Should you change down the gears whilst slowing down in traffic or to stop at the side of the road?

(Q) Should you change down the gears whilst slowing down in traffic or to stop at the side of the road?

(A) No. Put simply, the gears are for going – the brakes are for slowing. Brake down to the speed you require, then go into a gear suitable for that speed. If you have stopped at the side of the road, the gear will be neutral, if in traffic with the prospect of moving almost immediately, it will be 1st.

 

(Q) Should you cross your hands whilst steering?

(A) This is not good practice. It is also possible to overdo the “feeding the wheel through the hands” technique so that too becomes cumbersome, and therefore also bad practice. Something in between will produce the best control. Crossing the hands will not cause failure in the driving test unless it is taken to extremes and the steering control is lost. Do not confuse the crossing of hands of Formula 1 drivers with ordinary driving. Their steering is so direct and highly geared (full lock with very little steering wheel movement) that it is the best technique – for them. There is a further reason in these days of air bags. If the airbag deploys whilst crossing the hands on the wheel, the arms will be driven into the chest and face with enormouse force, causing very serious injuries.

 

(Q) Is it permissable to allow the wheel to spin back after turning?

(A) This is allowing the car to take control instead of the driver. In many circumstances it can cause the car to not follow the desired course, or even veer off out of control. So why risk it during your driving test? If the front wheels hit a bump or hole or slippery patch whilst you are doing this, the car can swerve violently. I guarantee you won’t want it to happen again! Click here for more information on Steering Wheel control adaptor.