How to Drive a Standard Transmission Vehicle

This post is a result of being behind someone in a manual shift car yesterday who clearly had no idea how to drive it. 

Having been a driver instructor and driver examiner in the Canadian military for some time, perhaps I'm a little too hard nosed on this topic but....

If you are going to drive a vehicle with a standard transmission, that means you shift the gears yourself, then please, for the sake of your safety and everyone else on the road,  LEARN HOW TO DRIVE IT PROPERLY!

This is not a difficult task.  Everyone can learn it. 

Basically, when you are sitting at a light or stop sign or some other location where you are starting off from a stand-still, there is no legitimate excuse for allowing the vehicle to roll backward.  NONE!

There is this little concept known as a friction point.  That is where the clutch begins to engage.  Not the point where you stall the vehicle because you let it out too far with not enough accelerator and certainly not where the vehicle is all but in neutral, but just where the engine RPM drops a little bit.  Leave your right foot on the brake pedal.  You don't need it yet.

At this point, the vehicle will stay put.  It won't move forward, it won't move backward without acceleration.  This is what you need to learn to use.

When I taught driver training, the student could not move on to the road test portion until every start, on a steep hill, was made using the friction point and the vehicle did not move even and inch.

Here's a tip for you at traffic lights once you have mastered the friction point.  Watch the other light to see when it turns yellow.  That is your signal to put the vehicle in gear and engage the friction point.   You do put the transmission in neutral at traffic lights right????

Leave your foot on the brake at this time.  Then, when the light turns green for you, you are ready to ease the clutch out a little further with acceleration and you are off with no rolling back.  No panic, no revving of the engine.  A simple and straight forward start without compromising the safety of you and those behind you.