I'm a nervous driver and **** at clutch control/traffic lights :( Watch

HappyBappy
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Just had a lesson and let's just say it could've been better...

I'm fine with open/give way junctions in both directions, hill starts, controlled rolls, basic maneuvers- provided they aren't on a main road.

I just turn into a nervous wreck when there are other road users around me, cyclists that sneak up behind me and pedestrians to smoosh...

Also, how the **** am I supposed to move off at traffic lights. I have the car in first gear, with my hand on the hand break but when the amber appears, I panic lift my foot off the clutch too quickly and stall while my instructor stares at me and says "what the hell are you doing!?" The queue of frustrated drivers behind me just makes me panic more.

Sorry for the novel but how do I deal with road nerves? Also, how you supposed to move off in traffic?
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101101
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(Original post by HappyBappy)
Just had a lesson and let's just say it could've been better...

I'm fine with open/give way junctions in both directions, hill starts, controlled rolls, basic maneuvers- provided they aren't on a main road.

I just turn into a nervous wreck when there are other road users around me, cyclists that sneak up behind me and pedestrians to smoosh...

Also, how the **** am I supposed to move off at traffic lights. I have the car in first gear, with my hand on the hand break but when the amber appears, I panic lift my foot off the clutch too quickly and stall while my instructor stares at me and says "what the hell are you doing!?" The queue of frustrated drivers behind me just makes me panic more.

Sorry for the novel but how do I deal with road nerves? Also, how you supposed to move off in traffic?
Cyclists sneak up on you = a clue you should speed up....

At a traffic light, just do what you when you normally pull away, why should it be any different if theres traffic behind you?
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HappyBappy
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(Original post by 101101)
Cyclists sneak up on you = a clue you should speed up....

At a traffic light, just do what you when you normally pull away, why should it be any different if theres traffic behind you?
When I'm pulling away, I tend to take my time with bite point, observations, hand break etc. but in traffic you have to move quickly. I feel under pressure to move because I check mirrors and see cars queuing up and I feel like I'm causing a road block by not moving.

With cyclists, it tends to happen when I'm slowing down for a red light or when they pull out of a junction without warning. There's loads of cyclists in my area...
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101101
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(Original post by HappyBappy)
When I'm pulling away, I tend to take my time with bite point, observations, hand break etc. but in traffic you have to move quickly. I feel under pressure to move because I check mirrors and see cars queuing up and I feel like I'm causing a road block by not moving.

With cyclists, it tends to happen when I'm slowing down for a red light or when they pull out of a junction without warning. There's loads of cyclists in my area...
find the bite, leave it there, put the handbrake down, quick glance in the mirrors and onto the gas then slowly lift the clutch
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Jason2
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(Original post by 101101)
find the bite, leave it there, put the handbrake down, quick glance in the mirrors and onto the gas then slowly lift the clutch
That wears the clutch out fast. Always a sign of a bad driver.
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heathroww
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Please dont panic too much about being on a main road, I know its scary having other drivers around and some of them are horrible to new drivers, but they are just impatient and forget what its like to learn. As you have more lessons you'll get used to the car, so soon you'll be pulling off without thinking about what to do with the pedals. I found it helpful being in first gear, handbrake on, gently! coming off the clutch to find the bite, then pressing down on the clutch again so you are just below your bite point. As long as you come off the clutch slowly by degrees, and make sure you have enough revs by pressing on the accelerator (but not too many) you'll be fine. Take your time.
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101101
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(Original post by Jason2)
That wears the clutch out fast. Always a sign of a bad driver.
Im not saying keep it at the bite for minutes, a second if that.
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101101
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I meant just below the bite
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HappyBappy
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(Original post by heathroww)
Please dont panic too much about being on a main road, I know its scary having other drivers around and some of them are horrible to new drivers, but they are just impatient and forget what its like to learn. As you have more lessons you'll get used to the car, so soon you'll be pulling off without thinking about what to do with the pedals. I found it helpful being in first gear, handbrake on, gently! coming off the clutch to find the bite, then pressing down on the clutch again so you are just below your bite point. As long as you come off the clutch slowly by degrees, and make sure you have enough revs by pressing on the accelerator (but not too many) you'll be fine. Take your time.
I've been told by my friends, who've passed their tests, to keep the clutch just below bite point like you're telling me, but my instructor isn't letting me.

At a green light, I don't really have the luxury of faffing around with the clutch like I'm doing now, so I need to move off faster but I'm finding I've got too much to do in the time it takes for "red and amber" to go to "green" so I end up panicking and stalling.

Should I put more gas on, so I can bring the clutch up quicker?

Thanks for giving a helpful, non-judgemental, answer
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Hopple
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Sod the other drivers, they'll be more pissed off if you stall rather than move away slowly anyway. With practice you'll get better used to the car and hence be able to do everything more quickly.
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tooosh
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You will get used to moving off. Literally 2 lessons ago I hated it, but now I'm used to it. Try this: hit the gas up to 2krpm and when it comes to moving off, lift up the clutch so it drops to 1.5. Don't worry about other cues you might get from your instructor like the back of the car moving down or the "click"; if the revs dropped then the clutch is close enough to biting point to safely take off the handbrake. If the car doesn't move, well it'll only take you a few hundred ms to realise that and you can raise the clutch more.
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lubus
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(Original post by HappyBappy)
Also, how the **** am I supposed to move off at traffic lights. I have the car in first gear, with my hand on the hand break but when the amber appears, I panic lift my foot off the clutch too quickly and stall while my instructor stares at me and says "what the hell are you doing!?" The queue of frustrated drivers behind me just makes me panic more.
Dont use the handbreak to start!

When you stop at a traffic light, put into neutral, foot on the brake if road isnt flat, look at traffic light. When if becomes amber/ pedestrian light turns red, put it into first, release break, and start moving forward. When it becomes green, apply power and release clutch. simples

dont be worried about rolling back a couple of cm

Edit: a good exercise to do is to find a nice steep hill, and practice holding the car in one place with no break, or practicing starts, rolling back, again. However, you should use your own car as this will slightly wear your clutch
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HappyBappy
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(Original post by Hopple)
Sod the other drivers, they'll be more pissed off if you stall rather than move away slowly anyway. With practice you'll get better used to the car and hence be able to do everything more quickly.
I think I'm just used to seeing other cars moving off immediately, so I feel
pressured to do the same even though I can't do that yet. You're right, though, even if it takes a couple of seconds for me to move off properly, it's not going to kill them and I'm not stalling

(Original post by tooosh)
You will get used to moving off. Literally 2 lessons ago I hated it, but now I'm used to it. Try this: hit the gas up to 2krpm and when it comes to moving off, lift up the clutch so it drops to 1.5. Don't worry about other cues you might get from your instructor like the back of the car moving down or the "click"; if the revs dropped then the clutch is close enough to biting point to safely take off the handbrake. If the car doesn't move, well it'll only take you a few hundred ms to realise that and you can raise the clutch more.
Thanks, I'll keep that in mind!
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one to one
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"what the hell are you doing!?"
are you paraphrasing HappyBappy, or is this what your instructor says 'verbatim'?
What is this obsession of always finding the bite before releasing the handbrake?, there are instances where you need to and there are others that you don't


one to one
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HappyBappy
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(Original post by one to one)
are you paraphrasing HappyBappy, or is this what your instructor says 'verbatim'?
What is this obsession of always finding the bite before releasing the handbrake?, there are instances where you need to and there are others that you don't


one to one
"What the hell are you doing!?"
"What did you do that for!?"
"Do what I tell you to do, and that won't happen again!"

The least paraphrased it could be while being understandable to those unfamiliar with Shettleston English...

I've done it without finding bite point but then the clutch comes up too quickly and, when it doesn't stall, it vibrates disturbingly because there isn't enough gas!
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Advisor
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(Original post by lubus)
Dont use the handbreak to start!

When you stop at a traffic light, put into neutral, foot on the brake if road isnt flat, look at traffic light.
This is very bad advice. You should use your handbrake when stopped for a while and always on an uphill gradient when already stopped, and a switch from footbrake to accelerator is required. If you're competent enough to switch from brake to gas "on the fly" just as the car is rolling to a stop, then the handbrake may be omitted, but only for the briefest of pauses; certainly not for long waits at lights or the clutch will wear excessively.

dont be worried about rolling back a couple of cm
You must never roll back! Especially at road junctions as pedestrians often walk behind your car to cross the road, usually within centimetres of your bumper.
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lubus
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(Original post by Advisor)
This is very bad advice. You should use your handbrake when stopped for a while and always on an uphill gradient when already stopped, and a switch from footbrake to accelerator is required. If you're competent enough to switch from brake to gas "on the fly" just as the car is rolling to a stop, then the handbrake may be omitted, but only for the briefest of pauses; certainly not for long waits at lights or the clutch will wear excessively.

You must never roll back! Especially at road junctions as pedestrians often walk behind your car to cross the road, usually within centimetres of your bumper.
I've always been taught never to walk right behind cars on hills because they will rollback. I think rolling back 20-30 cm is perfectly acceptable. In my driving lessons, my instructor never told me to use the handbrake for anything apart from parking. I guess its just two different ways of driving. However, by not using the handbrake you will gain more skill in controlling the clutch. BTW, i wasnt suggesting using the clutch and gas as a break on lights.


i
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theonefrombrum
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Put more pressure on the gas if you've got the handbrake on as you can the release the clutch a little quicker without stalling.
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Advisor
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(Original post by lubus)
I've always been taught never to walk right behind cars on hills because they will rollback.
Good for you, but there are plenty who do. Driving is about responding to all risks, whether or not the other party is in the wrong.

I think rolling back 20-30 cm is perfectly acceptable.
Unfortunately, it is not. As before, when you do get the danger within that distance - and it will happen one day - and your rollback habit is ingrained and you're not paying attention, you'll regret it. You should learn to do what's correct all the time, to allow for those moments of inattention.

In my driving lessons, my instructor never told me to use the handbrake for anything apart from parking. I guess its just two different ways of driving.
Your instructor is a very bad one. I hope you didn't recommend him to others.
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Podcaster
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(Original post by 101101)
Cyclists sneak up on you = a clue you should speed up....

At a traffic light, just do what you when you normally pull away, why should it be any different if theres traffic behind you?
(Original post by HappyBappy)
When I'm pulling away, I tend to take my time with bite point, observations, hand break etc. but in traffic you have to move quickly. I feel under pressure to move because I check mirrors and see cars queuing up and I feel like I'm causing a road block by not moving.

With cyclists, it tends to happen when I'm slowing down for a red light or when they pull out of a junction without warning. There's loads of cyclists in my area...
Cyclists really shouldn't do this. I don't see why they can't just wait in lane like everybody else.
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