Today’s cars are much like Fred Flintstone’s: usually two pedals. However, they carry actual engines (and/or the occasional electric motor), which produce far more speed than Fred could ever work up.
I always considered the technique of dragging your feet on the ground to bring your vehicle to a stop a matter of artistic license. Until last week, when this video appeared. It provides us with an excellent real-world example where knowing a little physics might have prevented this Michigan driver with failed brakes from attempting a cross-town drive using “The Flintstone Technique”, and possibly putting himself in the running for this year’s Darwin Awards.
Actually, this is not the true Flintstone Technique the angle at which braking force is applied is about 90 degrees off spec but he’s still running afoul of the laws of physics:
[T]his guy is hanging his feet out the side of the truck, which is going to make it much more difficult to push into the asphalt. Let’s estimate he can push down with a force about a quarter of his weight. If he weighs 200 pounds, this would result in a force of 50 pounds.
Unfortunately, at 40 mph, it will take about 3200 pounds of force to stop two tons worth of truck. So bringing Barney Rubble along for the ride wouldn’t be enough: he’d have to have a dozen friends with him to slow down this not-really-a-juggernaut.