How to do an Emergency Stop

Being able to do an emergency stop is a vital skill when learning to drive and not just for the UK driving test, but also so that you’re a safer driver in everyday driving conditions. If you’re a parent checking your facts  on how to teach your child to drive, this is a key skill to help make them into a safe driver.

While you’re here, you may also be interested in how to use the two second rule while driving to help keep a safe distance from the car in front.


How to do an emergency stop (video transcript)

Hi my name is Noel Gaughan; I’m the lead driving instructor of Intensive Courses at the driving school. Today we are going to do the emergency stop. The reason we do the emergency stop is if somebody jumps out in front of you or walks out in front of you. You’ve got to watch for kids, children and people in a hurry – so be careful.

You need to stop the car under control; this is what we are going to do. So when you are stopping the car under control, what I mean by that is you break, then clutch firmly – don’t jump on the pedals just push firmly. You don’t need to change your mirrors for this one because you have to stop rapidly, it doesn’t make any difference what’s behind you as somebody has walked out in front of you. So it’s really important to keep your two hands on the wheel at all times.

We are going to drive off and we are going to do the emergency stop.

So, driving down the road minding your own business, picking up a little bit of speed and all of a sudden you have to use emergency stop. So we break, clutch, keep both hands on the wheel, stop for a couple of seconds, secure the handbrake and then neutral.

Take a deep breath, you’ve had a shock so don’t panic. Once it’s safe and you feel okay to drive on, check both blind spots and then drive away if it’s safe.

Last updated: 07/11/2023

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