Most of us have heard the term “Helicopter Parents”. It is a fairly recent entry into the American lexicon. The term describes a parent who seems to “hover” over the child like a helicopter.

Now you ask, what does this have to do with mobility, transportation or driving? And, no, I am not the inventor of a new wheelchair that can hover instead of rolling on wheels.

The term “hover” reminds me of a driving technique that I learned from my father when I was learning to drive. The habit he wanted me to develop was to “hover” my right foot over the brake pedal whenever I was not actively pressing on the accelerator. This would place my foot in a position to apply the brake quickly if needed.

Think about it, when we drive, most of our time is pressing on the gas pedal, and sometimes applying the brakes. But, think about the time we spend coasting, slowing down for traffic or the upcoming turn. What is your right foot doing at those times? “Hovering” over the gas pedal? Then, moving to the brake? I know you’re not braking with your left foot. Right?!!

So, when you think about it, if you are hovering already, should you hover over the gas or the brake? If your foot is, by force of habit, over the brake when not actively accelerating or maintain a constant speed, and you needed to stop or slow down quickly, your reflex action would take over. There may not be time to think.

Developing safe driving habits helps reduce the danger we all face on the road. Just think about it and do what works for you.

Of course, if you drive with hand controls, none of this will apply to you, but if you drive with a left foot gas pedal, the same will apply, just in reverse.

Remember, “Hover” over the brake.

Until next time, drive carefully,