MOTORING NEWS - Some distant in-law once said at a picnic "not to worry about big rigs because they can stop faster than the crappy Japanese car you have." I was young at the time and just learning to drive.
I was told by a girl friend that if your car is not moving, it will not consume gasoline. Gasoline, she told me, makes the wheels move. Anything your car does when it is not moving is via the battery. If you left your car sitting in the driveway, with the engine running, it would never run out of gasoline, ever. She swore this was fact.
Our driver education instructor told us not to change lanes because you will end up driving a much longer distance because of the Pythagorean Theorem. (Yeah, that's a long and thin right triangle, sir.)
My sister told me that after I turn I should just release my grip on the steering wheel and let the wheel spin in my hands while the car corrects itself. Two weeks later she crashed her car into a house.
A high school friend of mine was convinced that you should only slow down by downshifting, reserving the brake solely for emergencies. This was in order to save wear and tear on the brakes.
To this day my wife will swerve around bags or sacks in the road as though they were landmines because her mother told her there might be babies in them.
From my mom: learn how traction control works in the snow. Give it some gas, let it find grip and see how it feels. Here is the button to turn it off if your car won't move due to ice or whatever.
Worst from a friend - traction control kills people so turn it off and never let it kick in. He said he almost died because it kicked in when he didn't expect it.
(If traction control almost kills you when it cuts in, you weren't driving very safely to begin with...)
"Why are you using the brake at the light? Just balance the car using the clutch and the gas," and "Keep your right hand on the shift knob, unless you really need to put it on the steering wheel." Thanks to an older brother, who thankfully does not drive a manual anymore.
I'm always rather bemused by people at a stoplight who use the clutch as a sort of fidget spinner, going slightly forward and rolling slightly back 5 or 10 or 20 times while the light is red and plainly going to remain so for a while. What is going through their mind (other than two squirrels fighting over one acorn)?
If you see you're about to be rear-ended, get off the brake and put the car in neutral. With less resistance to the impact you'll be less injured inside the car.
(What makes this advice terrible is that is seems to make sense to someone with only a passing familiarity with physics.)
On automatic cars:
P on the shifter meant pass.
It was a tough lesson for me, my transmission and the guy who was tailgating me.
(Next time, use R for Race!)
D = Day, N = Night.
'We bring you the latest Garden Route, Hessequa, Karoo news'