In Case of Pedal Emergencies, Part II: How to Respond If Your Accelerator Sticks

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In Case of Pedal Emergencies, Part II: How to Respond If Your Accelerator Sticks

blurry truck speeding through a tunnel

In Case of Pedal Emergencies, Part II: How to Respond If Your Accelerator SticksThis is part II of our two-part series on pedal emergencies. In our last blog post, we discussed how to respond if your brakes fail.

An accelerator doesn’t stick often, but if it does, your morning commute can quickly turn into a scary situation. When you’re driving, things tend to happen very quickly, especially accidents and emergencies. It’s important to know how to address the emergency even though it might never happen to you.

In Case of Pedal Emergencies, Part II: How to Respond If Your Accelerator Sticks

Here’s a guideline for if your accelerator sticks:

  • Remain as calm as possible so that you can remember what you’re supposed to do.
  • Check to see if something is lodged underneath your accelerator (like a floor mat, an empty pop bottle, etc.). If there is, keep your eyes on the road and reach down with one hand to dislodge the item.
  • If there is nothing lodged underneath, brake firmly with both feet and hold the brake pedal down. Resist the temptation to pump the brake–pumping can interfere with the vehicle’s power brake vacuum assist.
  • Warn other drivers that you are in distress by putting on your hazard lights.
  • Shift your vehicle into neutral. If the vehicle is a manual, remember to depress the clutch before shifting gears.
  • Keep your eyes on the road and look for a way out: the nearest shoulder, driveway, lane, etc.
  • When you have come to a stop out of the way of traffic, turn the engine off.
  • Call for assistance. Don’t drive your vehicle until it’s been professionally serviced.

If you are unable to put the vehicle into neutral or your vehicle doesn’t fully respond, your next option is to turn your vehicle off. When you turn your vehicle off, you will not lose your steering or braking control, but you will lose the power assist to these systems.

If your vehicle is a push-to-start, push the button in for at least three seconds to turn off the enginhttp://www.neatorama.com/2010/01/31/what-to-do-if-your-vehicles-accelerator-is-se. Don’t tap the Engine Start/Stop button. If the vehicle is a key-ignition, turn the key to the ACC position to turn off the engine. Don’t remove the key from the ignition because this will lock the steering wheel.

Turning your vehicle off should be a last resort. Since you’ll be losing power assistance to your steering and brakes, it will be harder to maneuver your car.

Knowing what to do in case of a pedal emergency, as unlikely as it may be, will go a long way towards helping you remember the first and most important rule for all driving emergencies: Don’t panic.

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