Pedals and Good DesignI went to pick up Gloria and Eli 14.4 at the airport last night, and I noticed something interesting.
My Honda Accord Hybrid has an extremely responsive brake pedal. Even a light tap gives you strong braking. The gas pedal is almost the opposite, because it's not nearly as responsive, and you have to mash it to accelerate quickly.
I drove Gloria's car--a Subaru Forrester--to the airport (more room for goalie gear), and as I was reaching a pedestrian crosswalk, the car lurched forward as the engine growled.
If there had been a pedestrian in front of me, I might have hit them. Scared me to death.
The Forrester is the opposite of the Accord in terms of pedals--the gas pedal is highly responsive, while you have to mash down hard on the brakes (compared to the Accord, anyway).
That's dangerous, and here's why.
I was pressing down hard on the brakes, in my boots, and I think part of my boot was also pressing down on the accelerator (different car, different pedal width, etc.).
If I did that in the Accord, almost nothing would happen, because I would be touching the accelerator so lightly that the car wouldn't go forward. With the Forrester, though, I was pressing down hard on the brakes, so the ultra-responsive accelerator getting incidentally pressed lurched the car forward.
Plus, if your foot is just a bit in the wrong place, slamming down on the brake (because the car accelerated unexpectedly to you) could make the car go forward even faster.
That seems like bad design.