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Old 04-30-2014, 12:29 AM   #1
Evergreen6
 
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The Good Driving Skills Thread

In this thread, you will post slices of knowledge pertaining to good driving skills. The question was asked by someone on here--"will 'driving like I stole it' cause a lot of wear and tear?" -Well, yes, it does, but good skills can minimize some of that. There's abusive driving and spirited driving, not always the same thing. The thread is designed to be a collection of knowledge of good tips for performance, safety, and to develop overall driving skill. Keep it clean, keep it safe...

Some examples:

1. For manual transmissions, unless you need to, don't put the gearshift into 1st gear until you're traveling 5mph or less. Putting the trans in first gear with the clutch in at speed accelerates wear on syncros.

2. Rev matching- On manual trans cars, the best gear changes are done when the speed of the transmission and the speed of the engine are matched, to prevent jerkiness or upsetting the car's traction or suspension at speed and to also minimize clutch disc wear. If you're going from 4th to 3rd, you can make a seamless transition by blipping the throttle with the clutch in to match the engine speed in the next gear down, and then let out the clutch without slipping it.

3. Safe hand placement on the steering wheel: A lot of schools (and moms) still teach driving with hands at the 10 o'-clock and 2 o'-clock position. This may place your forearms in the path of an airbag, and if you shuffle steer (google it)- like performance schools sometimes teach- consider gripping at the 9-and-3 or with most 3-spoke steering wheels, at the 4-ish and 8-ish position. (You are gripping the wheel with both hands, right?)

Keep adding! Let's hear them all. This will be good for the new enthusiasts and might teach some of the old dogs some new tricks too!
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Old 04-30-2014, 01:12 AM   #2
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Don't goof off on cold tires or old tires. Ask the guy who died and took Paul Walker with him. My good friend and sponsor has his shop in that complex.

Never show off at car events. God enjoys making examples of people.

Pretend everyone on the road just found out you are banging their wife. If you treat other drivers like an immediate threat, you will have far fewer accidents.

There is no such thing as an accident. Just bad decisions.

Manual drag shifting:

Thumb on top of shifter.
Launch.
Pull HARD on the shifter (it won't come out of gear).
The 1-2 is about 600rpm shy of redline when it hits the limiter. (Tachs don't respond quick enough, so shift points vary by gear.)
So about 700rpm shy, stab the clutch to the floor and drop it. It will pop into second.
Open your hand, palm away from you, push hard towards radio.
300 shy, stab and it pops into third.
Turn your hand upside down and pull hard.
At 100 shy, stab and pop into fourth.

Lifting the throttle is optional, if you do, only briefly, and only 1/2 way. If done right it the nose of the car will not dip down.
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Old 04-30-2014, 01:43 AM   #3
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DO NOT turn off all the traction control nannies unless you are prepared for "what happens next!" Particularily for spirited driving on city streets - your car will do crazy things.

Scan the road ahead for possible threats. I like to play a game where I casually point a finger at the current "greatest threat" or potential accident waiting to happen (no not THAT finger). Most of us do it instinctively, we anticipate what might pop out from behind a blind corner or parked car, we expect that car in the turn lane facing you to suddenly pull in front of us, basically ask "what if" questions while driving. My goal is not to contact anything with my car

Notice any changes with your vehicle. I feel as if I can sense even the smallest changes in handling characteristics (brakes and suspension) and notice unusual smells or sounds from my vehicles. I know if all systems "are go" or not.

Adjust your mirrors right.

I try to stay ahead of other drivers - constantly moving ahead, rather than staying buried in the middle of a pack.

I memorize traffic patterns on routes I drive routinely and I know the most efficient roads to take and speeds to travel to avoid needless delays. Example: if two lanes are allowed to turn left, I don't get in line behind 9 other cars waiting in the left lane, I'll advance to the pole postion of the other lane no one else seems to know about!

Don't hang out in the fast lane on the highway/interstate, it's a good way to get picked off if you're exceeding the speed limit.

Turn on your headlights when it's raining.

When driving on snow and ice, keep your steering wheel locked straight and don't attempt to do more than one driving maneuver at a time.
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Old 04-30-2014, 06:06 AM   #4
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Safe Following Distance: I do my very best to either follow the "1 car-length for every 10 mph" or 3-second rule.

Unfortunately, this creates a gap between you and the vehicle in front of you which gives some smart-Alec the opportunity to shoot into. This creates the exact same problem one has been attempting to avoid in the first place.

You can't win if there are idiots on the road. Driving defensively is the only way to reasonably try to keep ones' self safe.
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Old 04-30-2014, 07:35 AM   #5
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Quote:
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Safe Following Distance: I do my very best to either follow the "1 car-length for every 10 mph" or 3-second rule.

Unfortunately, this creates a gap between you and the vehicle in front of you which gives some smart-Alec the opportunity to shoot into. This creates the exact same problem one has been attempting to avoid in the first place.

You can't win if there are idiots on the road. Driving defensively is the only way to reasonably try to keep ones' self safe.
This is so true. And I believe it's actually a two-second rule these day, what with better brakes/steering/etc.

A few other defensive safety tips for those highway/interstate commutes:

1. Do not fix your eyes on any particular vehicle. Best practice for typical interstate traffic is to continuously scan ahead and behind. Know what is going on several cars (or trucks) ahead and behind you.

2. Don't forget what's behind you. Glance in your rearview and side mirrors at least every few seconds. It's just as important to know what the idiots behind you are doing.

3. Don't be the asshole everyone complains about. Drive courteously and with respect for other drivers. You are in control of a 2-ton projectile, capable of killing or maiming dozens of people through one stupid move.
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Old 04-30-2014, 07:48 AM   #6
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Don't tailgate trucks. I would recommend not being beside or in the first 100 feet behind one. Every thing on our trucks or we are carrying in our trucks is large and heavy and is very capable of injuring or killing you if it falls off. I would like to say most truck drivers do a good job securing loads and looking over there trucks but really its probably a 50/50 chance you have one the good ones in front of you. For your own safety assume the guy in the truck in front you is a complete idiot and don't trust him.
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Old 04-30-2014, 07:52 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PalmerGA View Post

2. Don't forget what's behind you. Glance in your rearview and side mirrors at least every few seconds. It's just as important to know what the idiots behind you are doing.
Very important you wont know what you can do in a emergency maneuver if you don't know who is all around you.
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Old 04-30-2014, 08:16 AM   #8
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Develop a general awareness of all the traffic that is around you . . . and how it can change particularly at intersections and interchanges. The vehicle you suddenly don't see in the mirror - did he exit or did he jump into your blind spot? Makes a difference.

Make sure you can see a mirror on the semi or box truck that you're near. If you can't see the mirror, the truck driver can't see you. You owe him the same ability to know you're there as you expect to have yourself for other traffic.

When you change lanes in front of another vehicle, accelerate slightly so that you will open up the distance a little. At constant speed you will slow down a little during the time you're shifting lanes, relative to the vehicle you're turning in front of, making him "catch up" to you more than you might expect. Again, especially when it's a large truck, cutting in close may take you completely below the truck's hood line and out of the truck driver's sight. It should be obvious that that's a poor place to put yourself.

On the highway, either move over a lane (preferably) or slow down noticeably for any vehicles on the shoulder with flashers going. Some places this is a legal requirement for police or fire vehicles with the light bars lit up, but it's a good practice anyway. Changing a left side flat with 65 mph traffic less than half a lane width away from where you need to be to change it is not anything you'd want to do yourself, so don't put anybody else in that situation.

Know how to handle your car out near its limits. An autocross or for younger drivers a "Survival School" are probably the best places to learn accurate hard cornering and hard braking. Knowing for sure what you can make your car do will take much of the panic out of emergency situations.


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Old 04-30-2014, 08:21 AM   #9
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One of the leading causes of spare Camaro/Vette parts in junkyards is hydroplanning.

Just slow down on rainy days. You can even drive on DOT slicks in the wet if you slow down enough.

Or ... Haul ass on bald tires to keep our good availability of parts. That works too!
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Old 04-30-2014, 08:32 AM   #10
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ABS is the best safety device ever put on cars, bar none.

Think of it as Allows Braking while Steering.

You can mash the brakes and still steer the car around an obstacle. Try in it a parking lot someday.

---------------------------------------------------------

Don't assume having the tail swing out means you need to brake. More often than not, keeping the throttle neutral will bring the car back into control.

---------------------------------------------------------

If things get REALLY bad, pick where you crash. If you let fate choose, it could be a tree. Trees Kill.

The survival tree:

1) Hit another car going in your direction.
2) Hit a curb. (You might have no control after a hard curb shot).
3) Hit a small sign or very young tree.
4) Hit a parked or stopped car.
5) Hit flat solid object, like a wall.
6) Hit a large tree.
7) hit a car head on.

6 and 7 are killers even at speeds as low as 25mph.
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2010 ZR1 "Satan" no times yet.
2013 Volt SCCA Solo2 #771 HS3.
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Old 04-30-2014, 09:28 AM   #11
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YESSSS!!!!!!

Keep 'em coming guys and gals.

Between all of us on here, we have no less than about 4 brazillion years of combined driving experience. I know we have Law Enforcement, Firefighters and Medics/EMTs, DOT/Road Crews, truckers, insurance adjusters, people who just drive, and other people that see it all EVERY DAY and could give some great advice.

I thought of another one this morning.

Pull through, or back into every parking space that you can, so you are facing outward when it's time to leave. Learning to back the car will build good confidence and skill so that you're better equipped to maneuver the car if you find yourself in a tight situation. It also bolsters safety. You have control of the lane when you pull up to a parking space, but that's not true when leaving a space. It's better to be facing outward.

And if you have passengers, it's also never wrong to have a "spotter" jump out and stand where you can see them (off to the side, but in your door mirrors or line of sight) and watch tight spaces, where wheels might scrape curbs, etc.


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Old 04-30-2014, 10:17 AM   #12
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There is nothing wrong with using a properly installed radial tire plug for street use. A radial tire plug kit, a can of seal-n-air, and vice-grips is a good spare kit for those without spares.

However, the puncture must be in the steel belt area, never the shoulders or sidewall. Those require replacement. No other choice is safe.

----------------------------------------------------------------

If you are going to datalog WOT on the street, do not fiddle with the computer while driving. Your best location is a long uphill grade. You will collect more data per distance, and your stopping distance is extremely short. Never do testing on downhill grades.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Never stop on the freeway or highway emergency lane or shoulder unless absolutely no other option is possible. Pull off as far as you can if you must stop, even if it hurts your car. Lots of people get killed or maimed by being parked legally in the emergency lane. In front of our house, a girl got her legs cut off because she pulled off the highway onto the shoulder. It was rough waiting for the paramedics since we were rural. She asked me if she was going to die. What do you say? I told her she was going to make it. But I had no idea if that was true. I stopped most the bleeding I could see, but I knew she didn't have a lot time to get to a hospital.

Off-Topic - The California Highway Patrol were the first emergency responders. He would NOT help me stop the bleeding. He did NOT cite the driver who hit her, even though she and her car were not in the lane.

That was the day I grew up. I'm now aware that public employees consider their employment status more important than a young woman's life. They are nothing but DMV clerks with a gun. This was a 180° shift in my life. I no longer expect assistance or appropriate behavior from any government employee.
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Old 04-30-2014, 01:31 PM   #13
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SIGNALS, SIGNALS, SIGNALS PEOPLE!!!

if you are making any type of turn or changing lanes - SIGNAL AHEAD OF TIME!

It seems that all of a sudden nowadays people feel that if they are in a left turn lane they don't need to use their left turn signal. If I'm in the oncoming lane sometimes I can't tell if you're in a turn lane and I'm sitting there not knowing if you're turning or going straight! PUT YOUR DAMN SIGNAL ON!
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Old 04-30-2014, 01:57 PM   #14
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Quote:
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...Don't hang out in the fast lane on the highway/interstate, it's a good way to get picked off if you're exceeding the speed limit.
Just want to add to this point:

There are way too many people who erroneously believe passing on the right is OK. It is not.

In particular on the freeway where speeds are higher, don't pass on the right. Only pass on the left and don't weave in and out of traffic.

Passing on the right creates more danger for everyone as there are drivers attempting to merge onto the freeway (from right to left), drivers attempting to move into the right lane(s) to either get in the slower lanes or to take an exit ramp (most of which are on the right side of the freeway).

Passing on the right and weaving in and out of traffic creates more chaos and unpredictable traffic flow.

Maintain your lane unless your intention is to overtake the vehicle(s) in front of you or you're intending to exit within the next couple of miles.
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Last edited by Baba; 05-01-2014 at 11:25 AM.
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Old 04-30-2014, 02:04 PM   #15
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Oh for heaven sakes USE YOUR DAMN BLINKER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 04-30-2014, 02:07 PM   #16
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Just want to add to this point:

There are way too many people who erroneously believe passing on the right is OK. It is not.

In particular on the freeway where speeds are higher, don't pass on the right. Only pass on the left and don't weave in and out of traffic.

Passing on the right creates more danger for everyone as there are drivers attempting to merge onto the freeway (from right to left), drivers attempting to move into the right lane(s) to either get in the slower lanes or to take an exit ramp (most of which are on the right side of the freeway).

Passing on the right and weaving in and out of traffic creates more chaos and unpredictability of traffic flow.

Maintain your lane unless your intention is to overtake the vehicle(s) in front of you or you're intending to exit within the next couple of miles.
Yeah but most of the time there are douchebags driving the speed limit or slower in the left lane when there's no traffic in the middle or right lanes.

Left lanes are for passing not for some douch nozzle to tool along in. How many asshats do you see that merge onto the freeway and immediately just get in the left lane when there's nobody in the middle or right lanes? Can't stand people that have to drive in the left lane all the time no matter what.
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Old 04-30-2014, 02:07 PM   #17
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If you are in the left lane, and someone one comes up on you, move over. It does not matter how fast you think you are going, move over. If you don't in GA now, it is a ticketable offense. Best law ever for traffic flow.
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Old 04-30-2014, 02:12 PM   #18
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If you are in the left lane, and someone one comes up on you, move over. It does not matter how fast you think you are going, move over. If you don't in GA now, it is a ticketable offense. Best law ever for traffic flow.
Usually they think that's a good reason to slow down even more. Especially if there's a car to the right of them so you're boxed in.
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Old 04-30-2014, 02:21 PM   #19
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good thread
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Old 04-30-2014, 02:35 PM   #20
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If you HAVE to be on the phone while driving make sure it's on bluetooth mode. better yet turn the damn phone off when you're driving.

Whenever I see somebody driving with a phone up to their ear I want to just yank them out the vehicle and slap them.

And then we have the geniuses texting, posting to facebook and twitter and surfing the internet while driving. Just read a story of some lady who ran off the road and killed herself because she was posting to facebook about how some song made her happy. COME ON!!!
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Old 04-30-2014, 02:39 PM   #21
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Another one...

Learn to dump your speed before entering curves. It seems logical, but a lot of people brake and downshift while in a curve and that's technically wrong. You want to set up for the curve and get dialed in, just before you turn in, make the corner in an optimal gear, and then accelerate out of the turn. I wouldn't encourage aggressive cornering or breaking the law on public roads. But it's something you can practice doing in everyday driving without speeding or being dangerous. It also increases safety on slick roads and in inclement weather.

Motorcycle safety courses and racing education courses cover this; I don't know why it's not a bigger deal in regular old driver's education in order to get a license.
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Old 04-30-2014, 02:40 PM   #22
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Adjust your side mirrors-You should not be able to see your car in your side mirrors. If you want to look at you car park it and get out to look at it. With properly adjusted mirrors you minimize your blind spots. Do this on all of your cars not just your Camaro.

Driving is multitasking and requires your full attention. Your cellphone and cheeseburger can wait.
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Old 04-30-2014, 02:44 PM   #23
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If you get wheel hop during hard acceleration or braking ...

FIND OUT WHY and fix it. The correct set up does not hop. Often it's tires/pressure.

You will break a surprising number of parts that normally don't break. Bell housing, motor mounts, trans input/out shafts, U-Joints, axles, etc, etc.
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2003 Z06 in progress
2009 CTS-V "Spooky" 12.36 ET, bone stock at 1600 mi. Rainy day in Sacramento. Sadness.
2010 ZR1 "Satan" no times yet.
2013 Volt SCCA Solo2 #771 HS3.
And a bunch of Duramaxes.
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Old 04-30-2014, 02:49 PM   #24
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A Rotary or Round-about depending on what you call it is a continuous circle when you are leaving it put on your turn signal so the people trying to enter know that they can go.
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Old 04-30-2014, 03:24 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gillis View Post
Yeah but most of the time there are douchebags driving the speed limit or slower in the left lane when there's no traffic in the middle or right lanes.

Left lanes are for passing not for some douch nozzle to tool along in. How many asshats do you see that merge onto the freeway and immediately just get in the left lane when there's nobody in the middle or right lanes? Can't stand people that have to drive in the left lane all the time no matter what.

Definitely agree. The outer most left lane should be used for passing only. Not to cruise the speed limit or below. If one isn't passing or driving faster than the flow of traffic on the right, one doesn't belong in the left lane.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gajagfan View Post
If you are in the left lane, and someone one comes up on you, move over. It does not matter how fast you think you are going, move over. If you don't in GA now, it is a ticketable offense. Best law ever for traffic flow.
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