So, after hearing about a parking brake recall on my Prius, in which an earlier version of the story actually said that there had been deaths as a result of the parking brake failure (the current story says there haven’t even been any crashes), I got to thinking... how many people actually use the parking brake on their car?
Almost everyone I know that drives an automatic... doesn’t. They assume that the park position on the transmission means you don’t need to use the parking brake, and instead let the car roll against its park pawl. (I don’t know anyone that drives an automated transmission that doesn’t have a park selection - those aren’t exactly common in the US anyway.)
There are actually a couple cars that I’m aware of, where park really means set the parking brake - the Tesla Model S and X. And, I believe the Audi cars with the ZF monostable shifter (same shifter that was in the Jeep Grand Cherokee) automatically set the parking brake in some scenarios. However, in the vast majority of cars, if you want the parking brake, you have to set it.
So, poll time!