Anything you push with your feet to control a machine, vehicle, or instrument is a pedal. When you use a sewing machine, you push the pedal with your foot to make the needle move up and down.
When you see the letters ped, something related to the foot might just be afoot. Pedestrians walk around by foot, and a pedicure is when your tootsies get the spa treatment. Those letters don’t always relate to feet, but it does with pedal, the noun or verb. The controls on the floor of your car are pedals, and if you put the pedal to the metal, it means you press as hard as you can on the gas pedal. Woohoo!