As I reported before, my wife and daughter got me some clipless pedals last Christmas, but when I fell into the freeway, I took them off and put back the toe clip pedals.
Well, I'm going to give them another try. The other day my foot almost slipped out of my toe clips during a gear shift, and I do notice that I sometimes fumble getting my feet into the clips.
So today I put the spd pedals back on, and I rode to a remote section of road, and stopped and started at least 200 times. I'm hoping that that will make it second nature to unclip.
I actually almost fell a few times. Here's my analysis of what happens:
Occasionally you intend to lean to one side as you stop, but something (bump in the road or an incorrect movement) causes you to fall to the other side.
As a beginner, you learn to clip out with your foot at the top of the stroke (that is, near 12:00). But when you start to fall to the wrong side, you've never unclipped with your foot at the bottom of the stroke, and you instinctively pull back or up. Then you fall.
So I practiced unclipping from any position, and intentionally sometimes leaned the wrong way, forcing an emergency unclip.
I sure hope that works.