Monday, 23 December 2013

Make Friends With The Handbrake

driving instructors arnold nottingham

It's there to help you!

The handbrake sometimes seems like a thing of mystery to people taking driving lessons. Unable to decide whether to use it or not they will put it on at every stop or in some cases never use it at all.

The handbrake only works on the back two wheels whereas the foot brake works on all four wheels. It's for this reason that the handbrake is not used for actually stopping the car. Don't reach down while moving and yank it on hard to bring the car to a harsh stop. Keep both hands on the wheel, stop using the foot brake and then apply the handbrake to hold the car steady.

Regard the handbrake as a tool to use for your convenience. If you pull up on a hill you will need to use it to hold the car still while you sort out the gas and biting point. If you don't use it the car will roll back while you flip your foot from the brake to the gas. For learners this can result in panic and stalling. I really don't like the car to roll backwards, especially if there is a vehicle behind.

You won't need the handbrake if you are not waiting and are moving off downhill. In this case the car will roll in the direction you want to go. Allowing the car to roll before getting the biting point actually makes moving off earlier.

Always use the handbrake if you are waiting at a pedestrian crossing. That way if you are shunted from behind you won't be pushed forward into people crossing in front of you. Always press the button in before lifting the lever. I can't abide that ratchet sound.

Where can I get advice on booking my driving test?

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