You don't always need to use the brake pedal to slow down your vehicle as you approach a hazard, bend or junction. If you leave enough room and time your approach well, you can simply take your foot off of the accelerator pedal and the car will naturally slow down.
This technique is called acceleration sense (sometimes referred to as accelerator sense), and using it effectively may help you prolong the lifespan of the brake pads on your vehicle as well as reducing fuel costs and wear on your tyres.
Mastering acceleration sense requires the following disciplines:
- Good anticipation
- Good and forward thinking observations
- A good judgement of distance and speed
If you are able to get your acceleration sense right, you may not even need to stop at roundabouts and junctions (traffic and road sign depending, of course) and your general driving will be much smoother as a result. It also encourages you to anticipate upcoming hazards more, helping improve your reaction time, making you a much safer driver.
If you can see traffic starting to build up ahead, rather than accelerating ahead and having to brake, just ease off the speed and approach the situation more cautiously.
Acceleration sense is an art and needs to be practised to be perfected!