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How To Deal With a Stuck Accelerator

Sun, 07 Feb 2010

Stephen Mead, IAM Assistant Chief Examiner, said: “Keep calm – surprisingly the perception of the average driver with a stuck accelerator is that they can’t brake either, but this is a misconception brought on by panic.

“Press the brake firmly, then the clutch, disengaging the power. In an automatic, drivers should brake, wait for a reaction from the vehicle and then put the car into neutral. You can still steer, too, so a stuck accelerator isn’t actually the disaster it sounds,” added Mr Mead.

Look for somewhere to stop safely, indicate and make the manoeuvre as you would under normal circumstances. There will be loud revving in the background and you will probably be in a state of shock, but if you remain calm you can avoid serious danger.”

Honest John adds, "A lot of the problem is due to the stupid way in which drivers are told to drive automatics. You cannot ever trust an accelerator pedal to do exactly what you want it to do at all times. The best way to remain fully in control of an automatic car is to get used to left foot braking. Once you are used to your left foot doing the braking and your right foot doing the accelerating you cannot ever get into the situation of stamping on the wrong pedal with your right foot in a panic. This is particularly relevant when manoeuvring a car in a confined space, and especially just after starting it. Drive could engage when you don't expect it to, but if you already have your left foot over the brake you can instantly control any surge that might put your car through a wall or run over and kill a person."


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