The Most Important Routines for Learner Drivers

As you start to take more driving lessons, you will soon discover that routines will help you take on the many challenges you face on the road, in addition to helping you learn more about how to operate a vehicle effectively.

To help with that, we have compiled a short list of some of the most important driving routines, so you can focus on them during your lessons or have an idea of what to expect prior to starting your driving lessons.


M.S.M stands for “Mirror, Signal, Manoeuvre” and is one of the very first routines that you will learn when driving. You will execute it upon pulling out and will also use it a lot when approaching junctions, roundabouts, and while conducting manoeuvres.

The general idea is that you check all of the mirrors relevant to the manoeuvre you are about to execute, ensuring the coast is clear for you to begin. You then apply a signal, to let any nearby road users and pedestrians understand your intentions. With those two actions completed, you can successfully execute the manoeuvre.


Also known as the “cockpit check”, D.S.S.S.M stands for “Door, Seat, Steering, Seatbelt, and Mirror.” It is conducted whenever you get into the vehicle, even if you are confident that everything is in place.

For check the door to ensure it is closed correctly, before moving onto adjusting the seat. You should be in a comfortable position to reach the pedals and control the steering wheel while ensuring the top of the seat’s headrest is approximately level with the top of your head.

From there you double check that you can hold your hands in the correct position on the steering wheel and strap on your seat belt. A quick check of both driver’s door mirrors and the rear-view mirror follows, with adjustments being made as necessary.


Safety is paramount in all aspects of driving, including parking. That’s where the S.C.A.L.P routine comes into play. This stands for “Safe, Convenient and Legal Position” and will help you to identify good parking spots that don’t endanger pedestrians, other vehicle owners, or yourself.


Similarly to M.S.M, P.O.M is all about making sure the vehicle is prepared for the action you are about to take. In this case, the acronym means “Prepare, Observe, and Move” and relates to when you are moving the car from a stationary position.

Examiners will look to ensure you have prepared the car correctly, which means finding the right gear and reaching the biting point on the clutch. Observe relates to your mirror and blind spot checks, with the move part being obvious.


L.A.D.A means “Look, Assess, Decide, and Act” and it is applied constantly when you are on the road. It is a test of your ability to observe what is going on around you when driving and your ability to react to impending hazards.

It applies practically everywhere, including when pulling out from a junction, overtaking, and in examining other vehicles. As such, L.A.D.A should be kept in mind and executed at all times.