4 Tips for Driving a Standard Vehicle

Written by on June 21, 2012 in Technology - No comments | Print this page


Most cars sold in the United States today employ the use of a manual transmission, but because of the versatility and long life of standard transmission vehicles, these types of cars and trucks are starting to become more popular than ever before. Driving Standard offers you more control, the ability to get behind the wheel of any car and operate it safely, as well as better fuel efficiency. No matter the level of driving experience you currently have, learning to drive standard probably isn’t as complex as you imagine. For many drivers, driving standard becomes their preferred way to get around.

The Mechanics

In order to properly understand how to operate a vehicle based in a standard transmission, you will first need to familiarize yourself with just how the vehicle works. Essentially, in a standard vehicle you’re required to do the shifting on your own as opposed to having your transmission do it for you. This requires the use of a clutch, which manually adjusts moving parts of your engine together without jerking suddenly and damaging these parts or stalling your vehicle.

Knowing Your Gears

Just like an automatic car, you will start out in first gear and gradually increase your gears as your RPMs increase and you gain speed. For heavy workloads like hills, most of the time second gear is the one that you’ll rely on. Each car will have a different sweet spot in the RPM’s, but for most, you should shift in intervals of around 3000RPM. As you become more experienced at driving a stick shift, you will start to recognize the sounds of your engine and the perfect times to shift. When shifting into a higher gear you will need to stop accelerating, press the clutch in, shift, let the clutch out and accelerate again.

Practical Application

Now that you know just what you need to do as a driver of a manual vehicle, it’s important to practice this on a flat, quiet road. Just like when you were a brand new driver, go easy on yourself as you learn this new skill. Driving a standard vehicle isn’t really complicated, but it does require a certain amount of practice until you get used to the feeling of your engine engaging under your feet. Expect to make mistakes; realize that if you take the clutch off too quickly your car will stall, or it will engage roughly and lurch you forward. This will, at least a few times, happen to everyone. Don’t become discouraged, just use these mistakes as an opportunity to learn. Practice every situation that you will face by seeking these road conditions out and perfecting them. Realize that starting and stopping on hills is a much bigger challenge than on a flat, easy road.

Protect Yourself

Practicing is always the first step to protecting yourself in your standard vehicle, but it’s especially important when you’re new at something to ensure you are prepared for the worst. Always wear your seatbelt when operating a vehicle. Keep the distractions in your car to a minimum so that you can focus. Always keep your car insurance up to date and ensure that you’ve got the proper amount of coverage, and never operate a vehicle under emotional stress or when over tired.

This guest post is from Allison with CarInsurance.org.

Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net


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