Skip to comments.Runaway Prius driver: Brakes were 'almost burned' [But he wouldn't shift into neutral!]
Posted on 03/10/2010 6:36:28 AM PST by justlurking
Before he called 911, James Sikes says he reached down with his hand to loosen the "stuck" accelerator on his 2008 Toyota Prius, his other hand on the steering wheel. The pedal didn't move.
"My car can't slow down," he began when a California Highway Patrol dispatcher answered his call.
During the two 911 calls, Sikes ignored many of the dispatcher's questions, saying later that he had to put his phone on the seat to keep his hands on the wheel.
Leighann Parks, a 24-year-old dispatcher, repeatedly told him to throw the car into neutral but got no answers.
"He was very emotional, you could tell on the line he was panicked," Parks told reporters outside the CHP's El Cajon office. "I could only imagine being in his shoes and being that stressed."
Neibert told Sikes after the CHP caught up with him to shift to neutral but the driver shook his head no. Sikes told reporters he didn't go into neutral because he worried the car would flip.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...
...why throw ‘er into neutral when there’s a law suit/settlement in the offing?....by calling 911 he documented his emotional distress.
Some people are just so stupid they shouldn’t be given driver’s licenses. Thought the car would flip????
“I’m a liberal and therefore smarter than the CHP or 911 dispatcher”.
Another American in search of his own “Obama Stash”.
I had some serious questions about this entire episode. I don’t understand why anyone would pick up a cell phone and make any type of call, even to 911, if you’re stuck at 80 / 90 mph.
This whole thing stinks like week-old fish.
“Sikes told reporters he didn’t go into neutral because he worried the car would flip.”
Oh good God. They didn’t say throw it into park (even that wouldn’t have made it flip, it would have popped it into nuetral anyway). Intellegence of Prius drivers on display.
This story doesn’t pass the smell test to me.
Mighty suspicious. This is a narrow window of opportunity to get a new car and an income from a settlement. Remember, all people lie. All people are devious and jump at the chance for the “quick kill” so they don’t ever have to work again.
That would be my first inclination. Popping into neutral would cause the engine to over RPM, and potentially destroy the engine - turning the ignition off simply shuts the engine down ... something that is inherently obvious to me.
Now, did this person also stack a couple floormats on top of each other, such that the floormat entraps the pedal when it's pushed down?
What a dumbass. This, along with the first thing he did after the incident being (apparently) to run out in front of the Toyota dealership to have his picture taken makes me suspect that the guy just cranked up his cruise control and called the cops so he could make the news.
The government/media’s treatment of these cases is turning into “pile on Toyota”. I think Smugboy is trolling for a fat lawsuit.
We are all creatures of habit, and most of us have no habit of shifting into neutral, just using the brakes and accelerator. Hindsight is 20-20.
It is troubling that so many drivers are so clueless and inexperienced.
When I was about 20, I had a car where the throttle stuck. I didn’t miss a beat, threw it into neutral, came to a stop and shut the engine off. I then, drove the car with the throttle still stuck, about 3 miles to my mechanic to get it fixed.
Creation of "evidence" for the upcoming litigation.
Speak for yourself.....
ISN’T IT ILLEGAL TO USE A CELL PHONE WHILE DRIVING IN CALIFORNIA?...................
This driver had to be an idiot liberal to begin with.
Only the ones with the special secret software programming in the computer controls, apparently..............
All people don’t lie, LIBERALS lie. I think this story stinks! He’s either stupid, a liar, or both. Oh wait, I did say he was a liberal so I’m repeating myself.
Modern engines have governors that limit the RPM. The engine will make a big racket, but it won't go over the red-line.
However, given a choice between a crash at 90 mph and destroying the engine... I'll always take the latter.
Earlier, I was asking why he waited until the car slowed to 55 to turn off the ignition. The dispatcher makes it very clear: the driver was paniced.
This is what happens when an entire car (or country) is run with a central processor. It’s hard to put on the brakes or shift into neutral when the thing gets out of control.
You have to put it in neutral and slow down or better yet stop before you shut off the engine.
If you shut off the ignition, the steering wheel will lock when you turn it and it will be a LOT harder to stop without power to the brakes.
Your life is in danger at this point. Blowing the engine should be the least of your worries. If you still have your wits about you and it starts to rev too high, put it in the highest gear you’ve got. 5th or 6th in a manual or 3rd in an automatic.
‘I thought it was useful to post this, after all the discussion on previous threads about “why didn’t he ....?”’
And apparently the answer is that he is a moron, who probably shouldn’t be allowed to drive anything larger or more powerful than a shopping cart, or maybe a scooter.
Intellegence of Prius drivers on display.
If you can't think beyond using the brakes and accelerator, you shouldn't be driving a car on public roads.
Hah, the scariest place on an interstate in Silicon Valley is in front of a Prius when you're going "only" 10 MPH over the speed limit.
The man doesn’t know much about cars. On the freeway I was almost pushed off the road by some guy who wasn’t paying any attention to what he was doing. I slammed on my breaks to keep from getting hit, only to have the engine die on me. I shifted into neutral while still moving, started the car and kept going.
This story doesnt pass the smell test to me.
If I were king I would ban automatic transmissions and many of the “safety” features on cars. A self preservation instinct goes a long way.
He was trying to talk on the cell phone and “control the car”. He didn’t have time to shift or slow down.
This story doesnt pass the smell test to me.
All of these new computer controlled cars have rev limiters to prevent the over revving of the engine. He'd have been better off to keep power (for brakes, steering, etc.) and just slam it into neutral.
“.. turning the ignition off simply shuts the engine down ... something that is inherently obvious to me.”
Gotta be careful with that though. One notch too far and the steering wheel is locked.
If I was worried about my safety, I’d sacrifice the engine.
How in the name of all that’s holy would a car flip if you put it into neutral??
Turning off the ignition doesn't disable your steering. It just requires more effort to turn the wheel.
Now, the engine might blow from the RPMs but can't really get a grip on the flipping concern.
Modern engines have a governor that limits the RPM. But, that's a bogus concern when the alternative is a collision at 50+ mph.
From the start there has been something fishy about this campaign against Toyota. It sounds like something designed to restore GM after its clunker-humiliation. I would like to see some information about any connections of the drivers with the union or political friends of GM.
exactly....I have think the MSM and the gov’t are GUILTY of malpractice for not putting out public service announcements stating that if your car starts accelerating uncontrollably, put the DAMN THING IN NEUTRAL! How stupid can people be to not know this? Something smells to high heaven here. The NTSB and Congress are asking the CEO of Toyota to commit hari kari on live tv in congressional hearings, yet noone in the gov’t has enough sense to think maybe we should try and EDUCATE the public on what to do in case of a stuck accelerator.
This has become more about destroying Toyota than keeping the public safe. If this guy had crashed into another car and killed someone else, I would be all for charging HIM with involuntary manslaughter. Once he was TOLD to put the car in neutral and didn’t, he was liable for anything that hppened after.
“Popping into neutral would cause the engine to over RPM, and potentially destroy the engine - turning the ignition off simply shuts the engine down ... something that is inherently obvious to me.”
If you’re supposedly in fear for you life because your car is out of control, why would you be concerned about hurting the engine? In any case, all modern cars have, at the very least, rev limiters which will prevent the engine from over-revving.
He heard it somewhere, many don’t figure out things or think for themselves, just go on heresay and bad advice.
That explains a lot!