Two frightening ways of losing control of your car are loss of brakes and uncontrolled acceleration. Unlike losing your brakes, the consequences of an uncontrolled acceleration get deadlier with each second of its occurrence. Your vehicle is going ever faster, which increases the crash energy of a car accident by the square of your speed.
Dealing with Uncontrolled Acceleration
The first thing you should try is pressing down firmly on the brake. Brakes in good condition should have no problems counteracting the car’s acceleration. After slowing down, pull over to the side of the road and stop the engine.
If your brakes aren’t working or are badly worn, shift into neutral. This disengages the engine from the transmission to the wheels. Most cars have an engine rpm limiter that should prevent damage. Avoid turning off the engine because you will lose power braking and power steering. Never take the key out of the ignition because this causes the steering wheel to lock.
If applying the brakes doesn’t work, you may have your foot on the gas pedal. Let up on the pedal to see if there’s a reduction in the engine sound. If so, use the other pedal, which ought to be the brake. Foot confusion can happen when you’re sufficiently distracted, startled, wearing large boots, or operating an unfamiliar car.
Different car makes have different brake and gas pedal configurations. Although the brake pedal is always left of the gas pedal. The sizes and spacing of these pedals are often different. In some cars, the two pedals are too close together, while other cars have excessively large gas pedals. People with short legs that don’t reach the pedals, lack a tactile reference and must find the brake pedal each time they use it.
Other causes of uncontrolled acceleration are mechanical and electrical problems. Tools and other objects left under the hood of the car can jam the brake linkages. Mechanical defects, electronic malfunctions, and cruise control malfunctions can also cause this problem.
If you were injured in a car accident because another motorist lost control of their vehicle, the experienced lawyers at Hogan Injury can help. Contact us today.