Covering the Brake

In city driving, you should be prepared to stop or slow down suddenly. Cover braking provides a smooth transition from acceleration to braking and is effective for slowing in reduced stopping distances.

The cover braking technique involves taking your right foot off the accelerator and holding it over the brake pedal. If you have to stop quickly, your foot is already above the brake pedal and is in the perfect position to press the brake. This method will improve your reaction time. So, whenever you identify a hazard, cover the brake to prepare for sudden stops or slowing. When covering the brake, be careful not to rest your foot on the brake pedal (also known as riding the brake). Riding the brake is not recommended; it will only confuse other drivers and add unnecessary wear to the brakes.

Covering the brakes is recommended when:

  • Passing parked cars, as they may pull out in front of you or swing open a door
  • You see cars in front of you with their brake lights on
  • Approaching a signal light in a busy intersection (look for traffic build up and flashing crosswalk lights as these indicate that the light is about to change)
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