I like to think of myself as ready for anything. Lately I've been preparing for what I should do if I find myself behind the wheel of an out-of-control car.
First, an ounce of prevention. I see two possible causes for the acceleration issue: a computer virus or a computer bug.
Someone (THE GOVERNMENT) has designed a computer virus that downloads itself to the acceleration / deceleration chip through signals relayed from the GPS mapping system.
Why the Government? Stimulate the American car economy. I'm sure you saw SNL this past weekend.
Solution? Don't turn on the GPS.
I refer you to the article below.
Electronics makers have known for decades about "single event upsets," computer errors from radiation created when cosmic rays strike the atmosphere.
With more than 3,000 complaints to U.S. regulators of random sudden acceleration problems in Toyota models, several researchers say single event upsets deserve a close look.
The phenomenon can trigger software crashes that come and go without a trace. Unlike interference from radio waves, there's no way to physically block particles; such errors typically have to be prevented by a combination of software and hardware design.
And an anonymous tipster told NHTSA last month that "the automotive industry has yet to truly anticipate SEUs."
Yes. Cosmic rays. Solution? Only take your car out on overcast days, the clouds will block the particles.
Now, if I find myself unable to prevent a sudden acceleration, I have a Three-Part Plan.
A. If possible, find an unused airport runway and drive in circles.
B. Find a muddy field, drive into mud until wheels spin and car is axle-deep in mud. Then just step casually out of car, which will eventually run out of gas.
It occurs to me this would have been easy enough to implement in Speed, come to think of it.
C. The nice thing about choice B is that the car is not damaged. Choice C is to roll down the windows and drive the car into a lake. Of course, the insurance company might balk at paying to replace a car I drove into a lake. I would plea self-defense and see how far it got me.
NOW, if the car in question is a Prius, I have another option: Throw the car into B.
Now, I could shift into N for neutral. But it seems to me B is there just for this situation. Any day now Toyota will say, "Why hasn't anyone been using the B gear? This never happens in the B gear!"
(Evidently it's the extra-regenerative braking gear for long hills.)