Death of the Handbrake

  • GuitarMick's Avatar
    Electronic Parking Brakes (EPB). Serious road safety issue.
    Your life is at risk, and the lives of all in the car.
    Over the last few years new cars have been equipped more and more with EPB's replacing the conventional handbrake in the centre console. A deadly move!!!
    My concern is that the front seat passenger now has no way of stopping the vehicle should the driver have a medical issue impacting their ability to control the car.
    As a professional driver, I taught my passengers to pull up the handbrake and knock it out of gear while controlling the steering wheel. It is the only chance you have.
    If you drive an automatic it is a bit more difficult to move the car into Neutral, and coupled with an EPB you have no chance whatsoever, and have to watch your destiny unfold through the windscreen.
    Vehicle manufacturers are putting lives at serious risk. This could happen to anyone. How many have died because they were never aware of passenger power?
    You could end up in this situation if you have a lift from a friend or take a taxi.
    Stop this madness NOW!!!
    Regards, GuitarMick.
  • 8 Replies

  • Beelzebub's Avatar
    These have been fitted to the majority of cars, probably for the last 10 years. Probably worldwide.

    If this were a significant serious risk I'm sure we'd have heard about it by now..
  • Drivingforfun's Avatar
    Can you engage the electronic brake while the car is moving to perform an emergency stop?
  • NMNeil's Avatar
    Every car and truck I've ever owned or driven here in the US had a foot operated parking brake which can only be operated by the driver, even in all my police Interceptors, unless the passenger has very long legs that can go round corners, so the 'medical' emergency seems to be a non issue or it would have been resolved some time ago.
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  • Drivingforfun's Avatar
    I do actually accept there is a level of risk but as somebody who works with statistics every day I’d suggest everything is a risk and that if you’re worried about this risk, death stats would probably suggest you should also be avoiding lots of stuff and maybe not even leaving the house “just to be safe”
  • Santa's Avatar
    Frankly, given the rate at which driving emergencies unfold, I seriously doubt that any passenger, seeing the driver suffering from a medical issue impacting their ability to control the car would have the wit and the reaction speed to "pull up the handbrake and knock it out of gear while controlling the steering wheel".

    Of all the things there are to worry about these days, this one does not even make the cut on my list.
  • Santa's Avatar
    @Drivingforfun Staying home may not be the best idea. According to ROSPA:


    • The home is the most common location for an accident to happen
    • Every year across the UK, there are approximately 6,000 deaths as a result of home accidents
    • Children under the age of five years and people in later life (those over the age of 65, and particularly those over 75) are most likely to have an accident at home
    • Falls are the most common accidents and can cause serious injury at any time of life, but the risk increases with age
    • More women than men over the age of 65 die as a result of an accident in the home; however, among children more boys than girls have accidents at home
    • More accidents happen in the lounge/living room than anywhere else in the home


    https://www.rospa.com/policy/home-sa...ts-and-figures
  • Rolebama's Avatar
    My daughter's Audi has an electric hand brake, and I hate it!
    As to safety statistics, in the first years of the M25, it was rated the most dangerous motorway in the country.
    More deaths and serious injuries than the rest of the motorways put together. Now it is rated as one of the safest roads in the country.
    What changed? Statistic gathering. More cars, more miles travelled. Statistics can be abused to suit whatever point you are trying to prove.
  • NMNeil's Avatar
    “Facts are stubborn things, but statistics are pliable”

    Mark Twain
    Last edited by NMNeil; 27-05-24 at 14:11. Reason: typo