A Conversation for Advanced Driving Techniques

Most dangerous lot of nonsense I have ever read!

Post 21

Gnomon - time to move on

Anybody can still find the Entry by searching or through the index.

I did respond to your posting on changing down. It was totally uninformative, as I said. Telling people that the way they should do something is to look it up in the library does not help at all. When you actually tell me some worth publishing, I'll consider putting it into the Entry.

Tell me. Is there any need to double declutch in a car fitted with syncromesh when driving at low revs in 5th gear and changing down directly to 3rd without slowing down to get extra power?


Most dangerous lot of nonsense I have ever read!

Post 22

Dreaduk

If it's of any value I'm an ex Police driver, now a driving instructor and a RoSPA qualified Car and Motorcycle driver/rider.

My comments generally conform to the Police Drivers Instruction manual and although I don't wholly agree with it, neither do most Cops I have ever worked with but our disagreements are on minor points of technique.

Astonishingly ADI's (Approved Driving Instructors) are required to do no more than pass the same theory and driving test as a learner driver. The only other qualification they have to gain to become an ADI is known as the Part 3 which is a test of their ability to give instruction and is the only element of their qualifications they are re-tested on. ADI's are not required to be any better drivers than anyone else on the road so when you recommend people find a good driving school to hone their techniques of driving there are really only a few to be seriously considered. RoSPA (the foundation of Police driving, you are examined by serving or retired class one Police drivers and re-tested every 3 or 4 years) IAM (basic qualification requires no re-testing but is a low standard anyway) and Diamond (similar to RoSPA).

As for heeling and toeing, it is completely unnecessary in a modern roadgoing car and is simply showing off to oneself.

Changing from 5th to 3rd is commonly known as block changing, it does not require double declutching in a modern car with synchromesh.

Track racing experience on the road can be counterproductive as the training given focuses on using the full width of the track and observations and assessment of oncoming vehicles and uncontrolled hazards are not considered because it is a controlled environment. Cornering is generally accomplished by 'straightlining' whilst RoSPA promotes positioning to enhance observation before committing to straightlining. Having said all that, most of the racing drivers I know are perfectly competent road drivers as they adopt the correct attitude having proven everything they need to prove to themselves on the track; the correct place to drive on the limit.

The most important element of that last paragraph was the term 'attitude' which if we adopt the correct one we should be safe on the road. It is difficult and even the best drivers struggle when they have just had an argument with the wife or their boss but the perception of youth that car = freedom should be eliminated but no government wants to rock the political boat by restricting those who can drive.

What I object to about the original article is that it is written by someone ill informed taking advice from someone ill qualified to give advice and then arguing the points in the face of a lot of people with obviously considerable knowledge of the subject. Youngsters taking the advice given in the original post would imagine themselves well informed and a better driver whereas in fact you are promoting generally bad driving practices. How about I start lecturing to all and sundry on the skills and techniques required to do your job when I have only the most basic qualifications?


Most dangerous lot of nonsense I have ever read!

Post 23

Gnomon - time to move on

The Entry was written by the same method as all the entries on this site, by discussion between a number of well-educated people. If there are parts of this entry that you feel promote unsafe driving, please point them out clearly, and if possible suggest an alternative.


Most dangerous lot of nonsense I have ever read!

Post 24

I'm not really here

I don't even remember helping on this entry, but I see my name is on it, and I'm mentioned in the thread. I did the advanced driving course, I attented lectures by advanced police drivers, took a drive with them, and had practical sessions on the Essex police skid pan. I drove for a living, as if I had fine bone china in my boot every day, for ten years. I own more driving manuals than the average driver, I keep them updated and I refer to them. Driving is a large part of my current job.

Of course, I think I'm a safe driver, as do all the other people in this thread, and some may be more qualified than I am. I think this entry is a nice little 'taster' of what techniques are available out there, and will hopefully encourage more people to look for more information and improve their driving skills.

There were a lot of techniques I was taught, and possibly mentioned in the discussion that didn't get as far as the entry, because they could be dangerous without proper training. For instance, I was taught to place as much of my car as possible on the 'wrong' side of the road when approaching bends, where appropriate, but that hasn't gone into the entry - just positioning within the lane itself - because it really does need to be taught properly.

Looking at trees or telegraph poles to asses the sharpness of bends is also somethingI do regularly, and yes, they may vanish off into a field, and possibly it needs to be described a little better in the entry, but the idea is sound, and is a technique that I was taught, can't remember if it was the rospa instructor or the police. Perhaps it is time I went on another course, to see if the information is still current.

I believe Gnomon did a good job on this entry, and I don't see that it needs a disclaimer any more than any other entry on h2g2.


Most dangerous lot of nonsense I have ever read!

Post 25

Gnomon - time to move on

Thanks, Mina. There's been a lot of ranting in this conversation, but very few constructive suggestions.


Most dangerous lot of nonsense I have ever read!

Post 26

Gnomon - time to move on

Here's the Peer Review conversation where people contributed to the entry: F112956?thread=254614


Most dangerous lot of nonsense I have ever read!

Post 27

Not-so-bald-eagle

>>> don't see that it needs a disclaimer

I suggested it did - that or a title change or an additional paragraph - in another conversation (as yet unanswered) concerning this entry. I did so because it appeared as Advanced Driving Techniques on the BBC front page, in itself a reference.

As no one cared to answer, I'll give my views on this thread.

The PR conversation thread was interesting. Arm position was causing problems even then although one researcher added a useful link to IAM ("Established in 1956, the IAM is the UK’s leading road safety organisation dedicated to raising driving and riding standards and reducing the number of collisions that occur on our roads.")

IAM supports what happens to be my own stance : comfort for the back, proper positioning of legs, vision and then arms. I'm an experienced driver (with a bad back at times!) but not an expert. I know many drivers who could not drive with their arms outstretched as they would not be able to touch the pedals... unless of course they were almost completely laid back.

IAM says, in response to an 'arm position' query "Being “too laid back” compromises vision and car control.It shows a lack of interest in your driving and makes you more likely to doze off on a long journey.Thousands of accidents and near misses are caused by drivers giving in to the effects of fatigue."


As regards the gear change from 5th to 3rd to 'whizz past' an unexpected obstacle: Presumably a 'safe driver' repects the speed limits. Thus, in 5th gear, she or he is on a motorway or similar and in conditions permitting a clear view. I assume the obstable is something that has 'just' fallen off a lorry or whatever. Changing lanes safely, getting round it (or indeed over it) and alerting other drivers seems more important than double-de-clutching in such cases.

I'm aware that a lot of careful research will have been done and do not suggest that care and thought didn't go into this work. However, I think that responses provided to readers is inadequate. The 'advanced driving techniques' is now, according to the person who did the advanced driving course, "a nice little 'taster' of what techniques are available out there, and will hopefully encourage more people to look for more information..."

I note that the advanced driver has made no comments on the two main issues raised: arm position and the change fromp 5th to 3rd gear.

Sorry, should I just have been 'showing h2g2 solidarity' and to hell with common sense

smiley - coolsmiley - bubbly






Most dangerous lot of nonsense I have ever read!

Post 28

Gnomon - time to move on

Eagle, I find your last comment "Sorry, should I just have been 'showing h2g2 solidarity' and to hell with common sense" is offensive.

Common sense always comes first on h2g2.

The reason I've been slow to change the entry in line with the comments from concerned posters is that loads of conflicting advice has been thrown at me in a sequence of rants, with comments such as that the Rules of the Road are a lot of dangerous nonsense.

I've already addressed the issue of arms outstretched and have changed the entry accordingly. Nobody has yet told me whether the new version is acceptable.

I haven't yet changed the part about double declutching, because it took so long to get anybody to give me a straight answer that I suspect the answer is not clear-cut. One poster has said that it is not necessary to double-declutch in a modern car when changing from 5th to 3rd. Other posters have prevaricated, saying that it is better to slow down and generally sidestepping the question.


Most dangerous lot of nonsense I have ever read!

Post 29

Gnomon - time to move on

>>I suggested it did - that or a title change or an additional paragraph - in another conversation (as yet unanswered)

The Eds did in fact answer, and said they'd keep an eye on the conversation. The fact that they didn't put a disclaimer on it suggests to me that they don't feel it is necessary.


Most dangerous lot of nonsense I have ever read!

Post 30

Not-so-bald-eagle


Re post 28 :

>>>>Eagle, I find your last comment "Sorry, should I just have been 'showing h2g2 solidarity' and to hell with common sense" is offensive.

I sincerely appologise if I offended you.
My point was that your fellow reseacher seemed keener to say that you did a good job than answer the question.


>>>>>a sequence of rants, with comments such as that the Rules of the Road are a lot of dangerous nonsense.
I won't comment on other people's posts.


>>>>I haven't yet changed the part about double declutching, because it took so long to get anybody to give me a straight answer that I suspect the answer is not clear-cut. One poster has said that it is not necessary to double-declutch in a modern car when changing from 5th to 3rd. Other posters have prevaricated, saying that it is better to slow down and generally sidestepping the question.

I noticed that you didn't give any details on the kind of situation to which you referred either. But that's not my problem.


Re post 29:
***>>I suggested it did - that or a title change or an additional paragraph - in another conversation (as yet unanswered)
***The Eds did in fact answer, and said they'd keep an eye on the conversation. The fact that they didn't put a disclaimer on it suggests to me that they don't feel it is necessary.

The thread to which I refer is F119816?thread=6993964 and it still has no answer.

Receiving no answer, I contacted the Eds directly and the entry was pulled from the first page.

smiley - coolsmiley - bubbly


Most dangerous lot of nonsense I have ever read!

Post 31

Gnomon - time to move on

I also apologise, for not answering your posting saying that you thought the entry needed a disclaimer. I don't think it needs a disclaimer. But I'm not the only author of this entry - as you can see from the Peer Review conversation, many people contributed.

I deliberately didn't give any details in the conversation of the situation in which you'd have to change down, because it was clearly stated in the Entry. I got the impression that the people ranting hadn't actually read the entry.

I'll take your word for it that the Eds "pulled" the entry from the front page. I thought it was removed because they change the entries around every week.


Most dangerous lot of nonsense I have ever read!

Post 32

Dreaduk

As you either chose to ignore the paragraph in my last post on your incorrect statement on double declutching I will clarify matters for you.

Regardless of the road or engine speed of the vehicle, you can change directly from 5th, or 6th on some cars for that matter, directly to third gear without having to double declutch in a modern car.

The only possible downside is that if you were travelling at 70MPH and were idiotic enough to decide to change into third gear you would probably be eating the steering wheel with the almost instant deceleration and possible wheel locking that could occur and your engine will probably hit its rev limit in microseconds as soon as you let out your clutch.

The fact remains however, that the process of depressing the clutch and moving the gear lever from 5th to 3rd can be accomplished without the rigmarole of double declutching.

I was trained to drive to the system of car control by Strathclyde Police and we were taught how to double declutch on every up and down change including block changes whilst driving cars equipped with synchromesh gearboxes. We were only required to double declutch in order to slow our gear changes down as we all thought we were Jackie Stewart and believed that getting the car into gear and back on the power as quickly as possible was the best way to make progress. To the best of my knowledge the practise has been dropped by Strathclyde Police and certainly RoSPA whose advanced driving techniques form the foundation of Police driving.

Double declutching in a modern road car is unnecessary and could almost be construed as dangerous as it is an action diverting the drivers attention from the task of driving the car safely.

Is that plain enough for you?


Most dangerous lot of nonsense I have ever read!

Post 33

Gnomon - time to move on

Thanks! That is very plain.

I noted your comment in your last posting, but since I hadn't time to verify it, and nobody else backed up your statement, I thought I would wait another day to see if anybody else was forthcoming.

I'll modify the Entry accordingly.

I never suggested changing down to 3rd at 70mph. The very specific situation where I suggested you might need to do it was when driving in 5th at very low revs, such as at about 40mph, where you want to accelerate suddenly.


Most dangerous lot of nonsense I have ever read!

Post 34

Not-so-bald-eagle

smiley - ok

I'm sure you realised (via the thread link posted above) that my suggestions were merely aimed at adding a few words so that readers unaccustomed to to h2g2 would understand that it wasn't 'BBC-approved' advice.

I did read the entry, just before it raised any comment in fact. Forget the 'arm position' thing, the de-declutching situation wasn't very obvious for me either. In other words, it sounded like a case where you were driving too fast or didn’t have a clear view ahead. See my post above about the IMA if you’re really interested°

I'm letting the matter drop now

Btw: Everytime I try to post, I go off line (I might soon be letting this post drop as well). I see other posts have appeared in the meantime, this is in answer to post 30

smiley - coolsmiley - bubbly


Most dangerous lot of nonsense I have ever read!

Post 35

Gnomon - time to move on

I've completely rewritten the Double Declutching section now, and have put a warning on the "Heel and Toe" that it should only be attempted after professional instruction.


Most dangerous lot of nonsense I have ever read!

Post 36

Not-so-bald-eagle



should have been 'in answer to post 31'

smiley - coolsmiley - bubbly


Most dangerous lot of nonsense I have ever read!

Post 37

Dreaduk

I would be interested to know how you would verify my comments. It would appear I am the most qualified individual on this thread and unless you know someone better qualified or are prepared to do an awful lot of reading you can be pretty sure what I'm telling you is correct.

As for your specific situation on changing from 5th to 3rd I think my statement "Regardless of the road or engine speed of the vehicle" was plain in illustrating that double declutching was unnecessary at ANY speed. Furthermore, you shouldn't need to change down to accelerate. You should maintain the correct gear for the road speed which means you retain the ability to accelerate the car briskly at all times and also be able to take advantage of engine braking. That being the case your question is irrelevant and misleading.

The concept of changing down to accelerate goes hand in hand with your incorrect statement that we should be driving in as high a gear as possible to save fuel. The principle objective in driving a car is to do so safely, there is no compromise on that, and to consider saving a modicum of fuel more important than driving safely is a recipe for disaster.


Most dangerous lot of nonsense I have ever read!

Post 38

Gnomon - time to move on

I didn't say you should be driving in as high a gear as possible to save fuel. I say you should drive in a lower gear and keep the revs high, as this gives you much better control of your car, both for accelerating and decelerating.

I was soundly criticised by various people for saying that, because they felt I was promoting wasteful driving.

I said in the Entry that if you want to save fuel, the way to do it is to drive in a high gear, but I didn't recommend it.


Most dangerous lot of nonsense I have ever read!

Post 39

Gnomon - time to move on

Anyway, the talk about changing gear is irrelant, as I removed all that from the Entry since it didn't apply in a synchromesh car.


Most dangerous lot of nonsense I have ever read!

Post 40

Gnomon - time to move on

>>I would be interested to know how you would verify my comments.

I have the useful ability to distinguish between genuine information and rubbish. Yours is genuine.


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