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Gear advice for waiting at lights

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  • 08-01-2013 7:34pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 4


    Hi there, currently learning to drive, have my test in 3 weeks.

    Just looking for advice about something; my instructor tells me to keep the car in first gear, handbrake up and ready to go while waiting at lights, but other people tell me I should be waiting in neutral. What do other peoples instructors say about this?

    Also for mini-roundabouts, the really small ones in housing estates and those areas, are you meant to indicate when going straight through, because mine tells me to do so.

    Any experience or advice welcome, thanks.


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 383 ✭✭lpool2k05


    http://www.youtube.com/user/TheISMNationwide?feature=watch


    watch no 15 for sample test..he has his in neutral at the lights :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,564 ✭✭✭✭whiskeyman


    If you're the first car at the lights, I'd recommend stay in 1st to help get off faster.
    That's what my instructor told me.
    If your not the first, you'll have more time to react anyway.


  • Registered Users Posts: 311 ✭✭Sir123


    whiskeyman wrote: »
    If you're the first car at the lights, I'd recommend stay in 1st to help get off faster.
    That's what my instructor told me.
    If your not the first, you'll have more time to react anyway.

    I agree. This is what my instructor tells me. He says that if you are too slow taking off i.e. being the first in line at the lights, then you may get marks under "progress at traffic lights". If you are a few cars behind, it is the norm that you handbrake and neutral.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4 PhilCallan


    Ok thanks, any advice on mini-roundabouts?


  • Registered Users Posts: 215 ✭✭The_Nipper_One


    Traffic lights:

    You can keep it in neutral even if you're first in line, you just need to watch the cars that currently have the green, and when they start to stop, that means yours is about to change so you can then put it in first and be ready to go.


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  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 3,571 ✭✭✭newmug


    PhilCallan wrote: »
    Hi there, currently learning to drive, have my test in 3 weeks.

    Just looking for advice about something; my instructor tells me to keep the car in first gear, handbrake up and ready to go while waiting at lights, but other people tell me I should be waiting in neutral. What do other peoples instructors say about this?

    Also for mini-roundabouts, the really small ones in housing estates and those areas, are you meant to indicate when going straight through, because mine tells me to do so.

    Any experience or advice welcome, thanks.


    My advice, is for you to get those people who told you to be in neutral, beat their ankles with a sledge hammer so they cant run away, and then drill out their eyes using a fork as the drill-bit.

    YOU SHOULD BE IN FIRST GEAR UP TO THE 5TH CAR IN THE QUEUE


    And yes, you should indicate at those bird-sh1t roundabouts, the same way you would at a proper-sized one. Same rules apply, even to the lanes.


  • Registered Users Posts: 348 ✭✭Motor-Ed


    And yes, you should indicate at those bird-sh1t roundabouts, the same way you would at a proper-sized one. Same rules apply, even to the lanes.[/QUOTE]


    Would have to disagree on your positioning suggestion for mini roundabouts.
    By their nature there is generally only room for 1 car on them so keeping left on 2nd exit doesn't normally arise, agree with signalling advice


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 3,571 ✭✭✭newmug


    Motor-Ed wrote: »
    Would have to disagree on your positioning suggestion for mini roundabouts.
    By their nature there is generally only room for 1 car on them so keeping left on 2nd exit doesn't normally arise, agree with signalling advice


    What I meant by that was, go around them, dont just drive straight over them like they didn't exist! Unbelievable what you see some drivers doing!!!


  • Registered Users Posts: 23,157 ✭✭✭✭Alanstrainor


    newmug wrote: »
    My advice, is for you to get those people who told you to be in neutral, beat their ankles with a sledge hammer so they cant run away, and then drill out their eyes using a fork as the drill-bit.

    YOU SHOULD BE IN FIRST GEAR UP TO THE 5TH CAR IN THE QUEUE

    There is nothing wrong with putting the car in neutral at a set of lights. It gives you a chance to rest your left foot, rather than needlessly keeping it on the clutch.

    Simply observing the sequence of the lights is enough to be able to see when the lights will change in your favour, at this stage you can put the car in gear and take off.

    Despite your BOLD FONT it is not essential to be in first at any position in a line of traffic stopped at a set of traffic lights. It is completely down to the personal preference of the driver.


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,340 CMod ✭✭✭✭Davy


    newmug wrote: »
    My advice, is for you to get those people who told you to be in neutral, beat their ankles with a sledge hammer so they cant run away, and then drill out their eyes using a fork as the drill-bit.

    YOU SHOULD BE IN FIRST GEAR UP TO THE 5TH CAR IN THE QUEUE

    It takes one second to clutch and select. Maybe for someone starting off who isnt fully comfortable with the gears it makes sense, but someone who is going for the test soon, for fully licenced I thinking paying attention to the lights is a better tip than being preselected, its ok if you have a triptronic gear with a preselect that you dont need to hold the clutch


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,924 ✭✭✭MascotDec85


    Whilst I agree a driver should try and watch the surrounding lights so that they can anticipate them changing in their favour it isn't always possible. It could be the angle to the lights which doesn't help or it could be bright sunshine (yes, even this happens in Ireland)

    I'd normally advise my pupils that if they are in the first 3 or 4 in the queue to be in first, unless they are sat at a set off lights which they know they are going to be waiting for a good while. I rarely have pupils coming back to me with "Progress at Traffic Lights" faults.

    If standard traffic lights have a pedestrian setting too try and watch the red man. When he changes from amber to red count 1, 2, 3. Your green normally goes on 3, it'll help you anticipate


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,924 ✭✭✭MascotDec85


    Whilst I agree a driver should try and watch the surrounding lights so that they can anticipate them changing in their favour it isn't always possible. It could be the angle to the lights which doesn't help or it could be bright sunshine (yes, even this happens in Ireland)

    I'd normally advise my pupils that if they are in the first 3 or 4 in the queue to be in first, unless they are sat at a set off lights which they know they are going to be waiting for a good while. I rarely have pupils coming back to me with "Progress at Traffic Lights" faults.

    If standard traffic lights have a pedestrian setting too try and watch the red man. When he changes from amber to red count 1, 2, 3. Your green normally goes on 3, it'll help you anticipate


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 9,689 Mod ✭✭✭✭stevenmu


    Simply observing the sequence of the lights is enough to be able to see when the lights will change in your favour, at this stage you can put the car in gear and take off.
    +1, especially if you are in a good position to see the other lights. When they go amber, you can anticipate that your lights are going to go green soon, then get into first and be ready.


  • Registered Users Posts: 425 ✭✭Mathiasb


    Or just look at the brake lights. I recommend to never use the handbrake, just use your normal brakes. That way it's easier to see if you're approaching at a distance if a vehicle is stopping/stopped, as the brake lights are on.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 9,689 Mod ✭✭✭✭stevenmu


    Mathiasb wrote: »
    Or just look at the brake lights. I recommend to never use the handbrake, just use your normal brakes. That way it's easier to see if you're approaching at a distance if a vehicle is stopping/stopped, as the brake lights are on.
    Only when you're at the back of the queue. Brake lights can be hard on the eyes of someone sitting behind you, particularly in heavy traffic at night.


  • Registered Users Posts: 425 ✭✭Mathiasb


    stevenmu wrote: »
    Only when you're at the back of the queue. Brake lights can be hard on the eyes of someone sitting behind you, particularly in heavy traffic at night.

    Yeah that's fair.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,822 ✭✭✭CelticRambler


    Best advice is to follow the example of professional (really professional!) drivers. What do the F1 guys do? Keep it in neutral until the last possible moment. I doubt there are many instructors in Ireland (or anywhere else) that can move off as fast as any of them. If you don't know that the lights are about to change in your favour, then you're not properly aware of the road ahead and you need to work on that, not use the cop-out excuses offered by impatient forum-drivers who think you owe it to them to get out of their way in half a millisecond.


  • Registered Users Posts: 425 ✭✭Mathiasb


    Best advice is to follow the example of professional (really professional!) drivers. What do the F1 guys do? Keep it in neutral until the last possible moment. I doubt there are many instructors in Ireland (or anywhere else) that can move off as fast as any of them. If you don't know that the lights are about to change in your favour, then you're not properly aware of the road ahead and you need to work on that, not use the cop-out excuses offered by impatient forum-drivers who think you owe it to them to get out of their way in half a millisecond.

    Yeah because F1 clutches are the same as normal car clutches :confused:


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,822 ✭✭✭CelticRambler


    It's not the mechanics of the car that make a good driver. If you're stopped at the lights (as a civilian driver) you should not be getting yourself all tensed up ready for a high-speed take-off, you should be concentrating on what's happening in the junction in front of you. You should be tuning in to the sequence of the lights ready to move off smoothly but also watching for the pedestrian, cyclist or other driver that takes a chance on getting across in the split second before (or just after) your light turns green. Why do you need to be sitting there with your foot on the clutch and one hand on the handbrake when the lights are red? You can't go anywhere until after you get the green light and confirm that the way ahead is clear.


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