David Carson School of Motoring

Garry Drive



Tel: 07815 964959

email : dcdriving@gmail.com


Driving lessons in Paisley and Glasgow

Emergency Stop

I often get asked about the emergency stop.  Some instructors teach this early and some prefer to teach it later, nearer the test.  I believe we really shouldn’t have to stop in this way if we are reading the road well enough however, sometimes it is necessary, no matter how defensively we drive.   It is not difficult and takes very little time to learn how to carry out safely.  For this reason, I usually leave it till nearer the test so that it is fresh in your mind.  If we really need to do it in a real situation, I do have dual controls!


I sometimes teach this earlier during the first few lessons as some pupils feel safer and more comfortable knowing how quickly they can stop the car if need be and this can help confidence.


So, it usually depends on the learner, but if you would like to try it on your next lesson, let me know but here’s how to do it anyway…..




The examiner will ask you to pull over first and explain that he is about to carry out the controlled stop exercise.  He will ask you to drive on normally and he will raise his hand and say stop.  You should stop as though a small child had ran out in front of you.


Drive on normally and aim for about 20-25mph and get third gear.  The examiner will look over his shoulder to check its ok (don’t slow down at this point).  He will then give the stop signal


Brake firmly but smoothly – don’t attack the brake as this may induce a skid.  Push the brake all the way down.  All the way – just don’t jump on it.  If you stamp on the brake hard, it may cause the wheels to lock and then ABS will kick in to stop this.  This is not a fault in the test but will increase the stopping distance in real life.  ABS is to allow the car to steer whilst braking, not to remove responsibility for braking from the driver.  (I will do a post about ABS).


Keep both hands on the wheel and press the clutch down before you stop.  Pressing the clutch at the same time as the brake will also increase the chance of ABS kicking in and increase the stopping distance.  The car will stop very quickly however so you will be depressing the clutch almost as soon as the brake is all the way down.  Stalling is not a problem anyway.  Stopping quickly and safely is the purpose.


When the vehicle has stopped, apply the handbrake and check the mirrors to ensure all is well.  The examiner will ask you to drive off and at this point ensure you have selected first gear again, check the mirrors and then, as you are not at the kerb, ensure you check BOTH blindspots.  If there is nothing coming and its safe, drive on.