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Selecting low gears when driving

When you are driving, you will just learn to change gears without really thinking about what you are doing and when. But generally you will change up gears the faster you are going, and this is often queued by you hearing the engine noise increase and the revs go up when you are at a higher speed in a lower gear.

However there are some situations where you need to think carefully about which gear you are in.

When you are driving in terrain that is up and down, you may see a 'low gear now' sign. This will often arise when you near the top of a hill and are about to go down the other side. Because of gravity being what it is, you will not simply want to use your brakes to slow you down when coming down a big hill.

Therefore you will need some engine braking as well. By selecting a low gear when you go down the kill, the engine will help to hold the car back and prevent it running away as a result. Also keeping your foot on the brakes over a long period could lead to it failing. That's not what you want to happen when you are going down a hill.

You will probably have noticed that some roads have run offs for those whose brakes have failed which of course is a good safety feature but not something you would ever want to have to rely on.

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