Stuck accelerator pedal? BCAA advice on getting out of a “sticky situation”
February 05, 2010
Recent publicity surrounding Toyota’s recall of vehicles with faulty accelerator pedals provides a good reminder that it’s important to know what to do if your accelerator pedal ever gets stuck, or your vehicle accelerates for no apparent reason. If you ever find yourself in that situation, BCAA recommends the following:
- Stay calm, but act quickly.
- Keep looking at the road ahead. Looking away from the road to see what’s wrong with the pedal will greatly increase your chances of crashing.
- Be sure your foot is completely off the accelerator. Some stuck accelerator crashes have later been found to be the result of an honest mistake—the driver thought he or she was pushing on the brake.
- Put the vehicle’s transmission in neutral or, in a vehicle with standard transmission, depress the clutch. Do NOT turn off the engine. Doing so will cause the power assist to steering and braking to disengage and make it difficult or impossible to steer, and harder to brake. Plus, turning the key too far could possibly lock the steering wheel.
- Steer the car to a safe place and stop, and then turn off the engine. If stopped by the side of a road, turn on emergency flashers and put out reflective triangles. If you’re unable to get the vehicle off the roadway, allow it to come to a stop and turn on emergency flashers. Do not restart the vehicle. Call for help using a cell phone, or wave down a passing vehicle, if safe to do so.
Vehicle owners should also regularly check to ensure floor mats or loose wiring are not interfering with any pedals (accelerator, brake or clutch). Anyone who has ever experienced a problem with rapid or unwanted acceleration should have it checked by a qualified auto technician as soon as possible.
Owners of recalled vehicles should also adhere to any notices as soon as possible to ensure the safe operation of their vehicle. If you choose to drive a recalled vehicle and notice any problems with the accelerator (i.e. hard to depress, slow to return or is unsmooth during operation), BCAA recommends you pull over to the nearest safe location, shut off the engine and contact your dealership. Alternatively, members can contact BCAA for roadside or towing assistance.