Ergonomics of parking brake application: factors to fail?

The vehicle parking brake may be foot, lever or electronically operated but its function remains the same: i.e. to hold the vehicle stationary whether on an up or down gradient even in the absence of the driver. Failure to do so can have serious consequences. Around 8% of drivers surveyed reported experience of “vehicle roll away” with around 55% citing the causative factor to be mechanical or system related. (Noble, Frampton, Richardson, 2013). The ergonomic factors associated with the effective application of the mechanical lever operated parking brake are explored and the potential contribution to failure considered.