100 Year Old Driving School & ROSPA - Volts

Watching 100 Year Old Driving School last night and i saw a RSPOA (Royal Society Prevention of Accidents) recommend an automatic to a older lady as she was always in the wrong gear.

We have heard plenty of horror stories re autos and older drivers

Bad Advice from such a body....

Edited by Avant on 10/12/2017 at 23:19

100 Year Old Driving School & RSPOA - Bromptonaut

Potentially bad. She may adapt. My mother had manuals from test at age 40 in 1966 to mid nineties when she got an automatic Clio. No problems. She had learned/passed her test on an auto though - before the auto only licence thing came in.

100 Year Old Driving School & RSPOA - badbusdriver

I recommended an automatic to one of my customers, an elderly lady (I'd guess late 60's). At the time she had a hyundai tuscon with manual gearbox. She tried an auto version and liked it so much she traded in her car immediately!. That was about 4 years ago, and she now enjoys driving much more than she used to.

100 Year Old Driving School & RSPOA - FiestaOwner

What I do think is dangerous, is for people to advocate "Left Foot Braking" with an automatic.

Just think about it, a lifetime of braking with your right foot! Then trying to use your left (or both). An absolute recipe for disaster. In my view, it would increase the risk of confusion and accidents.

Edited by FiestaOwner on 10/12/2017 at 11:59

100 Year Old Driving School & RSPOA - RT

I'm 70, been driving automatics virtually full-time for 25 years - it's never occurred to me that "left-foot braking" is for anyone other than rally drivers who need/want to keep the power on while braking - although I am aware that HJ and one or two other places recommend it.

In an emergency situation, ordinary drivers either act instinctively or don't act at all - after 500,000 miles driving, my instinct is to right-foot brake without having to think about it - changing over would be a recipe for disaster.

100 Year Old Driving School & RSPOA - SLO76
Most people adjust fine and it gives them one less thing to think about while trying to navigate safely. If anyone is a danger in one then to me it’s time for them to hand their licence back. Watching the same programme I’d’ve told most of them to give up driving.
100 Year Old Driving School & RSPOA - gordonbennet

That advice should be qualified, yes by all means have an automatic but not some half way there thing with one or more standard electrically controlled clutches, at maneuvering speeds these things are the work of the devil.

Something with a hydraulic torque converter with infintitely variable control, plus they're miles more reliable quite apart from making driving easy.

I've never got the LFB thing, i've used the technique a handful of times under extreme maneuvers on car transporters, it might have helped a fraction, but no normal driver parking their car is going to have to be inch precise on extreme angles or risk a wrecked bonnet or roof from overhead steelwork, i wouldn't be tempted to use it on the road.

100 Year Old Driving School & RSPOA - focussed

This old chestnut is so old it's got whiskers on it.

A manual gearbox car comes in one version, and one version only.

A clutch pedal and a gear lever and a throttle.

To my knowledge, there aren't any variations on that theme.

Master that combination, take your test, get your licence, and you are also qualified to drive any car with any insane manifestation of an automatic gearbox that any designer dreams up, ie anything that doesn't have a clutch pedal,. according to the DVSA (DeVious Standards Agency) who administer driving tests in the UK.

The two systems are totally different.

The manual system doesn't vary from Twickenham to Timbuctoo to Tomsk.

The automatic system has so many different variants today that manual licence holders who want to drive a two-pedal automatic should be required to have taken some sort of conversion course of a couple of hours with a qualified instructor, to learn how to do it properly and safely and get signed off at the end of it- and yes, that would include left-foot braking if necessary, when parking and slow speed manoevering.- because that's what I used to teach when I was an instructor - manual and automatic.

Edited by focussed on 10/12/2017 at 16:42

100 Year Old Driving School & RSPOA - Sofa Spud

QUOTE "A manual gearbox car comes in one version, and one version only"

Not really, there are all sorts of variations. Either 5-speed or 6-speed on modern cars, older ones used to make do with 4 or even 3 speeds, often without synchromesh on first gear. Heavy lorries normally have a greater number of gears and until quite recent years some still had fully non-synchromesh 'crash' gearboxes.

It's not necessary for manual drivers to do a conversion course although clearly it's a good idea to familiarise oneself with how to make the best of the auto transmission on a particular car. I've always driven mainly manual cars but have never had any problems driving automatics. In fact driving always seems so much easier after a long trip in an auto, even when driving a manual is 'automatic' to me!

Edited by Sofa Spud on 10/12/2017 at 23:27

100 Year Old Driving School & RSPOA - argybargy

Far from being a "point and go" option, driving an auto can present all manner of unexpected problems, particularly if you're cracking on a bit and set in your ways. My missus hitting the brake in our Meriva with Easytronic, thinking it was the clutch and nearly putting us both through the windscreen, for example.

Creep is one manifestation of the auto that might sneak up on you. Having a car that to some extent drives itself at low speeds could prove to be an issue, at least at first, though unlikely to result in the horror stories we hear about when someone goes into R instead of D, or t'other way round.

I recall the example of a lady who used to visit a shop close to where we once lived. Elderly lady, clearly independent but very conservative with her manual box. She would come out of the shop, get back into her car, put the poor long suffering old Fiat into first gear and stay there till she disappeared from view but not from earshot, the engine screeching into the distance and begging for second. Ideal candidate for an auto, I suppose.

Edited by argybargy on 11/12/2017 at 10:04

100 Year Old Driving School & RSPOA - concrete

I recently changed from a manual to automatic. The process was seemless to me, but I have driven close to a million miles in the last 50 years or so. I have had auotmatics over the years (mainly inherited from company fleet ) and have no difficulty in swapping around. I have used left foot braking on occasions but it does need some concentration and nor for the timid driver. My latest vehicle has an 8 speed TC autobox and is really excellent, I think I will stay with automatic transmission, of the right kind of course. Interesting that the Caravan Club recommended this auto for towing, and it does it very well. As for elderly drivers automatic is the obvious choice as it leaves more time to concentrate on actually steering the vehicle. Also the natural reaction in an emergency stop is the same with the right foot.

Cheers Concrete


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