Block-changing. You may never have heard of it, despite being a motorist for many years. You may know what it is, but rarely use it.
Either way, here's why driving experts recommend you make an effort to include it when behind the wheel.
- Block-changing contributes to a calm and planned driving style.
- It requires less driver input and so allows more time for other things like looking for problems or reading road signs.
- A good driver will use the brakes or their acceleration sense to slow down, not the gears. Brake pads are cheaper to replace than clutches, so use the brakes if you need to (We feel the need to add that engine-braking can be useful at times, especially on long, steep downhills).
- When increasing speed, you can save on fuel consumption by skipping out gears, for example perhaps going straight from third to fifth.
- When slowing on approach to a roundabout or junction, use acceleration sense and/or brakes to decrease speed, and then select the right gear for the speed you are driving at. This may mean skipping out several gears at once.
- Gear changes should be made after braking but before turning the steering wheel.
"Block-changing means choosing and changing gear once, instead of working through all the gears. Missing unnecessary gears saves on fuel, as well as wear and tear, and saves driver effort. Use your gears to go and your brakes to slow," says Peter Rodger of the IAM, a road safety charity in the UK.
Also check out: