What to Do if the Gas Pedal Gets Stuck
Although a rare occurrence, an accelerator pedal can malfunction and get stuck. Immediately, your car can accelerate to full blown speed and be unresponsive to braking. When this happens, it is unimaginably terrifying and extremely dangerous to your safety and those around you. Unintended acceleration can be caused by a mechanical malfunction such as a faulty throttle or the floor mat becoming wedged under the pedal.
The following tips may help you if you’re ever found in this unfortunate situation: Try to stay as calm as possible, it might be hard, but it’s important. Firmly push the brake with both of your feet and hold it down. Pumping your brakes may interfere with your car’s power brake vacuum assist. If you have an automatic transmission, shift it into neutral. If you car has manual transmission, depress the clutch to shift gears.
Avoid initially turning off the engine unless shifting into neutral was unsuccessful. If you turn off your engine, you are also turning off the power assist functions and it will be harder to maneuver your car. If your car comes equipped with a start on/off button, hold the button down (at least 3 seconds) to disable the car. Do not tap the start on/off button repeatedly.
After you’ve come to a controlled stop away from traffic, turn the engine off if you haven’t already done so. If you use a key, keep it inside the ignition when turning off the engine so the steering wheel doesn’t lock up. Immediately call for assistance and avoid driving the vehicle until it has been serviced professionally. When searching for a new car, try finding one that comes with “smart throttle” technology. This feature reduces the possibility of any unintended acceleration due to mechanical failure. These systems are computer-based, and recognize when both the accelerator and brake are being pressed; telling the engine to ignore the accelerator and give precedence to braking.
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