Shoeless and Clueless On the Road

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Some of the advice given in Nancy Trejos's June 15 Business piece, "Adventures in Hypermiling," was downright dangerous.

For example, take driving without a shoe: No driver should have loose objects, such as a shoe, on the floorboard. I have a friend who faced the disastrous effects of a near-fatal wreck caused by this. It is easy for a shoe or other loose item to get under the brake pedal, making it impossible to use the pedal effectively.

A podiatrist will tell you that the unshod human foot is not able to take the pressure of hitting a brake pedal in an emergency. The resulting pain may cause the driver to release the pedal, leading to an accident.

Unfortunately, many readers assume everything they read in the paper has been vetted, so they believe it. Following "hypermiler" Kent Johnson's advice, displayed prominently by The Post, could be catastrophic. Perhaps you should have consulted with folks in your auto section.

-- Phillip Babcock


© 2008 The Washington Post Company