Imagine if you will me after dropping my son off at school turning left onto the main drag from a residential neighborhood…and as I turn, the car suddenly accelerates and KEEPS. ON. ACCELERATING….45…50…60…70…
When I imagine all you all imagining this I can just picture what some…one… might be imagining because cautious, prudent, defensive driving just might be a character flaw…or at least something to mock.
Clean driving record, schmlean driving record…so boring…so underwhelming!
But imagine it if you will anyway because it for real really happened right after I dropped Daniel off to school.
No ,I might not have said ‘fuck!” because I did say “FUCK!” because in spite of initial braking efforts, the car was not responding at all and fast…much too fast…approaching stopped traffic on that two lane road.
Now some of you are saying “fuck!“…or something like that.
But cautious, prudent, defensive driver that I am most of the time, I jammed both feet HARD on the brake as I tried to guide the car to the shoulder of the road right next to the freshly plowed field there while reaching to shift the car into neutral when it slowed very quickly then stopped with the engine idling normally.
After screaming “FUCK!” again, I tried to breathe normally because adrenaline and panic was settling in.
What the hell???!!!
After what seemed like forever, but was perhaps only 90 seconds, I eased back onto the road and drove like my grandma all the way home.
Don’t like my driving 30 mph (or less) in a 45 mph zone for the next three miles?
Flip me off.
I really don’t care.
I am getting home alive and then I am going to try and figure out why the accelerator pedal malfunctioned. Turns out, in this case, the floor mat had wedged under the pedal.
And it turns out that I did exactly what one should do in such an emergency situation.
- Stay calm and try not to panic.
- Push the brake firmly with both feet and hold it down. Pumping the brake can interfere with the vehicle’s power brake vacuum assist.
- Shift the car into neutral. If the car has a manual transmission, remember to depress the clutch to shift gears. If possible, guide the car to the nearest shoulder or safe place.
- Do not initially turn off the engine unless shifting into neutral is unsuccessful. Turning off the engine will also turn off power assist functions and make it harder to maneuver the car.
- If your vehicle has a start on/off button, hold the button down for at least 3 seconds to disable the vehicle; do not tap repeatedly.
- When you have come to a controlled stop out of the way of traffic, turn the engine off (if you have not already done so). If you use a key, keep it in the ignition when you turn off the engine so that the steering wheel doesn’t lock.
- Call for assistance. Do not drive the vehicle until it has been professionally serviced.
Well, at least the first three steps…especially the staying calm and trying not to panic part because screaming “FUCK!” actually kept me calm and not panicking.
Perhaps I should have turned the engine off and maybe not drove the car home until it had been properly serviced.