What Happens if You Pull the Electric Parking Brake While Driving?

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Will You Go Careening Off the Highway and Die in a Fiery Explosion?

This article needs to be prefaced with a story. While I was in high school, I had a friend who would constantly press buttons when he was riding in my car. If it was in the center stack area, he’d press it. He was particularly fond of the hazard lights button. If we would’ve been in a modern car, would he have pulled the parking brake button? What would’ve happened?

Keep in mind the results might vary depending on the car, but the results are a little surprising. We would’ve expected the button to be locked out while the vehicle is in motion. Just like if you press the ignition button when driving, nothing really happens.

In this case, though, the car applies the brakes and the car comes to abrupt stop. It’s not a lock-the-rear-wheels-up stop, as it appears to actually apply the car’s brakes until the car is stopped. Evidence of this is that the brake lights on the car come on when the system is working.

In a way this makes sense. Locking the rear wheels would send the vehicle out of control, which wouldn’t be desired in a panic situation. But it’s possible that in a panic situation you’d want to pull that button, meaning the system has to do something. There’s probably a rule from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) about that feature.

We don’t recommend just randomly hitting buttons while driving down the road. Most of the time nothing happens, but why take the risk if you don’t have to?

If you are in a situation where you do need to stop, the Corvette’s electronic parking brake will try to help you out. That’s something new I can safely say I learned today.

via [Cleetus McFarland]

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