Shifting at a Stop Sign...
Q: When stopped what gear should I shift to?
A: While your transmission is in gear the risk of accidentally engaging power to the wheels exists. Clutch leg fatigue or being rear-ended can trigger you to involuntarily release the clutch pedal to propel forward, unexpectedly.
Shift to neutral and you make it impossible for the transmission to be engaged while you wait.
Keep your left foot on the dead pedal and reduce wear and tear to the clutch release bearing, and driver fatigue.
Remain alert while waiting, especially behind you. Keep an eye out for motorists who may be late slowing. Be prepared to give them more space when traffic begins to move again.
Shift Gears through an intersection?
Q: Can I shift gears while driving through an intersection?
A: In some jurisdictions It’s illegal to change gears while driving over level railway crossings, but I don’t know of any regulations regarding shifting gears while driving through intersections
Intersections are generally zones of higher activity thus classified as higher risk so whenever possible we keep our task load down to a minimum while driving through them.
That frees up more of your available attention to scan for potential hazards that may develop into problems.
Q: Should I downshift when stopping?
If you’re slowing down gradually, as when coming up to a long line of stopped traffic you may change gears as speed dictates.
For example, as the speed drops to the low 20’s (km/h) you may shift to 2nd gear, anticipating that the traffic may begin moving again, before you reach the end of the line.
On the other hand when you approach a stop sign, you normally decelerate faster and simply apply the brake. When near the desired stop position depress the clutch pedal as the engine speed approaches idle.
There’s absolutely no need to shift down through each gear because ultimately you’ll stop anyway.
Shift back to first before you move off again and you’re set to go.
Using gears instead of the brakes to slow your vehicle may cause severe damage to your powertrain.
Use your brakes. They’re far more effective, and cheaper.