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  • Adrian Fedyk

*** A is for Accelerator ***

Updated: Mar 21, 2021

The accelerator increases the amount of fuel being sent to the engine.

Pressing the accelerator pedal feeds more fuel into the engine and increases the engine speed, making the car go faster. Easing off or releasing the accelerator makes the car slow down. The accelerator is sometimes called the throttle (more common amongst motorcyclists).

'Accelerator Sense' is a technique which requires the driver to plan ahead and adjust the car's speed using only the accelerator pedal; the brakes being used only when a more rapid reduction in speed is required.

Often called the gas pedal, it is the rightmost pedal in most cars and is operated with the right foot. The term 'gas' is from gasoline the American word for petrol.

The spring mechanism, which pushes the pedal upwards when the driver removes their foot, is an example of a fail-safe mechanism.

Eco-safe driving suggests that the accelerator is used gently, although when a sudden increase in speed is needed, a 'foot to the floor' technique is used.

*Reproduced with the kind permission of Mercury Driving School

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