Terrified of electronic parking brake.

Are there any yearly statistics on how many people have heart attacks in parked cars and has the figure increased since the introduction of electronic hand-brakes*? (*parking brake in American English).

Reason for asking is the second hand car I just bought has an electronic handbrake but every time I stop on an upward hill this brake automatically disengages and the car rolls backwards. I have managed to slam my foot on the footbrake every time but each time it happens my heart-rate skyrockets.

When I was taught to drive the parking process was footbrake-handbrake-neutral but these new-fangled parkingbrakes require footbrake-neutral-handbrake and I can't get out of the old habit.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Interesting post. Refer to our other second hand discussion. I am in a different country. My most recent used car (2013 Volvo S80) has automatic transmission and cannot be shut down unless in Park (so will not roll).

Then the parking brake is "electric" and not electronic / automatic. I must engage it with a push button and the red parking indicator lights up. That tells me to disengage it.

Different design - not a difference in viewpoints. I don't think I would like what you have described above.
andyalderAuthor Commented:
Automatic transmission is rather different, it is a manual gearbox car like most that are available in Europe. But you are right the parking brake is electric rather than electronic.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
I knew about the prevalence of manual transmissions where you are . My brake does not disengage that I know of. We are not at home this week and we have our Station Wagon (manual parking brake) I will check when I get back
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Geert GOracle dbaCommented:
if you want to test how it works, take off your seatbelt, perferably on a test road
a parking brake only unlocks automatically wehn seatbelts are in and the gas is pushed

when stopping on a uphill, you can manually activate the electronic handbrake
hitting the gas will unlock it again
that's if your seatbelt is in again

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andyalderAuthor Commented:
Yes, I understand about parking on hills. you assume the parking brake will fail so point the wheels towards the kerb so if it does fail the car crashes into a lamppost at slow speed rather than careening down the hill killing several pedestrians in the process. Pisses off the fire brigade though on narrow streets as they can't get past stuck out wheels.

I think Geert has it, although I am not touching the gas pedal (feet are on clutch and brake) the car is behaving as if I was and releasing the parking-brake. I suppose I will have to modify my style of driving to suit the car or turn on hill-hold and admit the car knows better than me.
andyalderAuthor Commented:
Geert is right, it's the gas pedal.

It's how I was taught to stop when going uphill. I balance the clutch and gas pedal to bring the car to a graceful halt and then apply the parking brake when the car has achieved zero velocity but because of the clutch/accelerator balance my foot is applying a tiny bit of gas so the parking brake disengages and the bloody thing rolls backwards.

I will have to refine my uphill stopping by going too fast towards traffic uphill of me so that I have to apply the footbrake rather than letting gravity slow it down.

This electronic handbrake has defeated all the fuel-saving features of the car, save a little bit by the engine turning off when stopped but waste a huge amount by having to hold it on the clutch when waiting to pull out at an uphill junction.
I'm glad I read your summation and conclusion Andy.  One of the guys at my work has recently bought a new car with an electronic handbrake and I heard him telling somebody else about the same issue you were experiencing.  I will show him this thread and Geert's comment.
Geert GOracle dbaCommented:
if you really want to test it ...

pull your seatbelt out, hold it ready to put back in,
pull the electronic handbrake
hit the gas full throttle
put the seatbelt in

be careful, you might get something like this:
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