2011 Hyundai Elantra - Safety question

Is it safer (by that I mean collision-wise) to be in neutral rather than drive when stopped at light?

In a collision it will make no difference and you should be in gear assuming you have an automatic so you can move if necessary. Also when you move from neutral to drive your backup lights will flash and panic the person behind you.


I rather be in Drive mode to avoid a collision if I see it coming.I always check my rear view mirror in case someone is coming too fast from behind.My reaction would be to accelerate quickly to get out of the way.

When you shift from neutral to drive, you don’t pass thru reverse. So the back-up lights wouldn’t come on.



Here’s another vote for staying in Drive so that you can move quickly if needed.

Shifting to Neutral so often might also add some extra wear on certain transmission parts, although I don’t know if that’s enough to really matter.

If driving an automatic, always leave it in gear when stopped at a traffic light. There is no benefit to shifting to neutral or park.

If driving a stick shift, there is a safety advantage to having it in gear if you have an escape route, but if you’re blocked in, save wear and tear on the throw-out bearing by leaving it in neutral.

The only safety advantage is in being ready to move out of the way if you see something happening, like an out of control truck barreling towards you or a carjacker approaching.

Back in the '50s, automotive authorities like Smokey Yunik advised that drivers shift to neutral when stopped at traffic lights in order to reduce the heat load on their automatic transmissions. Thank God that modern automatic transmissions are much more reliable than the ones from “The Good Old Days”.

6 of one, half dozen of the other. There’s advantages and disadvantages either way. Do it whatever way you are most comfortable.

Whether in drive or neutral, your foot should be on the brake, if you are going to get reared ended it will not make any difference.

Busted. :joy::joy::joy: