The chances of getting into an accident because of unintended acceleration are very high if this problem occurs in your car. In most cases, people do not expect their vehicles to accelerate unexpectedly because of a manufacturing defect or lack of maintenance. In recent years, US drivers have experienced a growing number of unintended accelerations. There is no denying the fact that incidents such as these are relatively uncommon, but when they do occur, there can be serious repercussions.
The Dangers of Unintended Acceleration
When a vehicle suddenly accelerates without the driver’s consent, this is referred to as Unintended Acceleration. It occurs when a malfunction in the electronic system causes the throttle to open without the driver’s knowledge or permission, causing the vehicle to accelerate without the driver’s action.
The unintended acceleration does not allow the driver to brake quickly enough before the car lurches forward, possibly impacting the car in front of them or darting out into traffic unexpectedly. If this happens on the highway, it may become difficult for the driver to control or stop it before a collision occurs. If the driver is unable to maintain control of the vehicle, he or she may suffer a catastrophic accident.
Possible Causes of Unintended Acceleration
Unintended acceleration can be caused by the following factors:
- In cable-operated vehicles that are equipped with cruise control, if you are attempting to brake and the vehicle starts accelerating, there may be a problem with the brake input.
- The throttle pedal can feel extremely hard and unyielding when operated by a cable-equipped throttle, as sludge can clog the throttle plate and cause it to stick in the throttle body. If the driver places his foot on the brake to get the vehicle out of gear and the foot feed pressure is increased to its limit, the throttle body can be broken loose from being stuck, and the vehicle can accelerate uncontrollably.
- When sudden unintended acceleration does occur, it’s sometimes caused by a driver’s error by placing their foot on the accelerator instead of the brake.
Unintentional acceleration while driving: How to deal with it
A sudden acceleration of a vehicle can pose a threat to the safety of you and your passengers. However, it is very possible to avert the situation and stay safe. Here, it is imperative that you remain calm.
- Be Steady and Firm on the Brakes: Your foot should be steady on the brake pedal if you experience sudden unintended acceleration. Keep the brake pedal pressed but do not pump it. You may need to press down harder on the brakes in this situation.
- Shift to neutral gear: In an emergency, shifting to neutral is your best option. To stop unintended forward motion, the vehicle should be taken out of the drive. Once you are in neutral, your engine may rev and sound louder, but the transmission is not engaged, so your wheels will not turn faster. Apply the brakes steadily and firmly to slow your vehicle.
- Get off the road: Turn on your hazard lights and move your vehicle to a safe place on the side of the road or in a parking lot if you can safely do so in neutral. If you cannot get to a safe location due to the chaos of the unintended acceleration, that’s okay. The most important thing you need to do is stop the vehicle. Turn your vehicle’s flashing hazard lights on if you have pulled over safely.
- Turn off the engine: Upon regaining control and coming to a complete stop, you should turn off the engine. It can be very unnerving when your car feels out of control, but if you have the mind to shift into neutral and press the brakes, you’re likely to avoid an accident. It will be necessary to call for a tow, as you don’t want to try driving again while unintended acceleration is a problem.
Vaughan Automotive: The Leading Auto Repair Service Providers in Atlanta, GA
Chances of a sudden, unintended acceleration problem can be reduced with proper and routine vehicle maintenance. For your vehicle to perform at its optimum level, it should be properly maintained, no matter how sophisticated or technologically-advanced it may be. You can depend on Vaughan Automotive’s experts to provide the highest level of care for your car. Schedule an appointment with us today!