Street Survival - Advanced Defensive Driving

DEFENSIVE > CONTROLS > ACCELERATOR

Accelerator

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Accelerator (gas pedal or throttle). Familiarize yourself with the practical points below.

💡 Tips:

? Question:

Defensive Controls Accelerator

💡 Tips on operating the accelerator or gas pedal

  • Sensitive control.

  • Place heel of foot on the floor to use as a pivoting point and then the ankle to control how much pressure to apply.

  • Do not use with either the complete foot on the pedal or the ankle suspended off the floor as you won't have the same control as when the foot is positioned as outlined in the point above.

  • Best used smoothly and progressively with a consistent force (either accelerating or decelerating), not harshly and with an inconsistent force.

  • Applying the point above will give your passengers a much smoother and more comfortable ride.

  • Using the gas pedal in such a smooth, progressive and consistent way will also greatly improve your fuel consumption.

  • Harshly accelerating in an automatic vehicle will likely downshift the gears.

  • Be aware of accidentally stepping on the gas pedal instead of brake pedal, which is right next to it. There are many videos showing vehicles plowing through a store front because of the driver pressing the wrong pedal.

? What can I do if the gas pedal or accelerators sticks while driving?

  • If you have an automatic transmission, put the gear in neutral.

  • If you have a manual transmission, push in the clutch and control your speed, if necessary, by balancing the use of the clutch and brake.

  • Put on your hazard lights.

  • If the pedal itself is stuck, while keeping aware of your surroundings, try and unhook the pedal with the top of your toes.

  • If you have power steering, do not switch off the engine otherwise steering will be a lot more difficult, which may prove to be more dangerous.

  • If the engine revs to a dangerous level, as a last resort, ensure the vehicle is in 'neutral,' switch the ignition off, making sure you do not lock the steering wheel and bearing in mind you will lose power to the brakes and steering. Note that you can also use the handbrake to slow down.

  • Try to coast to the side of the road, well away from moving traffic.

  • Only after stopping should you switch the engine off.

? Can you drive without accelerator?

Technically, it is possible to drive a car without using the accelerator pedal under certain circumstances. Here are a few scenarios where you may be able to drive without actively pressing the accelerator:

  • Idle speed: When the engine is running, it maintains a minimum idle speed set by the engine control unit (ECU) or idle control valve. This idle speed is sufficient to keep the vehicle moving at a slow pace without the need for constant acceleration. However, the car's speed will be limited, and it may eventually come to a stop if the idle speed is not sufficient to maintain forward momentum.

  • Downhill or gravity-assisted movement: If the car is on a downward slope, gravity can cause it to roll forward without the need for accelerator input. The vehicle will naturally gain speed as it moves downhill.

  • Momentum from previous acceleration: If you have accelerated the vehicle and then release the accelerator pedal, the car will continue to move forward for some time based on the momentum gained. The speed will gradually decrease until the car comes to a stop if no additional acceleration is applied.

However, it's important to note that driving solely relying on idle speed or gravity-assisted movement is not recommended in normal driving situations. Proper control and modulation of the accelerator pedal are essential for safe and efficient operation of the vehicle. The accelerator pedal allows you to adjust the speed and power output of the engine to match the driving conditions and requirements.

Always follow safe driving practices and use the accelerator pedal responsibly to maintain control of your vehicle.

? Why car moves without touching the accelerator?

If a car is moving without the accelerator being pressed, it could be due to several reasons:

  • Automatic transmission: In a car with an automatic transmission, the vehicle can move forward even without pressing the accelerator pedal when the gear selector is in the "Drive" or "D" position. This is because the transmission is designed to engage a low gear ratio at idle, allowing the vehicle to move slowly without the need for constant acceleration.

  • Idle speed: When the engine is running, it maintains a minimum idle speed set by the engine control unit (ECU) or idle control valve. This idle speed is typically sufficient to keep the vehicle moving slowly without the need for acceleration. However, the car should not move at a high speed without pressing the accelerator.

  • Slope or gravity: If the car is on a downward slope, gravity can cause it to roll forward even without pressing the accelerator. Similarly, on a flat surface, a car may move due to momentum gained from previous acceleration or external forces.

It's worth noting that if a car is moving significantly without any input from the accelerator, it may indicate a potential issue with the throttle system, idle control, or transmission. If you consistently notice unusual behavior, it is advisable to have the vehicle inspected by a qualified mechanic to ensure its proper functioning and address any potential problems.

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Street Survival - Advanced Defensive Driving