Friday 5: driving techniques you were taught but are now wrong
Remember your driving lessons? Don’t pass these golden oldies on to your kids:
DRIVING EVOLVES, but we aren’t required to do any more training after our license, more’s the pity. So here’s five techniques that you might need to update:
- Hold the steering wheel at 9-3 not 10-2 – do not hold the steering wheel at 10-2, only 9-3. We explain why here;
- You don’t have to use shuffle steering – you were told always to shuffle-steer, tiny movements of hands to move the steering wheel. But now, with modern power steering and quick-ratio steering racks, there’s much less need. At speed, simply grasp the steering wheel at 9-3 and keep your hands there, even up to 120 degrees of steering. You’ll be more accurate and relaxed. The shuffle-steer has its place at lower speeds with more steering lock though, but even then there’s alternatives. Read more here;
- Don’t cadence brake in an emergency – the idea of pulsing the brakes on and off is totally dead. All modern cars have ABS these days, so the technique is simple; slam your foot to the floor and keep it there, letting ABS take care of avoiding a skid;
- You can overlap – the old idea of brake down to your required speed, then change gear, then drive around the corner. Oh so tiresome, and nobody bothered with such silly ideas once they passed their test. And now, even the most slow moving driver training organisations are admitting that perhaps the idea of braking and changing down at the same time might not lead to a complete loss of control; and
- You can use third-gear on tight corners – many drivers are fixed on the idea of second gear in corners, and back in the day when cars were low-powered four-speed manuals that made sense. Now, we have much more powerful cars with six manual speeds, so third gear for a ninety degree suburban corner is the ideal gear.
There’s more – for example skip-shifting is now a thing – but what are you doing now that you were taught not to when you were first learning to drive?