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NHTSA Considers Regulations for Brake-Throttle Override in Cars

By Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. on April 17, 2012

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has recently proposed new regulations that would make it easier to stop a “runaway” vehicle when the accelerator is stuck in place. The regulations would require all vehicles to be equipped with a “brake-throttle override” system.

Auto Accident Prevention SeattleThe override system would kick in whenever both the accelerator and the brake were pressed at the same time. Simply put, the system would instruct the vehicle to recognize the “brake” signal and to stop following the “accelerate” signal, slowing the vehicle down and eventually bringing it to a stop even though the accelerator is still pressed down. With the system in place, the driver of a car whose accelerator became stuck would be able to slow or stop the vehicle simply by pressing on the brakes.

The NHTSA is considering the regulations after several incidents in which stuck accelerators led to severe injury or a wrongful death. The most well-known of these were the problems in several Toyota vehicles in recent years, in which accelerator pedals would get stuck under floor mats or under the carpet layer on the floor. While some drivers were able to slow their runaway vehicles with the emergency brake, at least one driver could not stop the car, leading to multiple lost lives.

Defective car parts or bad repairs can cause serious car crashes that leave drivers, passengers, or others with disabling injuries or even take lives. At Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S., our dedicated Bellevue injury attorneys have helped many families secure the compensation they deserve after a serious accident. To learn more, call us today at (888) 228-3860 for a free and confidential telephone consultation.

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