Riding The Brakes
Riding the Brakes
Are you riding the brakes?
“What could be wrong with that” you say?
Riding the Brakes causes the following:
- Excessive brake wear
- Reduced fuel economy
- Danger because the person behind you doesn’t really know if you are slowing down or not
- Danger of overheated brakes when riding the brakes down long, steep hills like we have in our beautiful mountains
- Reduced traffic efficiency as the drivers behind you hit their brakes since they are not sure if you are actually slowing down or not. This creates a chain reaction that can lead to vehicles only a few cars behind you coming to a complete stop.
- If you don’t like traffic jams, don’t contribute to them by riding the brakes
Here is a video of someone riding their brakes coming down Berthoud Pass:
So How do I stop riding the brakes?
It can “feel” safer to keep that left foot on the brake, but as the list above shows, there are real dangers in doing so.
Several ways to help “break” the habit of riding the brake:
- Look ahead of the vehicle directly in front of you, and anticipate the traffic flow farther up
- Consider the weather conditions and the likely traffic pace
- When driving down those beautiful mountain roads, gear down to keep your vehicle speed in check
- The driver in the video would do themselves and their fellow drivers a great service by simply shifting into a lower gear.
- Allow sufficient room between you and the vehicle in front of you
- Focus on using your right foot for the gas and the brake (don’t use your left foot for the brake)
- When you catch yourself riding the brake: STOP
- Anticipate the flow of traffic, and go with the flow
- Remember that riding the brake is like crying wolf to the driver behind you
Riding the brake contributes to traffic jams
Don’t be a driver “crying wolf”.
Don’t ride the brake.
Save the planet.
Save your car.
Save the sanity of your fellow drivers.
Improve traffic throughput (and save even MORE gas for everyone).
Please share this with any brake riders you know.
Let’s keep the pace…
and the peace.