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The IPSGA routine is a Five Phase System of car control. It is an abbreviation of Information, Position, Speed, Gears, Acceleration (Deceleration).
It is more applicable on the roads today than MSPSL. Although, a fundamentally important routine, in particular, for learner drivers, MSPSL is more time-consuming than the IPSGA. Police drivers are trained in the IPSGA routine. A great resource, as background reading, is RoadCraft - Police Driver's Handbook. If you ever decide to take an Advanced Driving Test you'd be expected to demonstrate the correct use of the IPSGA routine. In our humble opinion, an Advanced Driving Test should be compulsory every ten years (sorry!).

We often recommend taking an Advanced Driving Test to our learner drivers, some of whom do go on to take it after taking the Pass Plus scheme and a few months on the road. At Enjoy More Driving, we often start teaching advanced driving once the driver is near or at DSA Driving Test standard. Those who've passed their DSA standard driving test with 4 or less minor faults, tend to find taking the Advanced Driving Test smooth-sailing.

It just flows - makes a driver safer and ... to boot better discounts on the Insurance Premiums. A Win Win situation.

Use of the IPSGA System in Driving

Using this five phase system whilst driving will produce a higher degree of control whilst manoeuvring a hazard giving rise to a more fluid and efficient drive. The System has to be used in sequence.
Whilst looking well ahead, as far as the horizon if necessary, look out for an event change. This could be anything that might make you Slow down, Swerve, or Stop, in effect change your speed or direction.
Now consider if the change is going to result in a hazard for you as the driver. There are two main types of hazard 'Static' and 'Developing';

  • static hazards are bends, humps and humped bridges, crossings and changing road systems (dual to single etc), junctions and roundabouts.
  • developing hazards are more complex because the hazard itself my well be moving and unpredictable.
    • In either case IPSGA is used.

      Information: This stretches through the other 4 stages, as it is a continuous process.
 Information is received from the outside world by observation, and given by use of signals such as direction indicators, headlamp flashes, brake lights, road position, speed, and horn. It is further broken up into 3 sub-sections (TUG):

      • Take in all the information about what is going on around you.

      • Use that information to decide how you are going to approach what you are doing
      • Give information back, by letting other road users know what you are going to do, for example by indicating.
        • Make sure you are aware of everything that is going on in front, behind and to the sides, and that should be as far as you can reasonable see, and not just in front of your nose.

          Position: Once you are sure that it is safe to do so, position yourself for safety, visibility and correct routing to negotiate the hazard to make best progress.

          Speed: appropriate to the hazard being approached, attained via explicit braking or engine braking, always being able to stop in the distance you can see to be clear on your side of the road.

          Gear: appropriate for maximum vehicle control through the hazard, selected in one shift. Avoid snatched gear changes by planning ahead.

          Acceleration: for clearing the hazard safely. Use the accelerator to maintain your speed and stability through the hazard. Having successfully negotiated the hazard increase your speed uniformly and smoothly at the appropriate point of exit.

          The taking, using and giving of Information (TUG) is, arguably, most important and envelopes (and pushes) the five phases. It may, and often should, be re-applied at any phase in the System.
          The benefit of applying a systematic approach to driving is to reduce the simultaneous demands on the vehicle, the driver mentally and the driver physically. The System, both MSPSL and IPSGA, seek to separate out the phases of a manoeuvre into a logical sequence so that the vehicle and the driver avoid being overwhelmed by having to do too much at the same time. It allows for effective Observation, timely Anticipation, and concise Planning for use of appropriate Control to make best Progress [OAP-CP].

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