Steps to stay in control even if car loses it - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Steps to stay in control even if car loses it

By Morgan Chesky - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email

KILGORE, TX (KLTV) - Reports of Toyotas running out of control is reviving awareness on what you should do if your gas pedal gets stuck. Here are the step you should take to stay in control, even when your car has lost it.

"It's not something that happens to you every single day," said Kilgore Police Officer Kasey Keahey.

But you can be prepared for a sticky gas pedal.

"When you're in a 3- or 4,000 pound vehicle and it doesn't go according to plan the average citizen hasn't had any training," said Keahey, a nine-year veteran, specializing in accident reconstruction and driver safety.

"Most folks don't remain calm," he said. "They overcorrect over steer and that results in a lot of excess damage that could have been avoided."

A few simple steps Keahey volunteered to demonstrate. We began on a closed course outside Kilgore, with safety being a top priority.

"We're in drive [with] the brakes depressed ready to go," he explained.

And, we went, slowly accelerating down the road.

"We're accelerating now about 20 mph," said Keahey. "We're hitting about 30 then the gas gets stuck."

Keahey simulated, flooring the pedal, pushing it all the way to the floor. Gaining speed, it was time for step one.

"Just put it in neutral," he said.

The roar of the engine prompted step two. Depress the brake, slow and steady maintaining control. The engine may be running high, but your speed should slow, bringing you to the final step.

"You can hear the accelerator still running," he said. "Turn your vehicle's engine off, shift into park and everybody's safe."

It is a simple answer in a stressful situation any driver should be able to perform in addition to their own responsibilities.

"Being mentally prepared helps more than anything and knowing what you're going to do and how you're going to do it and how you're going to carry it out," said Keahey. "It's not a toy...it can hurt people, it can hurt property, and we certainly don't want that."

It is important to note while those are the safest recommended steps to come to a stop, variables such as speed, weather, and the make of the car all have an impact.

Authorities say the most important step is to avoid turning off the car before coming to a stop. Once you kill the power, you end any chance of effectively controlling your vehicle.

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