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How to slow down - brakes or down change gears?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Motoring
70 replies 15.1K views
12346

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  • edited 13 June 2009 at 8:29PM
    cajefcajef Forumite
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    edited 13 June 2009 at 8:29PM
    derrick wrote: »
    The reason that learners are taught up and down through the gears, is to show the examiner that they can use the gears both ways.

    As an ex driving instructor I can assure you that learners nowadays are not taught to go through the gears, and examiners can give marks to candidates sometimes for incorrect use of gears if they go down through the gearbox, going through the gears in certain situations is considered unnecessary use of gears.

    The DSA requirement is now the same as the I.A.M standards, and examiners also look for block gear changing, i.e. as you approach a roundabout or hazard brake to the appropriate speed in the gear you are in then change directly to the gear you require to negotiate the hazard, which may mean changing directly from fourth to second or even into first and missing out third and/or second completely.
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  • ArmengarArmengar Forumite
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    Depends on what I am doing. If I am approaching a corner then I release the accelerator if I know I can round the bend in the same gear (or perhaps a single downshift). If I "naturally" need to drop a few gears then I use the brakes and change down to accelerated - skipping gears as necessary (but ending up in the correct gear to accelerate). I use the brakes for hazards without question and also am in line with "brakes are cheaper" certainly than turbos, gearboxes, clutches, my gear selection happens after hazard approach (dropping as many as necessary).

    I keep both hands on the wheel where necessary and used to cringe when I saw my son drive (after passing his test) changing down sequentially even round bends...

    Mirroring the bikers on here, sequential dropping of gears will simply lock the rear wheel and in an emergency you typically squeeze the clutch easier anyway (well I do - maybe thats a bad habit) and you do this a lot with people ignoring a high vis vest wearing lump of steel oncoming... but that is another thread.

    Never been on an IAM or RoSPA etc. Wouldnt mind doing one as I do drive a lot and probably have bad habits. I did do a motorcycle refresher course after being out for a few years - that was good to do.
  • jackiebjackieb Forumite
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    My driving instructor says to always make sure I was in second gear by the time I got to the triangle that was painted on the road at a give way junction.

    I was quite proud of the time I managed to drive 40 miles and only needed to brake twice (at junctions). Every other time I slowed down I always did it by changing down gears and didn't need to brake.

    I can't stand being behind someone who brakes every 30 seconds. But I do drive far enough behind them that I usually don't need to brake, but it's still annoying! I now drive an automatic and find I have to brake more than I do with a manual.
  • derrickderrick Forumite
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    jackieb wrote: »

    I was quite proud of the time I managed to drive 40 miles and only needed to brake twice (at junctions). Every other time I slowed down I always did it by changing down gears and didn't need to brake.

    .

    Problem with not using brakes is that you do not warn people behind,(via brake lights), that you are slowing, as some people cannot judge the road/hazards/distance, so IMO another reason to use brakes to slow down.
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  • MarkytMarkyt Forumite
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    I remember seeing this question in 'Honest Johns' Telegraph column years ago.

    His view was that you should use the brakes - they have cmponents that are designed to wear out and be replaced easily, while your engine and gearbox doesn't. There is nothing to be gained, mechanically or financially, from saving wear and tear on your brakes by using the gearbox instead.
  • Premier_2Premier_2 Forumite
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    derrick wrote: »
    Problem with not using brakes is that you do not warn people behind,(via brake lights), that you are slowing, as some people cannot judge the road/hazards/distance, so IMO another reason to use brakes to slow down.

    Provide a hand signal if necessary.

    Doing so usually confuses the heck out of most other road users nowadays :D
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  • derrickderrick Forumite
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    premier wrote: »
    Provide a hand signal if necessary.

    Doing so usually confuses the heck out of most other road users nowadays :D


    And get wet through if it's raining :D

    Dead right, do they still teach hand signals for the test?
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  • roswellroswell Forumite
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    Hand signals are still in the highway code, I have used them before when towing (a broken down vechile) to signal my intentions to rear traffic :-) donth thing they understood them but i did them :-) (im 28 they werent part of my test 11 years ago)
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  • flang wrote: »
    You do not have full control of your vehicle by only using the brakes!!!

    Really, so you have more control while braking and using the clutch with only one hand on the steering wheel?

    Ok, whatever you think.
  • flangflang Forumite
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    Really, so you have more control while braking and using the clutch with only one hand on the steering wheel?

    Ok, whatever you think.
    I dont use the clutch with my hands! I change gear and bring the clutch up with my foot.
    When Im slowing down at high speed I will always change down gear to lets say 5 to 3 or 5 to 2 with my foot on the brake.
    That way you slow the car down a lot quicker and you dont run the risk of your tyres slipping on ice/oil as much!
    PS I hate drivers that constantly have their brakes on when going down hills! Change down freeking gear!!
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