Stuck accelerator pedal? BCAA advice on getting out of a "sticky situation"

BURNABY, BC, Feb. 4 /CNW/ - Recent publicity surrounding Toyota's recall of vehicles with faulty accelerator pedals provides a good reminder that it's important to know what to do if your accelerator pedal ever gets stuck or your vehicle accelerates for no apparent reason. If you ever find yourself in that situation, BCAA recommends the following:

    
    -   Stay calm, but act quickly.

    -   Keep looking at the road ahead. Looking away from the road to see
        what's wrong with the pedal will greatly increase your chances of
        crashing.

    -   Be sure your foot is completely off the accelerator. Some stuck
        accelerator crashes have later been found to be the result of an
        honest mistake - the driver thought he or she was pushing on the
        brake.

    -   Put the vehicle's transmission in neutral or, in a vehicle with
        standard transmission, depress the clutch. Do NOT turn off the
        engine. Doing so will cause the power assist to steering and braking
        to disengage and make it difficult or impossible to steer, and harder
        to brake. Plus, turning the key too far could possibly lock the
        steering wheel.

    -   Steer the car to a safe place and stop, and then turn off the engine.
        If stopped by the side of a road, turn on emergency flashers and put
        out reflective triangles. If you're unable to get the vehicle off the
        roadway, allow it to come to a stop and turn on emergency flashers.
        Do not restart the vehicle. Call for help using a cell phone, or wave
        down a passing vehicle, if safe to do so.
    

Vehicle owners should also regularly check to ensure floor mats or loose wiring are not interfering with any pedals (accelerator, brake or clutch). Anyone who has ever experienced a problem with rapid or unwanted acceleration should have it checked by a qualified auto technician as soon as possible.

Owners of recalled vehicles should also adhere to any notices as soon as possible to ensure the safe operation of their vehicle. If you choose to drive a recalled vehicle and notice any problems with the accelerator (i.e. hard to depress, slow to return or is unsmooth during operation), BCAA recommends you pull over to the nearest safe location, shut off the engine and contact your dealership. Alternatively, BCAA members can contact BCAA for roadside or towing assistance.

BCAA is the largest organization of its kind in B.C., with over 100 years experience and gross annual sales of nearly $400 million from its membership, insurance and travel businesses. A BCAA Membership can be found in the wallets of nearly 790,000 British Columbians and in one-in-four B.C. households. For the past two years, BCAA has received the highest score in Canada for home insurance customer satisfaction in a J.D. Power and Associates study. And, for the past four years, BCAA has been named one the 50 Best Employers in Canada by international HR consultants Hewitt Associates and the Globe & Mail's Report on Business magazine. To learn more about BCAA's products, services and member advocacy, visit www.bcaa.com. For more information on the BCAA Traffic Safety Foundation visit www.tsf-bcaa.com.

SOURCE British Columbia Automobile Association

For further information: For further information: or to request an interview, please contact: Jennifer Timm, BCAA Media Relations, Tel: (604) 268-5342, Cell: (778) 228-8859; Ken Cousin, BCAA Director of Road Assist, Tel: (604) 293-2132, Email: ken.cousin@bcaa.com


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