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Hill starts at junctions

Video on how to do hill starts at junctions

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We're going to have a look at 3 different ways to tackle junctions on hills. If you're learning how to drive a manual car then this might be quite difficult at first.

Before attempting hill starts, make sure you're comfortable with where the biting point is in your car as you'll need to get it relatively quickly. You know when you've got the biting point as the back of the car will dip down and the front will raise slightly.

To help prevent stalling, always set the gas before getting the biting point. Try and keep the revs a little above 1 and a half but it's not precise.

If you don't get the biting point when doing a hill start then the car will roll back. But if you raise the clutch too much then the car will either stall or zoom off.

The first technique involves using the parking brake (handbrake).

You might think that it takes ages to apply the parking brake and release it and for some new drivers it can take a minute.

But it is possible to quickly apply the parking brake, prepare to go, release the parking brake and make hill starts really easy.

The following is what you'd you do with the controls as you approach the junction.

Release the accelerator, clutch down, brake lightly as the hill will slow you down quickly, then 1st gear.

Once you've stopped.

Apply the parking brake, if you're only at the junction for a second then leave your hand on the parking brake to save time.

Make sure it's safe to go, then gas, biting point and release the parking brake.

Why use the parking brake?

The benefit of using the parking brake is that it allows you to prepare the car to go again. You'll be able to set the gas and get the biting point without fear of rolling backwards.

Clutch control.

Remember to lower the clutch slightly about the thickness of a pound coin if you emerge out of the junction a little quick.

The hill will slow the car down you down but if you feel like you're stopping too early then set the gas and biting point to creep forward. Don't forget to avoid stalling always press the gas before biting point and don't release the clutch too soon. Hold onto it for about 3 seconds as you move off.

How to recover from stalling a car

Hill starts at traffic lights

Think positively.

When you do a hill start, try not to think about rolling back or stalling otherwise you'll be distracted and it might not work out well.

Technique 2 is not always coming to a complete stop at the junction if it's safe & legal.

It's not always possible but if you don't need to stop at the junction then you can avoid doing a hill start in the first place. Instead of coming to a complete stop at the give-way line (must stop at stop lines and if it's unsafe!) you could use clutch control to creep really slowly.

Approach the junction slowly so you've got time to observe. Don't forget that the hill is slowing the car down so you might not need to brake too much. Then clutch down, 1st gear, then gas and biting point to creep slowly but observe lots for others and always be ready to stop.

Don't forget that the hill is acting kind of as a brake. 1st gear as you're nearly stopping then gas, biting point, raise the clutch slightly to creep or lower it a little to slow down.

Don't forget to always be ready to stop at give-way lines and observe properly for others.

A lot of accidents happen at junctions, so always be ready to stop. Good, effective observations are so important.

3rd technique for tackling junctions on hills is stopping and going again without using the parking brake.

This is probably the trickiest way to do a hill start as you'll have to be fast with your feet and very confident to get the biting point quickly.

When you're ready to move off at the junction, you'd have to release the footbrake, set the gas and get the biting point before the car rolls back.

If you're not confident with this then definitely use the parking brake as it's a lot easier.

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Clutch or brake first? How to change gear
When to change gear When to change gear - hills
How to steer
Clutch control
How to avoid stalling Hill starts
Bus lanes
Pedestrian crossings Meeting traffic

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