In statements released Tuesday, the world's largest automaker and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration warned drivers to remove the mats or risk a forced-down accelerator pedal that could lead to a fatal crash.
Do these people not know about that stick next to their leg that allows the user to disconnect the engine from the wheels? Or what about the magic key that is on the side of the steering column that, if moved back just one click, can turn off the engine?
I was thinking the same thing. Unbelievable. Don't get me wrong, the death of a family is a tragedy, but you have got to think that one of the 4 people in the car had bound to find one of the ways to slow down.
1. Get the stupid floor mat off the gas pedal.
2. Turn the key off. If this was a late-model Lexus, it may have had a keyless ignition; I am not sure if they can be turned off at speed.
3. Shift into neutral.
Tearing up something on the car is far less costly than killing everyone inside.
This all reminds me of the event that a woman that was driving an SUV for ten minutes unable to stop because the accelerator was stuck. She had time to call 911 and nobody ever thought of telling her to shut the vehicle off or scrub off speed by going into the ditch.
She ended up ramming into someone on a motorcycle, the rear passenger on the bike died and the driver of the bike was injured.
the inquiry was prompted by a highspeed crash in August in California of a Lexus barreling out of control. As the vehicle hit speeds exceeding 120 mph, family members made a frantic 911 call and said the accelerator was stuck and they couldn’t stop the vehicle.
They had the time and clarity of mind to call 911, but not to try pulling up the pedal by hand, putting it in neutral, using the brakes and emergency brake, shutting off the engine (if you turn the key back while in D it won't lock the steering), and/or steering into something (like a jersey barrier/guardrail/sand) that could slow them down without killing them? I alone thought of all of those things in the time it would take them to call 911; if the whole family couldn't think of ANY of those things in that time, then none of them should be allowed to drive. When you drive, there's a chance you'll encounter such a situation, and with so many easy answers you should try them.
well, not much to say or add there but...even our legislation is retarded and i know that's no epiphany. so, why and how can a state enforce motorists to wear seat belts, but not enforce cyclists to wear helmets?!
When I worked for the Gov't I had the accelerator stick on me while driving a Gov't vehicle. The vehicle was a 1993 Chevrolet Step Van, the largest size they made (6 ton gross weight if I remember correctly). I had floored the truck to go up a steep hill, and when I got to the top, the truck kept accelerating. I tried pulling up on the pedal with my toe. Braking was not effective, so I shifted into Neutral, shut off the key, and then had the task of stopping that truck without power steering or power brakes. I did it without wrecking.
I called my office, and told them that my throttle cable was stuck, and requested a tow truck. You know what I was told? Drive it back to the office "real careful".
I guess my point is that in the span of about 30 seconds I had
1. Determined I had a problem.
2. Tried several things that were mentioned earlier in this thread.
3. Safely stopped a 6 ton truck from a speed of about 50 or 60 MPH.
I didn't need a cell phone to do any of that. I realize that not everyone has the strength to steer & brake a 6 ton truck without power assist, but certainly even my mother could have stopped a Lexus within 10 minutes without any power assist. Heck. If she had 10 minutes just shutting the car off, it would have rolled to a stop all by itself without any help from the brakes.
Another thing I just remembered that I've seen on one of those 911 highway patrol TV shows. Motorist calls 911, accelerator stuck, no brakes. Dispatcher radioes a patrol car pull ahead of the car, and then the car slowed down until the bunpers met. At that time the caller was told to shift into Neutral, and the police car stopped both vehicles.
In her ruling, Dakota County District Judge Patrice Sutherland said there were telephone poles, metal signs, trees, ditches, steep inclines and houses lining the side of the road, and that it was "impossible for Racine to leave the roadway with any chance of survival by the time the dispatcher suggested that option."
Right...no chance of surviving leaving the road with signs, ditches, houses, and STEEP INCLINES???? Wouldn't a steep incline be a good way to help stop a runaway vehicle? And with modern vehicles full of air bags, wouldn't it be a decent chance of survival to hit some signs, or even trees/poles? I can tell you who doesn't stand a chance of surviving: A motorcyclist, bicyclist, pedestrian, or child playing in the street.
What followed was a harrowing conversation with a Scott County dispatcher as Racine tried to use the parking brake -- and even put her car in neutral -- to no avail.
Most automatics are so easy to put into neutral that you can do it by accident with a stray elbow movement. I did it to my mom's car once on the highway. What kind of difficulty could they have had getting it into neutral?