What Does Road Craft Involve?
If you drive down the road towards a roundabout, overtaking a cyclist on the way, stop at the traffic
lights and then take the third exit from the roundabout… then you are using road craft. Being able
to use the pedals, the gears and the steering wheel is car control. Taking this car control and
putting it on the road, where you need to be aware of and interact with other road users, and
understand and respond to road signs and rules, is road craft.
You start learning road craft long before you start driving. From an early age as a pedestrian,
cyclist or car passenger you begin to build up an awareness that we drive on the left in the UK, of
speed limit signs, other road signs, how traffic lights work, and which direction we go around a
roundabout. As you begin to think about driving lessons you will probably start reading the Official
Highway Code, giving you further information and guidance about all aspects of learning to drive.
Don’t skip this step, it’s important to read this carefully, as all aspects of road craft are covered in
here by either rules or guidance, and by following the advice and instructions given, you will be
well on the way to achieving good road craft.
Road craft is what most of your driving lessons will be about, once you have mastered basic car
control. Unless you’re driving on a straight, empty, private road you will be employing road craft.
Every time you interact with another road user, it’s road craft. Every time you approach a junction
or roundabout, or follow the rules of the road, that’s road craft. It’s a fundamental part of driving.
To begin with, particularly if you haven’t used the roads much as a cyclist, road craft can be a bit of
a mystery and the interaction with other drivers can be very nerve-wracking. Gradually though,
starting with quieter roads, you will build up confidence so that you know what to do in any
situation. You’ll build up your experience of different road types and road conditions, of different
road layouts and scenarios.
A good instructor won’t deliberately put you in a situation beyond what you are capable of dealing
with, and will gradually build your road craft by exposing you to increasingly more complex
situations. For example, you’d usually begin on quiet residential roads, and leave driving past a
school at 3.30pm (with all the potential hazards that entails) until you have more experience. A
complex urban roundabout with multiple lanes, traffic lights and fast speeds would also be left until
you had built up considerable experience on smaller roundabouts.
The more experience you get on a wide variety of roads and in lots of different driving conditions,
the more confident you will become at road craft and the safer you will be as a driver. Read the
Highway Code, learn your driving theory, and put it into practice with suitable supervision as often
as you can.
To find out more about learning to drive in Glasgow contact TX Driver Training now on 0141 764