Because the gas and throttle are so hard to differentiate.
It was one of those moments when you fear for the state of humanity outside of the Flex Oil gas station in Martinez, California. A Ford Escape Hybrid crashed into a fuel pump and another car, igniting a blaze that caused quite a bit of damage.
But this isn’t your usual “accident”; the driver mistook the gas pedal for the brake. Read that again, THE DRIVER THOUGHT THE GAS PEDAL WAS THE BRAKE. And we’re not talking about a vehicle with a manual transmission or some sort of complicated pedal setup here; it’s a simple two-pedal layout. The one on the left is the brake and the one on the right is the gas/throttle. It doesn’t get any more straightforward than that, unless you’re riding in an automated car.
Remember that whole Toyota unintended acceleration fiasco? The one where The Toyota executives had to stand in front of a government panel and answer questions asked by people who have no automotive knowledge? We’re still not totally convinced that a good portion of those weren’t due to driver error. Just take a look at this incident. Clearly it was another case of “unintended acceleration”.
But back to the story; Thaddeus Brown and Zack Klapman of The Smoking Tire were on their back from filming a shoot when they were able to come across the scene as it was happening and filmed it for all to see. According to the two:
“What we believe happened is the driver approached Alhambra Ave, driving down Virginia Hills Dr. Virginia Hills Dr is a steep road. The driver tried to make a yellow light, and when he turned at a high rate of speed, his car understeered and went right into the gas station. He struck a pump, which then hit the Ford Escape Hybrid on the other side, and both burst into flames. Quick acting patrons hit the emergency shut off and called 911.”
Look, we can understand panicking to a point in this situation, but you have to at least know how to drive your vehicle properly. You put not only yours, but everybody else’s lives in danger when you’re operating a 3,000+ lb. machine improperly. That’s why this guy is a part of this week’s Friday FAIL.