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Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Runaway Prius = Driver FAIL

The runaway Prius story is just full of FAIL.

The driver didn't know he could put the car in neutral with a flick of his wrist, or push and hold the starter button to kill the engine.

The police officer which talked to him over the loudspeaker told him to use the emergency brakes--did the police officer know to suggest neutral or killing the engine?

There is no excuse for a sticky throttle pedal.  But there is also no excuse for not knowing how to control your vehicle.  It is lucky that in this case, somehow the ignorance didn't cause injury or death.

4 comments:

Ming said...

Pulling the emergency brake seems the least fruitful method in a car going WOT as that would likely cause massive and sudden loss of traction (locked up tires).

Even killing the engine seems quite dangerous as the possibility of loss of power steering and power brakes may cause drivers to report "malfunctioning brakes and steering."

I wouldn't be surprised if auto makers engineer a back-up system to provide vaccum to power the steering and brakes in case of engine shutdown.

I was just riding in a car with a guy who said that his dad was caught driving without his headlights because he thought that he would save "energy and gas" if he didn't turn on the headlights for the first few min of a drive. It's unfortunate to witness the vast automotive ignorance by the public.

But then again this seems like an inevitability as we create more technology that's 'user-friendly' this reduces the amount of functional knowledge that the user has to know in order to operate certain machinery. So when things do go wrong the basic understanding isn't there and so the brain reverts to panic mode because the user has now seemingly lost all control since they were used to the car doing pretty much everything.

One solution may be to rigorously increase the standards of driver's education and driver's test to maybe include simulations of emergency situations.

Anonymous said...

I think it is disgusting that Ford is offering new car deals to Toyota drivers

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601101&sid=a0Ay4eaUtjDQ

when over 100 people lost their lives due to problems with the Ford Explorer SUV
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Firestone_and_Ford_tire_controversy

Anonymous said...

Anonymous #1 is showing his progressive, anti-capitalist roots -- there's nothing in the wiki article that points to anything other than Firestone's problem, not Ford.
Also, as I remember, a lot of those tires that separated were already worn out and should have been replaced long before they were taken out "at speed" -- many occurring on triple-digit roadway temps above 70 MPH.
It's quite likely that the Pelosi GTxi SS/RT is the best car for you.

umuts said...

thank you