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This is a copy of a driving manual that I wrote as part of an effort to update police driving skills. The Slkworld.com forum has provided me with a lot of valuable information, and offering free copies of this manual is my way of saying thank you. You will also find pictures of my SLK55 on the front cover and back cover—a vehicle that has tested my driving skills on several different occasions.

EDIT:

Oct 26 2019: The attachment titled DSB_52R is the revised driving manual.

You can download the same driving manual from tacticaldrivingskills.com.
 

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Administrator - Founding Member
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Thanks David!

I am sure it will help any young sons/daughters of members to read it!
 

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Just had a quick skim and run through the Q's.
Initial thoughts are that it looks good and worth a proper read.
Nice job.

Sidenote. Glad you put that Oldsmobile up. Reminds me of my late father's UK Vauxhall Victor.
I loved that car!.
 

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Never hurts for us olds to refresh either, Jeff.
Bad habits creep in slowly.
Jeff WAS talking about us Myk ("young ones"). He's the old one :wink:
 

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I wrote this driving manual for experienced drivers who would like to improve their driving skills, and I was surprised to hear that people who recently completed a driver’s training program were reading the manual because it covered material that was not covered in their driver’s training program. Many of the driving techniques that are currently being taught in the USA cannot be applied to modern vehicles. For example, many of the young drivers are not being taught how to use ABS brakes correctly or how to adjust the side mirrors to avoid blind spots. Some of the driving instructors are teaching techniques that were not very useful 10 or 20 years ago and are almost completely useless when driving a modern vehicle.

I started working on this driving manual several years ago when I realized that driving a ¾ ton diesel pickup truck and a Harley-Davidson motorcycle did not prepare me to drive an SLK. Some of the techniques in this manual are based on tactical driving skills, such as the SIR Method, and others are based on vehicular dynamics, such as recovering from an understeer or oversteer skid and preventing a rollover. The steering techniques I presented in the manual are based on the steering techniques that I used when I was doing a lot of pursuit driving in Miami, and I’ve seen similar techniques being used in autocross and drifting.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
How to Print the PDF

You should be able to print the PDF if you follow these steps.

The first two steps are easy (1) download and open the PDF and (2) click your left mouse button and select Print after you download the PDF.

Contrary to what you might expect, instead of printing the PDF, you will be told that you need to save the PDF. When you save the PDF, use the file name DSB_50.

After you save the PDF, open your Adobe Acrobat Reader, select File, select Open, and then open DSB_50. After you open DSB_50, select File again and then select Print—which should print the driving manual.

If this method does not work on your computer, please let me know and I’ll do the best I can to help you. The last duty assignment I had before I retired from the Miami-Dade Police Department was developing computer-based training programs and writing computer code, but that was a long time ago.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
When I was working on the driving manual shown at the top of this thread— which members of this forum can download for free—I noticed that a large number of states and organizations were advocating driving techniques that were 10 to 15 years old and dangerous or difficult to use when applied to most modern vehicles. One manual told drivers to pump the brakes when making an emergency stop, which is a bad technique if you have ABS brakes, and another manual told drivers to put their right arm on top of the passenger’s seat and then turn around and look through the rear window when backing up, which is hard to do if you are driving an SLK.

I need some help. I would like to know more about the techniques that other SLK drivers use when they back up. Where do you put your hands, where do you look, and how much do you rely on your radar sensors?
 

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When I was working on the driving manual shown at the top of this thread— which members of this forum can download for free—I noticed that a large number of states and organizations were advocating driving techniques that were 10 to 15 years old and dangerous or difficult to use when applied to most modern vehicles. One manual told drivers to pump the brakes when making an emergency stop, which is a bad technique if you have ABS brakes, and another manual told drivers to put their right arm on top of the passenger’s seat and then turn around and look through the rear window when backing up, which is hard to do if you are driving an SLK.

I need some help. I would like to know more about the techniques that other SLK drivers use when they back up. Where do you put your hands, where do you look, and how much do you rely on your radar sensors?
1) trying to use the passenger mirror more, now that I've coordinated it with reverse (obviously when parallel parking).
2) turn my whole body (when stopped, not while driving) at 45o and look through the roll bars

Hardly ever use the sensors as they can't/don't detect those $#@*$ concrete blocks. In reality, I park so that my front is even with the front of the car beside me. Or my front is even with his rear. or my back is even with his back. Those blocks do not come into play.

I never have the top up when I'm cruisin' so the rear window does not come into play.

There is always 3-4 feet space at my front/rear. All depends on whether I'm facing frontwards or rearwards.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I’m not recommending that other SLK drivers use this method, but this is the method I use when driving my SLK through a narrow obstacle course in reverse: (1) use the 9 and 3 hand position and (2) use both side mirrors.

If the space I have to maneuver is one inch of each side, I adjust my rearview mirror so I can see the rear warning display in the mirror and monitor the radar sensors that are on my rear bumper.

If I’m backing so I can make a two-point turn or I’m doing a reverse serpentine, I use the 9-3 hand position, the side mirrors, and the rearview mirror—but not the radar sensors.

Like LeonardoDaBenz, when driving on the street “I hardly ever use the sensors.”
 

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Discussion Starter #12
If you have friends or family who would like a copy of this driving manual but cannot download it from this forum because they are not members, they can go to www.tacticaldrivingskills.com and download the free PDF version of this manual. This PDF is free because the possibility that someone will avoid a serious or fatal accident because of reading this manual more than compensates for the two years and several thousand dollars I’ve spent writing the manual. I would also like to thank all of the members of this forum who have contributed valuable information that I was able to use in this manual.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
The reference-point method has been around for at least 15 years. The theory is simple: If you are sitting in your car, you line up a point on your car, such as the center of your hood, with a point on the ground, such as a curb. According the reference-point method, “the curb will appear to be at the center of the hood.”

When I tested this method, I lined up three 12-foot boards that were 4-inches wide and about 1-inch thick, and I used the seat position I normally use, which means my wrists touch the top of the steering wheel and my left foot is on the dead pedal. Here are the test results:

Center of hood touches edge boards: I would drive over the boards.

Center of hood is about 6 inches from edge of boards: I would brush the edge of the boards.

Center of hood is about 12 inches from edge of boards: I would be about 6 inches from edge of boards.

This test was not 100% accurate because the center of an SLK’s hood is not always easy to see because of poor lighting or reflections, and sometimes it’s hard the find the center of the hood without changing the position of your head. Since your seating position and your height can change the relationship between the center of your hood and a curb, you should test the reference-point method yourself before you use it when parking next to a high curb.

This is the method I use:

First, before I approach a curb, I lower my side mirrors so I can see how far my rear wheel is from a curb. I use two programmed seat positions: (1) my normal seat position with side mirrors in a normal position and (2) my normal seat position with the side mirrors in a lowered position. You can also program your side mirrors so you can see how far your rear wheel is from a curb when you shift into reverse.

Second, I approach the curb slowly, use the reference-point method to position myself about 6 to 12 inches from the curb, and stop. Then I use my lowered side mirror to check the distance between my rear wheel and the curb, and I move closer to the curb if necessary. In Florida, you need to park within 12 inches from a curb.

If any of you test the reference-point method yourself, I would like to know your results.
 

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Just a few thoughts since your aim is "for experienced drivers". Some things learned long ago
1) A long time ago I was taught the first thing is to make sure everything in the cockpit (hard to do in a police car) is secured. The last thing you need in hard braking is an incompressible water bottle wedged under the brake pedal.
2) Most drivers have no idea what driving really fast is like. Closest analog is to driving on ice except the pavement is dry. Is a lot like dancing. To most 8/10 feels fast, great drivers can do 11/10 (and it looks slow).
3) Anything you do suddenly is wrong, everything needs to be plotted out in advance
4) Never cross your hands on the wheel. What works is a slow (nothing sudden) shuffle that keeps both hands near 9 and 3.
5) Don't sit too close to the wheel, it is hard to be smooth.
6) Learned a long time ago to use seat belts. Worst case it keeps the passenger out of you lap when need to concentrate on driving.
7) "Gut" instincts are often right. Slow down when unsure.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
The 2013 edition of Roadcraft has more useful information in it than any of the driver’s training books I've read that were published in the USA. The most recent driver’s training book I have was published about 10 years ago, and the book is almost three times more expensive than Roadcraft.

A recent study by Volvo is titled “Americans Believe Driver’s Ed Isn’t Good Enough,” and it’s possible that part of this problem relates to the high cost and poor quality of the textbooks being used.

From the 2019 Volvo report:

“The quality and accessibility of driver education is declining, with Americans seeking a more modern and comprehensive approach to learning how to drive, according to a new survey conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of Volvo Cars.”

Better quality and less expensive driving textbooks would be a good step in the right direction, and I’m looking forward to reading the new 2020 edition of Roadcraft. You can look in the bibliography of my 50-page driving manual—which you can download for free using the link show above—if you would like to see some of the books I used when writing the manual.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Distracted, impaired, and reckless driving and sometimes not wearing a seat belt are often considered the major causes for serious accidents in the USA, but I believe that poor training or no training is also a major cause for serious accidents. Many drivers are using or being taught obsolete driving skills that are dangerous to use when driving modern vehicles and very little public money is spent on driver’s training in this country. Perhaps some of you can tell me if driver’s training is publicly funded and considered important in other countries. The UK seems to be much more serious about driver’s training than we are here in the USA.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
This is a technique that truck drivers call “alley dock backing,” but it can also be used when backing into a parking space with a vehicle that does not have a backup camera, such as an SLK.

I took this quote from the revised 52-page version of my driving manual.

“If you are using your side mirrors when backing into a space, you can drive forward perpendicular to the space, turn right or left away from the space so your vehicle is parallel to the space, and then back up. To see the borders of a space when backing up, you can rotate your side mirrors downward.”

You can download a free revised PDF version of the driving manual by going to tacticaldrivingskills.com Then revised version has two more pages than the original version.
 

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You can download a free revised PDF version of the driving manual by going to tacticaldrivingskills.com Then revised version has two more pages than the original version.
REVISED manual attached to post 1 now :tu:
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I thought SLK drivers might this information useful.

Economy of motion:

If you are constantly being forced to make course corrections during a turn because you rotated the steering wheel too much or not enough, your steering will be inefficient and slow even when you follow the best possible line through a curve. Based on the research I’ve been doing for the driving manual, what often separates an experienced driver from a novice is the ability to avoid making unnecessary movements. This general concept is called "economy of motion," which means that if you want to be fast and smooth at the same time, you need to avoid wasting energy or losing time because of making unnecessary movements.
 
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