IDLE ONLY: Please, in car parks, keep the right foot off the accelerator.
IDLE ONLY: Please, in car parks, keep the right foot off the accelerator. Contributed

OPINION: Watch those car park close calls

I SAW an incident in a car park last week. Fortunately, the only casualties were the shrubbery in an adjacent garden bed and a red face.

Although I didn't speak to the persons involved, (other helpful bystanders went to their aid), from experience as a driving instructor, I'm pretty sure I know how the incident occurred.

This isn't the first time I've seen this type of thing happen, nor sadly will it be the last.

We regularly see stories reported in both traditional news sources and social media of these types of "parking incidents" occurring.

Sadly, some have very unhappy endings.

The culprit in most of these cases is the same.

The tootsie, the trotter, the hoof or the paw. The foot and specifically, the right one.

I have a constant battle with learners when I take them into car parks.

My learner always wants to jam their right foot on the accelerator. I always ask, "Why?"

The answer that they most often then squeak out is, "to make the car go".

This tends to make me then acquaint my learner with some facts.

Firstly - according to the "Collins English Dictionary", an accelerator pedal is defined as "a pedal pressed with the foot to make a vehicle go faster." Not go - but go faster.

In a normal modern vehicle, if the engine is running and connected to the wheels, via the gearbox, and there isn't a force acting against movement, such as gravity (going up a steep hill) or friction, (from application of the brakes), the engine's idle speed is usually more than enough to make it move along fast enough for most car parks.

I just did some experimenting in one of my cars and I found that it can do 8-10 km/hr from a standing start easily, without using the accelerator.

Like I said - plenty fast enough for car parks.

The same car will jump a curb at 3-4km/h.

See a potential risk here anyone?

So, where does the right foot belong in car parks or other similar situations? On the brake.

If you hit the gutter, or worse, you can stop fast.

Please, keep the right foot off the accelerator in car parks.

If not for you and your fellow humans, then at least do it for the shrubbery!


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