BOARDMAN, Ohio (WYTV) – Unintended acceleration is when drivers confuse the gas and brake pedals. Most drivers think they’ll never do it, but experts say it can easily happen.
Although the exact causes have not been determined, a few crashes happened on Friday. One around 4:30 a.m. on Route 30 in Hanover Township, which was fatal. Another happened just after 9 a.m. when a woman drove into an oral surgeon’s office in Howland. Then around 9:30 a.m., a car crashed into Michaels craft store in Boardman.
Greg Anderson, a driving instructor at All Star Driving, has a simple method that can help drivers avoid unintended acceleration.
“This is one to help so you don’t have to think about where your foot is,” he said.
It’s called pivoting. Your heel rests on the floor and instead of lifting your leg between pedals, you just shift your foot.
“You always feel that when my foot is straight up and down, I know I’m on the brake and when my foot’s leaning over to the right, I know I’m on my gas,” Anderson said.
Anderson believes moving the ankle makes for a more fluid transition between the pedals, and less confusion.
He also suggests moving your seat so you have a slight bend in your knee and elbows. Drivers who are too close to the steering wheel tend to lift their whole foot in the air, which is not good.
“There’s a lot less travel time and it’s easier. You have more control by doing this,” he said.
Anderson says moving your leg takes more energy the closer you sit to the pedals.
Through pivoting, your foot will cover the brake and by moving it, you only need to reach the bottom of the gas pedal.
“I get a lot of comments, ‘Oh my goodness, it makes a lot of difference,’ and it’s a lot more comfortable and they’re able to drive longer and they have a lot more control over the car and they feel the difference in the control,” he said.
Anderson suggests driving in a parking lot to practice pivoting before using it on the road.