K53 car controls for learners & defensive driving

K53 Learner's License Guides | 0 comments

Understanding the K53 car controls & the defensive driving method helps lay a foundation for the correct manoeuvre of a vehicle.

K53 car controls diagram

Study the K53 car controls diagram below and then read through each description that follows.

K53 car Controls, Learners License Test, Drivers Test
K53 car controls

1. Rear-view mirror

They used for observing objects behind your vehicle.

2. Windscreen wipers

Windscreen wipers are used in rainy weather to keep your windshield clear or for cleaning the windshield.

3. Side mirrors

Use your side mirrors for visibility of objects on either the left or right-hand side of your vehicle.

4. Steering wheel

A K53 control that turns your vehicle in the direction in which you would like to go.

5. Indicator lever

Indicate your intention with this K53 control to move your vehicle in either a left or right direction.

6. Gear lever

Change your gears into a higher gear, a lower gear, or reverse by using the gear lever. You will use the gear lever in conjunction with the clutch.

7. Handbrake

Fully engage your handbrake K53 control when your vehicle is stationary and parked on a decline.

8. Clutch

Fully engage your clutch when you need to change your gear lever into a lower gear, a higher gear or reverse.

9. Brake

Make use of your K53 brake control when you want to slow your vehicle down or when you want to bring your vehicle to a complete stop.

10. Accelerator

Engage your K53 accelerator control to provide your vehicle with power so that you can move your car in a forward or backward direction.

11. Hooter

Use your hooter to warn other pedestrians or drivers that you are nearby. Using your hooter can help avoid a collision.

The K53 defensive driving method

K53 is a method of driving called ‘defensive driving’. It was designed to keep all road users safe and is just as essential to know and understand as the K53 car controls.

The defensive driving method explained.

1. Search

Be constantly looking in all directions for any potentially dangerous or hazardous conditions. A hazard is anything that has the potential of causing a driver to change direction or speed suddenly. If you need to suddenly change direction or speed, use your K53 car controls appropriately.

2. Identify

Identify hazards on the road that may affect your behaviour while driving. For example, keep a lookout for road repairs taking place and follow the road signs.

3. Predict

Predict what may happen as a result of a hazardous condition, and be prepared to respond accordingly.

4. Decide

Decide on an appropriate response to the hazard that will ensure the safety of all road users.

5. Safety first

Keep a safe following distance of at least two seconds, on a dry road, between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you.

Increase the following distance when:

  • Visibility is poor
  • Being tailgated (a vehicle behind you that is too close to you)
  • The road is wet
  • Your car is heavily loaded

Keeping a safe following distance

The defensive driving method in practice


When signalling to move into another lane:

1. Observe 360º

Look to the front, left, right, and relevant mirrors to ensure it is safe all around the vehicle before signalling.

2. Check the blind spots.

Look over your relevant shoulder to make sure that it is safe in your ‘blind spot’.

3. Signal your intention.

Use your indicator lever to signal your intention to warn other road users that you are about to change lanes.


When braking and changing gears to move into the next lane:

1. Observe again

Having signalled, use the mirrors to check all around you that it is still safe to move into the next lane.

2. Apply the brakes

Gently apply the brakes to reduce your speed, if necessary.

3. Use the gears

Select the appropriate gear if needed.


Lastly, when moving into the next lane:

1. Check your blind spots again

Look over your relevant shoulder again to make sure it is still safe.

2. Steer

If it is safe to do so, steer in the direction you want to go.

3. Accelerate

If necessary, increase your speed and recheck the mirrors to make sure it is safe behind you.

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