Learner drivers often get flustered when they select a wrong gear by mistake. Going into 1st gear instead of 3rd (and vice versa) is a very common error. Mixing up 2nd & 4th gears is equally common.
Having said that, learners who have been taught the palming technique, rarely have these problems. This brief post looks at the palming technique and why you should learn it before you even take your tuition car onto the main road.
On top of the gear stick you will see an engraved diagram of your car’s gears. The thing that is not immediately obvious is that ‘neutral’ is directly behind 3rd gear and directly in front of 4th gear. Once you understand this, you will understand the benefit of the palming technique for consistently selecting the correct gear.
To select 1st gear from neutral, turn your palm away from you and using a little sideways pressure, gently push the gearstick diagonally forward until it clicks into 1st gear.
To select 2nd gear from 1st or neutral, use the same palm facing away technique exerting a little sideways pressure and pull the gearstick back until it clicks into 2nd gear.
So to re-iterate, for 1st and 2nd gears, your palm should be facing away from you and you should be using some (left) sideward pressure throughout the movements. At no point should your hand be actually gripping the gear knob on top of the gearstick.
Be sure to check tomorrow’s installment where we look at 3rd & 4th gears.