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Pedal Errors Cause Crashes That Could Be Avoided

June 22, 2015

Everyone in New Jersey has heard of it happening; a vehicle has crashed because the driver didn’t use the brakes and drove into an intersection, building, or onto a side walk. One reason some car accidents like this happen is because of pedal errors. What are pedal errors? They’re issues caused by people pressing the wrong pedal and hit the acceleration instead of the brake. Doing this can result in a vehicle speeding up and colliding with buildings, pedestrians, or other vehicles, causing an accident.

To help prevent these pedal error crashes, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released a few helpful tips. First, make sure you’re familiar with your vehicle. Before you or anyone else drives, you should take the time to adjust the mirrors, check the pedals, locate the hand brake, and buckle up.

Next, it’s important to remember to aim for the middle of the brake pedal any time you need to brake or slow down while driving. If you press only a corner of the pedal or catch only the side, it’s possible to accidentally let go of the brake too soon or to hit the acceleration. Either error can result in a crash.

Drivers should try to avoid distractions, even after the car is stopped. You want to make sure your vehicle is shifted into park and has the engine turned off before you get out. If you’re just starting to drive, remember to wear the right shoes; flip-flops or loose sandals could get caught on your brake pedal or accelerator, making it easier to cause a crash.

Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, “NHTSA Safety Advisory: Reducing crashes caused by pedal error,” Catherine Howden, May 29, 2015

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