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What is Hill Start Assist and How Does It Work?

What is Hill Start Assist and How Does It Work?

Hill start assist or hill hold control is a cool feature found on some modern vehicles to make driving easier in specific terrains. The technology helps you avoid the moment your car may roll slightly between when you take your foot off the brake and move it to the accelerator. This is more likely to happen if your car is parked or stopped facing uphill. This is only a minor issue for most drivers, and it's something that many aren't overly concerned about due to them driving in flat areas, but it is a nice-to-have feature that many drivers wouldn't turn down if they were offered it.

What Is Hill Start Assist?

For this technology to work, your vehicle needs to know when it's on an incline and also whether you're pressing the brake pedal or not. Sensors detect when your vehicle is on an incline and sitting still. When that happens, the hill start assist initiates, and you'll enjoy a smoother takeoff when you begin accelerating up the hill again.

When you release the brake pedal to move your foot to the accelerator, the hill start assist control holds the brake for you until the moment you press the accelerator. By using rapid computer reaction times, the technology will enable you to sit on a hill and then begin driving up the hill without jerking backward at all.

Hill Start Assist is Excellent for New Drivers

New drivers may become frightened or even get into an accident when they begin driving if they are forced to stop on a hill. With hill start assist, this isn't going to be an issue. A new driver will feel confident stopping on hills because they won't have to experience the rollback that could lead to a bump into the car behind them.

The only downside to new drivers getting used to hill start assist is that it isn't yet offered on all vehicles. If a new driver gets used to relying on hill start assist technology, they could make a serious mistake when switching to a vehicle that isn't equipped with the feature. For this reason, it's important for new drivers to practice with and without the technology so they know what it feels like to drive without it as well.

Drive in Hilly Environments More Safely

Drive in Hilly Environments More SafelyMost people know they should give you ample space when stopped on a hillside, but not everyone will. If someone stops close to your vehicle, there is a risk that you'll roll back and hit them if you're driving without hill-start assist. The more traditional solution to this problem is to switch from the brake pedal to the accelerator rapidly, but today, we can use a vehicle with hill start assist as an even safer option.

The Technology Happens Automatically

Unlike some other systems in your car, hill start assist works without you ever having to press an activation button or engage a lever within the vehicle. It will automatically ensure that you don't roll backward when starting on an incline because it knows when you're in a situation where that could happen, thanks to its sensors and programming. That means you can rely on the technology to keep you safe whenever you start driving on a hill.

Hill Start Assist Won't Stop You From Slipping

Hill start assist is meant to help prevent you from rolling backward while trying to accelerate forward, but it can also help in some weather conditions where your your vehicle starts hydroplaning. However, if your car slides while the brakes are locked, you will slide whether you're using hill start assist or not. This is why it's important to only drive in reasonable conditions and to avoid going out if the roads are too bad.

Decide Whether Hill Start Assist is Necessary to You

If you're considering getting a new or used vehicle, you'll have to decide whether you're going to look for an option that comes with hill start assist or not. Take the time to learn about all the safety features and technologies of any vehicle you plan to buy to develop a good understanding of how it works. You can use that information to help you decide whether it's the right purchase option for you or not.

You should also look at a car history report for that specific vehicle. When you look at one of those reports, you will learn about any services, dealership visits, accidents, standard features, safety ratings, and much more about the vehicle you want to purchase.

All this data can help you learn how the car was cared for and what sort of life it has had so far. You'll have a better idea about whether the vehicle will function well for you after you look at a history report, and you can use that information to guide your vehicle purchase decisions.

Does Does Hill Start Assist Work With Manual Cars?

As someone learning to drive a standard vehicle, also known as a stick-shift or manual vehicle, one of the most challenging skills to master is starting to drive when parked on a hillside. Without enough practice and the proper technique, it's common to stall your vehicle and roll backward as well. That's why hill-start assist control is even more useful for standard vehicle owners.

The technology holds the brake for you when you're switching pedals as it does in an automatic vehicle, but it also holds the brake until you release the clutch in a manual. This reduces your risk of stalling your vehicle and makes driving on a hill feel smoother and more natural. If you want an easier vehicle to drive, getting one with hill start assist can simplify the driving process just enough to make it more enjoyable.

Hill start assist is a modern feature many vehicle owners will decide they want. It can make your car safer to drive and may help you avoid an accident in some instances. The technology doesn't work miracles, though, and you could still slip and slide when driving in snowy and icy conditions. You should exercise good judgment while driving your vehicle and make sure you're only out in conditions you can handle safely.

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