Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Tasmania, Australia
Vehicle: 2007 SLK 280 Designo Graphit
Other Toys: Rickenbacker Guitars
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I was taught to drive in a manual car. My instructor (ex Hendon Police Academy) told me that when stopped at traffic lights I should disengage the gears and apply the handbrake. His reasoning was that, apart from wear on the clutch realease mechanism (which is minimal, he said) if rear-ended or in wet weather it is less likely that your foot could slip off the brake pedal and so you are less likely to hit the car in front.
I've always followed that advice...but to be spot-on with my getaway, I watch the traffic lights so that "their" amber and red becomes my "ready, set..." before "go". For most lights in my town, I know I have 3 secords between "their" red and "my" green, so I'm getting ready to go by applying the foot brake and slipping back into gear. When I get the green, I simultaneously release the hand brake and move my foot smartly from the foot brake to the throttle.
I was told that auto boxes did not like that treatment, so when I started to drive cars with automatic tranmissions, like many others I left the car in gear at lights holding the car on the footbrake AND handbrake.
One wet day a car coming towards me lost control and hit me HEAD ON at about 80kph/50mph. The impact was enough to push my car (a heavy Rover P6B) back about 2 meters (6 ft) and yes, the impact was such that my foot slipped off the foot brake, leaving just the hand brake on...but because the gearbox was "in gear" two months after having the car rebuilt and back on the road the gearbox failed with fractured clutches and shafts....so it could be that the box would have been ok if it had have been moved into neutral at those lights....maybe....so now even at lights a move the box into "N" and apply the handbrake once again.
Last edited by Rick_In_Tas; 02-19-2012 at 06:33 AM.
Reason: just editing!