VIDEO: How to Respond to a Stuck Accelerator
Unintended acceleration is a rare occurence, but it's still important for all drivers to become familiar with the response procedure for such a driving emergency. The more prepared they are, the less likely they'll panic. Here are some general recommendations from AAA on what steps to take if the accelerator gets stuck:
- 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 the chances of a crash.
- 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. As soon as you are sure you have your foot off of the accelerator, brake firmly, applying strong, steady pressure. Do not pump the brakes.
- Shift the vehicle’s transmission in neutral or, in a vehicle with standard transmission, depress the clutch. Do not turn off the engine until the car has decelerated significantly. 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. 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 flares or reflective triangles. If you are unable to get the vehicle off the roadway, allow the vehicle to come to a stop and turn on emergency flashers. Do not restart the vehicle.
For more tips, including what to do if your vehicle has a push-button start, you can click on the photo or link above to watch a AAA video on the subject.