Saturday, December 19, 2009

The one person you can rely on.

Completely out of nowhere, you suddenly find yourself in an emergency situation - you are in your car and the accelerator has locked; you cannot stop, it's racing out of your control at breakneck speed. You are going to crash if you don't do something quickly. You are pressing the brake to the floor but the engine is too powerful and the car continues to accelerate out of control.

What do you do?

This actually happened a few months ago and has since prompted the biggest recall of Toyota vehicles in history. It has been blamed on defective floor mats. But this out-of-control situation can come from a number of other causes.

In this case, the people in the runawy car called 911. !!

Consider this for a moment -- four people are careening out of control in a runaway vehicle and their expectation is that SOMEBODY ELSE is responsible for saving them! What they thought thought 911 was going to do for them is beyond me... send the Power Rangers, dispatch Superman? They wasted valuable seconds which could have been used to problem solve their situation. All four died when the car crashed.
There are two things you can do if you ever find yourself in a stuck accelerator emergency:

1. Shift into NEUTRAL - There is no locking mechanism, it easily shifts... you can tap it into Neutral whether the shift is on the steering column or console.
2. Turn off the ignition with the key.
Ultimately we are all responsible for our own safety. Depending on others to save you could result in your death!

Below is a link to a story I wrote on my Second Life blog about my real life personal skydiving near-incident. It is well worth re-reading.


Mary Witzl said...

Did they really call 911? That really is tragic. Too bad they can't teach common sense in schools, but even if they could, it would still sail over some heads.

Robert the Skeptic said...

Mary Yes, the link goes to a recording of the actual 911 call. I don't think one can teach common sense; it is something that has to be modeled by others, and learned through realizing the consequences of ones actions or inactions. In this case, it was a lesson learned too late for them.