The Cockpit Drill
Before starting your journey you should make a series of checks that will enhance both your safety and comfort. The following checks are known as the Cockpit Drill.
Opening: Before opening the doors, make sure they will not collide with a passing pedestrian or vehicle. In the Yaris, the doors open with a remote switch on the key fob.
Make sure that the boot and all the doors are closed properly. In the Toyota Yaris a warning light will come on in the instrument panel if this is not the case. A visual check can also be made by checking the door alignment in the door mirrors. Your "Really Good" instructor will show you how to do this.
Finding the right driving position is essential for both safety and comfort. You must check and adjust your seating to ensure that you are in the correct driving position. You need to be able to reach all the controls without having to stretch out or be "cramped up." Driving whilst sitting in a poor position can put your back under strain and cause injury.
Foot Position: Move the seat forwards - using the adjusting bar under the front of the seat - until you can engage the clutch pedal fully down without feeling your left leg is overstretched. The lever for this is under your seat in the Yaris.
Height: Raise the seat as high as you can without your head touching the roof. There is a lever at the door side of your seat in the Yaris for this.
Reach: Recline the seat back to the point where your shoulders and upper back are resting comfortably on the seat and your arms are slightly bent when you hold the steering wheel.
Steering Wheel Adjustment:
Adjust the height and reach of the steering wheel so that your hands, whilst holding the steering wheel, rest slightly lower than your shoulders.
Head Restraint: Now adjust your head restraint so that the base of the restraint is level with the base of your skull where it meets the top of the neck. The restraint should be about an inch away from the back of your head whilst you are driving. Remember the head restraint is there to prevent whiplash injuries so it is important it is positioned correctly.
The interior mirror gives the biggest field of view. It should be set so that the driver can see as much as possible of the road behind without having to move their neck or body. When adjusting the mirror try not to put fingermarks on the glass, as this causes a smearing effect.
Door Mirrors: The door mirrors give the driver extra view to the sides and are usually made of convex glass. This makes objects appear further away than they really are, while the interior mirror gives a “true” view. The door mirrors should be set to show a little of the sides of the vehicle, and are set using electric adjusters on the Yaris.
Seatbelts save lives!
The laws states that whilst driving a car you must wear your seatbelt at all times, except when performing a reversing manoeuvre or if you have a medical exemption certificate. For comfort and safety you should adjust the height of the seatbelt so that the belt gives a slight pressure over the top of your right shoulder, with no gap between the belt and the front of your shoulder. Check to ensure the belt is free of any kinks and twists which could impair it's function. It is the drivers responsibility to make sure anyone under the age of 14 is wearing a seatbelt.
The Cockpit Drill is now complete
That's it! With a bit of practice the cockpit drill will soon become a routine that takes no more than a couple of minutes.