Blog: Floor mat tragedy
Dave Leggett | 30 September 2009
It sounds like a story that will run and run. Four people were killed in the US when the accelerator pedal got stuck on a Lexus demonstrator. It's a reminder that sometimes seemingly innocuous things - like the floor mat you wouldn't give a second throught to - can lead to tragic outcomes. The fact that someone in the vehicle dialled the emergency services before the car crashed would have helped the investigators pinpoint the most likely cause of this particular accident.
But it makes you wonder how many other such accidents there may have been and also how many floor mats are aftermarket products or simply not fitted properly. The dealer in this case will come under scrutiny I would think.
There's also the unsettling question of why the driver - who was in the California Highway Patrol, so most likely a bit better than average behind the wheel - apparently couldn't get the car into neutral. That might be something else to be looked at. And was the start-stop button tricky to negotiate in that emergency situation? If you have to keep it depressed for three seconds while you are unexpectedly doing 120mph and trying to stop crashing, you might have your hands full with the steering wheel.
And to start with you'd probably be pressing your foot down on the faulty pedal like crazy to shift it while also concentrating on the steering, precious seconds passing as you accelerate, maybe until it's too late to spare a hand for the transmission control. Horrible story.
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