BY BRUCE HOTCHKISS, RIPTIDE CAR GUY
Once again, “unintended acceleration” is in the news, this time striking Toyota. People are afraid to drive their Toyotas for fear they will rocket down the road. We have seen vivid videos of crashed Toyotas, and people have died. I do not want to minimize the tragedy, but one simple little action could have saved their lives: SHIFT INTO NEUTRAL! If you feel your vehicle accelerating without your foot being on the gas pedal, reach over and bump the gearshift into neutral. Yes, the engine will rev like crazy. It may even self-destruct (unlikely, because most modern vehicles have a “rev limiter” to keep the engine from self-destructing), but a blown engine is far cheaper than a lost life. Now that the engine isn't pushing (or pulling) the car to ever faster speeds, brake gently and pull off the road. As soon as the vehicle has come to a stop, shut off the engine and call a tow truck. The steps to saving your life are simple: DON’T PANIC, shift into neutral, come to a safe stop, and shut off the engine.