All cars I've encountered (here in the UK) have the brake pedal higher than the accelerator pedal.

Is this a standard, world wide?

I would have thought that for safety (getting to it quicker) you'd want the brake lower than the accelerator, so why is it set up the way it is?

Maybe a mechanical reason? Maybe to give the brake pedal more room to travel? Some other reason?

2 Answers 2


None of my cars have the brake higher than the accelerator - they were almost exactly aligned when I bought them - so it may just be a feature of the cars you have driven.

There don't seem to be standards on this, or on spacing of pedals (I my brake and accelerator close together to make heel and toe-ing smoother. In my Subarus they already are, but in other cars I have had there has been great variation)

  • 80's Fords seem to be on the extreme side... Both the old Ford pickup and Mustang from that era that I drove it felt like you were shoving your leg down a deep tunnel to find the accelerator, then you have to lift your leg almost until your knee is in your chin to get on top of the brake pedal. :-) Commented Jun 7, 2012 at 11:47

Brake pedals are higher to prevent accidental accelerator depression when braking. Brake pedals should be adjusted up as the braking material wears away.

  • 1
    I'm not certain this is correct, for example with my cars it doesn't matter how much has been worn from the pads - you still use the same amount of force on the pedal. There may be microscopic differences, but you can't notice them.
    – Rory Alsop
    Commented Jun 7, 2012 at 12:01
  • Will, do you have some sort of reference on this you can include to help dispel doubt? Thank you.
    – jmort253
    Commented Jun 8, 2012 at 5:24

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