well, this is what this Thread is supposed to be about, in reference to Rick's video.
As I explained quite a while back (in my first post to the Thread), the essential purpose of the Class 7L Road Test (apart from fundamental physical control, evidenced by stops, starts, turns, reversing & parking) is to determine whether the Applicant has developed sufficient visual skill and judgment that they're ready to drive solo. Or, as I put it then:
Evidence of fundamental driving knowledge has largely been pre-determined by (what else?) the Knowledge Test that they had to pass at least a year earlier just to get that Class 7L license in their pocket.
The practical application of that knowlege is one of the things being assessed on the Practical Test aka Road Test, by the Driver Examiner.
'Proper awareness of their surroundings'? Unlikely, at that stage. Sufficient knowledge to start building solo experience? Hopefully.
That's why the Applicant then has to achieve a couple more years of successful Class 7N driving before they're allowed to apply for their Class 5 Road Test to lift the Restrictions attached to the Class 7N.
And only once that's been successfully achieved are drivers allowed to apply for a Professional Class license i.e. 1, 2, 3 or 4. In each case, there will be an appropriate Knowledge Test for the class, as well as a Practical Test also appropriate for the class.
And after that, as we know, the driver will (hopefully) start the serious learning needed to operate the vehicle properly in all circumstances, an aquisition of experience and practice which is never really completed except by those who think they know it all.
Well I must admit, I've never called anybody a 'greenhorn', I try not to be condescending with people as it's the antithesis of successful teaching, in my experience. Treating others, particularly those you're teaching, with respect and encouragement always seems to work best (which is not to say I haven't muttered some derogatory comments about other road users' behaviour under my breath, from time to time, trust me on this).
'Professional' ... now that's a word you've used no less than six times in your previous post. So I guess I should mention how it applies to my driving career, just to put a perspective on things.
Having gotten my Class 5 in 1971 when I was 16, like most guys back then, I got my first Professional License - Class 3, with (Air Endorsement) two years later when I was 18; the first job of mine after High School was driving a Mack Cement Mixer. Here in BC (the first province to bring in full license classification rules and qualifications) that meant the full procedure of Knowledge Test and Practical (Road) Test.
In 1974, when I was 19 (having received a leg injury in an industrial accident when a stack of steel shelving bars collapsed - to this day I still have a slight limp, though others notice it more than me after all this time) I was both bored and broke so I got my second Professional License - Class 4, in this case. Knowledge Test, Road Test, same procedure again as Class 3 doesn't cover Class 4. That allowed me to drive Taxi (I kept the crutches in the trunk for a while as my legs were still healing). Did that on and off for quite a few years through probably one or two million miles of driving in various cities.
In 1977 I did in fact get my 'first' Class 1, but as I've mentioned before this was kind of a joke as it was in Manitoba where all you had to do was pay an extra buck. None the less, having already driven various trucks, including tractor units - not just the Mack Cement Mixer with the Maxidyne motor and 6-speed / 2-speed, but various 13- and 15- speed Roadrangers along with a medley of Cornbinders with mostly 5&2s it wasn't any particular difficulty to run some rigs back and forth between Winnipeg and Brandon except for the occasional cross-winds they get out there on the prairies and make the load in your trailer seem insignificant. Fact is, the only transmission (car or truck) that I haven't mastered is the 5&4 but then I never got more than 20 minutes behind the wheel of an Autocar Logging Truck to start figuring that one out.
Once I returned to BC of course, Class 1 reciprocity did not apply. So the only way I was going to have that license again would be through the aforementioned procedures.
In 1987 I decided to get my Driving Instructor License, which, as you might guess, involved a thorough training course, and then again a Knowledge Test and a Practicum, in order to qualify. That would be my third Professional License.
Between 1992 & 1993 I added both Class 4 Training Assessment Officer and Driving Instructor Assessment Officer credentials to my resume. TAO is an accreditation based on experience and knowledge, and only attaches to an Instructor License when one is employed by an accredited Driving School that is providing the appropriately accredited Training Course.
Unless I am mistaken, that is how you obtained your Class 1 Driver license, in Alberta.
(Rick August claims in his bio to be an ICBC Airbrakes Examiner. There is no such thing. Probably he is qualified as an Airbrake Instructor, with TAO accreditation. But if his self-advertising is noted by the folks in the ICBC Driver Training Unit then he will be ordered by them to change his website wording.)
In early 1997, having by then being the Administrator of the Car Division of the largest Driving School in western Canada for a number of years, I figured that as the opportunity was there, I really should obtain a proper Class 1 Driver License, and reached an agreement with the company to ride-check some of their newest Truck Division Instructors from the driving seat as an exchange for some tuning up which I knew I needed for backing with a trailer and so on.
Needless to say, but I'll do it anyway. Once again, I had to pass the necessary Knowledge Test, as well as the Road Test (including a full Airbrake Pretrip of course, even though that properly earned endorsement had been on my Driver License for 24 years). Yet another properly earned Professional License qualification added to my accomplishments, and that was almost 20 years back.
I can't claim to have a kazillion kilometers behind the wheel of a rig by any means, although I've put in my fair share of time behind the wheel of more trucks and buses and automobiles than I would care to count; and I wouldn't hesitate to run any a Class 1 unit down any highway safely and competently.
It's not a matter of talking the talk - I can walk the walk. By heck, I've earned my credentials as a Professional, over, and over, and over, again.
During my career, I've not only driven more miles/kilometers than I care to remember, in various countries, and vastly different traffic and weather conditions - but I've spent thousands of hours teaching others (something I do to this day), or conducting assessments of other drivers abilities.
This experience doesn't just include training teenagers (the only one I've done that with in the last twenty years is my own son), but training trainers - adults from various backgrounds, wishing to enter the Driver Training industry, from Carmen of BC Driving Blog fame to Lars who is behind Insight Rehabilitation, and was probably the first Occupational Therapist to obtain an Instructor License in this province. Awesome guy, liked to go hangliding despite his wheelchair. I spent a week driving a Driver Training school car using only hand controls - operated from the right seat - to properly prepare for that challenge, but that's how I do things. Professionally.
Speaking of OT's, I have spent countless hours conducting Driver Evaluations for organizations such as Community Therapists, in determining whether or not their clients will be capable of re-learning how to drive, and if so, what's going to be needed for them to do so. Including individuals who have been through traumatic injuries, from being exploded off of the top of a trailer due to contact with 14,000 volt wires to the victim of a bank robber, who was forced at gunpoint to try and escape the cops while behind the wheel of her car by a druggy, then shoved out of the vehicle at speed. Or the guy who crashed his Harley so hard that he was six months in a coma afterwards, the woman traumatized by having the load of a logging truck dumped across the highway all over her lanes of freeway traffic, the computer science whiz who had been brain injured in a crash, and seemed pretty much OK until he tried to drive through a Yield sign into the path of a Transit Bus which he had apparently seen. And so on.
Do you realize that I've also employed my skills working as a DriveABLE Examiner, assessing seniors with possible cognitive impairment, a considerable challenge, I assure you.
Are you aware that it's because of an evaluation that I conducted that the first ever Professional License (this for a Class 4 Unrestricted) for a monocular driver was issued in this province? (I still think that Mark Madjyesi was the finest Superintendent of Motor Vehicles we ever had; his intellect and aptitude would put lesser mortals such as Steve Martin or Todd Stone to shame).
Did you ever wonder who was behind Fortis BC's company rule that all of their vehicles must be reversed into parking spaces - or driveways - on the basis of an analysis of their crash rates, based on shadowing some of their drivers when on the job? Yup, that would be down to me.
Accenture, BC Hydro, City of North Vancouver, District of Richmond, Shell Oil, UBC Lands & Buildings ... just the beginning of a long list of companies for whom I've conducted Driver Evaluations.
The only time I ever got hit in an intersection was back in 1975 when some fool (later charged with impaired driving) clobbered me on the blind side, by belting up a one-way street. The wrong way. At about 60 mph.