There are a lot of parts and components on your car, and you shouldn’t have to know each and every one of them. That said, you need to know what parts you come into contact with. One thing that many drivers use without even realizing it is a dead pedal. But what exactly is a dead pedal and why is it included in most automobiles? Here’s a closer look at this one part of your car.

What Is a Dead Pedal?

The dead pedal is a feature that is in most vehicles on the road. It’s simply a footrest for your left foot. This is the foot that’s not very busy when you’re driving unless you drive a car with a manual transmission. The dead pedal is to the left of all the other pedals. Often made of rubber or metal, the dead pedal doesn’t move, which is how it got its name. Sometimes it's called a dummy pedal due to the fact that it's not a real pedal. If your car doesn’t have a dead pedal, you can add an aftermarket one. It may seem kind of pointless, but under the right circumstances, a dead pedal can actually come in handy.

Why Is it There?

dead pedal
In some cars, the dead pedal isn't as large as the one above. 

The dead pedal is first and foremost a footrest, but it’s much more important than it sounds. A dead pedal will help you brace yourself in turns or emergency maneuvers. It helps you keep your body properly positioned in the seat so you can control the car. This is very important during spirited driving, which is why most sports cars and virtually all race cars have a dead pedal.

Additionally, a dead pedal is helpful if you’re driving a vehicle with a manual transmission. It gives your foot a place to go when it’s not on the clutch. When you use a dead pedal when driving a car with a manual transmission, it can make shifts smoother and less laborious because you won’t have to move your leg and foot as much. This is paramount for sporty or competitive driving. In regular everyday driving, it may not sound all that important. However, if you’ve ever driven a manual transmission car in heavy, stop-and-go traffic, you’ll understand how such a simple thing can make your commute more enjoyable by reducing the amount of work you have to do.