A dead pedal is a flat plate located to the left of all other pedals in the footwell area of an automobile. Permanently fixed in place, dead pedals are often about the same size as an accelerator pedal - sometimes larger.
A dead pedal may be a metal plate or rubber block, or it may be integrated into the contours of the floor. They sometimes match the look of accelerator, brake, and clutch pedals. Occasionally referred to as "foot rests", the main purpose of dead pedals is just that - to serve as a supportive footrest so the driver's left foot doesn't hang at an uncomfortable angle.
But did you know dead pedals serve other benefits also? In this article, we'll look at five of those benefits, and we'll highlight some dead pedals and foot rests you might find useful.
Dead Pedals Make Driving More Comfortable
The added support dead pedals provide shouldn't be underestimated. By providing an ergonomic resting spot for the left foot exactly where it's needed, stress is reduced on muscles and nerves in the leg, knee, and back. On long trips or everyday commutes, this increases driver comfort level for just about everyone. If you're suffering from back or knee issues, a dead pedal can really make a difference.
Dead Pedals Can Prevent Clutch Wear
Because a dead pedal provides a logical area for the left foot to rest on, inadvertent use of a clutch pedal edge for foot support is eliminated. Even a slight amount of pressure on a clutch pedal causes the clutch plate to pull slightly away from the engine's flywheel - causing slippage and a high degree of expensive wear.
Dead Pedals Make Manual Transmission Shifting Easier
When your foot's sitting on the floor, it must travel further up and around the clutch pedal in order to depress it with accuracy and control. When your foot's resting on a dead pedal, sliding it over onto the clutch pedal is a far more natural movement. As such, much less effort is required during each shift.
So if you've got a stop-and-go commute, a dead pedal will take much of the agony out of clutching a manual transmission vehicle. And in normal driving conditions, it will most likely increase the satisfaction of rowing through the gears yourself.
Racecars All Have Dead Pedals - For Good Reason
Continuing from the points made above, dead pedals are especially useful when racing a manual transmission vehicle. On a track, fast, well-timed shifts can gain you valuable seconds and make the difference between victory and defeat. When bringing your foot up from a flat floor surface quickly, it's easy to catch that foot on the side of the clutch pedal instead of stepping squarely on the top. Pros make sure to avoid any such missteps by ensuring dead pedals are installed in their vehicles, and so should you.
Additionally, heel-and-toe pedal-work is much easier when you can situate your left foot in the proper position and at the right angle. You don't need to be on a racetrack to appreciate how dead pedals cut response time and make it easy to perform this driving technique with finesse.
Dead Pedals Can Help Prevent Accidents
Have you ever been in a situation where sudden, hard braking was required to avoid a crash? If so, you can appreciate how bracing yourself to prevent loss of balance in the seat was necessary. A dead pedal provides an easy place to instinctively brace the left foot against so that control can be maintained.
With both feet able to firmly brace against objects of similar shape and distance, you can apply more force to the brake pedal, and at the same time, keep yourself more squarely situated in the driver's seat, which is ideal in the event of impact.
Dead Pedals We Offer
If your vehicle is not equipped with an OEM dead pedal, we've got bolt-on ones that are easy to anchor in place. For starters, we've got universal-fit dead pedals from Sparco such as the rectangular Grip Series, contoured Embossed Dead Pedal, and the angular Tapered Series. There's also the OMP Aluminum Footrest, and the M.O.R.E. Dead Pedal, which offers driver and passenger-side configurations for Jeep Wranglers.
When you consider how dead pedals increase physical driving comfort, make shifting faster and easier, and increase vehicle safety, it's easy to realize that the small cost of one will simply make you or any loved one a better driver. Oh, and they look quite sporty too!