Give Me a Brake

This data makes the point that the most powerful control on the vehicle is the brakes. Basically, the brakes produce larger changes in speed than the gas pedal.


If you are an EVOC instructor, you can demonstrate this by pointing a radar gun at the vehicle as it enters the braking exercises, and notice how quick the speed drops. In fact, you can look at the radar gun and get an indication of how hard the student applied the brakes. If done properly, the speed indicated on the radar gun will drop significantly within the first second.

Look At This

A major component of braking to avoid an emergency has nothing to do with braking. It's all about where you look while the emergency is unfolding. Car manufactures have been studying this phenomenon for a while. Simply stated--your hands go where your eyes look. As soon as the emergency presents itself, look for a place to put the vehicle. Look where you want the vehicle to go, and your hands will follow your eyes. Many times the driver's eyes fixate on the object they are trying to avoid, and the result is that they drive into it.

EVOC instructors: this is a take away that you want all students to have when they leave your course. A good place to make the point is the accident avoidance/lane change etc. exercises. As soon as the command is given to go into a lane, the student needs to look where they want the car to go.

Summary

  1. Be careful about increasing speeds--for every 10% increase in speed, there is a 20% increase in stopping distance.
  2. When confronted with an emergency, press the brake pedal as hard as possible.
  3. The sooner and harder the brake is pressed, the more steering the driver will have available for driving out of the emergency.
  4. Look where you want to put the vehicle.
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