Road safety charity the IAM is offering weekly motoring tips from Britain's top advanced driver, Peter Rodger.
This week the IAM recommends "block-changing":
- 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.
- 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.
Rodger said: "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."