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The Emergency Stop

By March 16, 2017July 11th, 2017Uncategorized

There is another strange discussion that goes around from time to time about the emergency stop and the clutch.

I’ve heard people being taught ‘both feet’ (i.e. brake and clutch) down together, and even a random clutch then brake!

This is manifestly incorrect for several reasons

  1. As we all know this disconnects the engine from the wheels so reducing braking efficiency.Some will say that modern brakes are so good and the amount of engine braking lost is so slight as this isn’t relevant. But the point is, it’s an ’emergency’ ¬†– Lets say its 1% less effective. That 1% lost could be the difference between hitting the child that’s run out and not. In an emergency situation you want the MOST effective braking technique, not one that’s ‘almost’ as good.
  2. It’s simply unrealistic, if you ever been a passenger or even had to do sudden braking yourself?

Did you really shove the clutch down at the same time? The instinctive reaction from almost all drivers is to hit the brake pedal. By teaching a different less effective technique you’re actually increasing the thinking time, although like every one else in a real situation the drivers just going to hammer the brake on anyway.

The “correct” method as always is found in the Essential Skills – Brake then depress the clutch just before you stop.

Which leads me on to the final argument “this routine is not necessarily correct if you have ABS brakes, refer to the manufacturers handbook”

I’ve never found a manufacturers handbook that says in an emergency you should brake and declutch at the same time but that’s not to say there isn’t one out there somewhere. ¬†There’s a couple of reasons for this – the two I’ve mentioned above.

What that really refers to is the reference to “progressive braking” when undertaking an emergency stop.

Modern cars with ‘brake assist’ require you to just hammer the brakes quickly (because again that’s what most people do in real life) for the brake assist feature to kick in.