Monday, October 19, 2009

The importance of Neutral, Folks; Neutral

Have you heard of the Consumerist? You know, the website that deals with consumer issues? Maybe you have, maybe you haven’t (though now I guess you have), I only bring it up to ground my upcoming complaints:

Yesterday I read a story on some Consumer Reports testing of stuck accelerator pedal survival strategies. It was in reference to a recentl story about a CHP officer who — along with his family — died in a car accident in their new Lexus thingamajig. What happened apparently sparked a recall by Toyota for some 3.8 million cars & trucks (mine included) because the floor mat got stuck and caused the accelerator pedal to stick. Which is what happened to this dumb CHP officer and his poor, poor family (yes I’m going to Hell with all of my friends to suffer for eternity, I know don’t bother telling me).

They were traveling at like mach 2 and the guy called 911, they couldn’t unstuck the pedal and they crashed & died at 120mph. Cue crying.

OK now here’s where I scream “Darwin” folks, because there’s a really really simple solution to this problem, and actually TWO but one is better than the other. First and less effective is “turn the car off,” because, DUH, if there’s no power, there’s NO POWER and you don’t rocket to 120mph and DIE. The other, better option, is just to push the lever into neutral and brake like normal. I mean, what the hell? at no time PRIOR to calling 911 did he figure to try one of those? or hell, at no point during a 60-second phone call to 911 did he have this — or heck, A (singular) — thought? Really? Really, dude?

OK I got off-track a bit. Because here’s the things that really got my logic all riled. The commenters on the article were all discussing the event in question, and while a special few had the right ideas on what the dumb guy driving should have done (see above), too many to count were chastising the recommendations that would work because these people are a) stupid and/or b) legally retarded.

Everyone and their mother, it seemed, was saying that you SHOULD NEVER turn a car off at high speed because if it’s a newer model with the locking steering wheel function, then you’re stuck without steering at 120mph. This is infuriating to me because these idiots who don’t know are giving out bad advice to the other IDIOTS on the web who might someday find themselves rocketing into a bad situation at 120mph. Because here’s the deal, dipwads: IT’S NOT THE ACT OF THE KEY BEING TURNED “OFF” THAT LOCKS THE WHEEL, IT’S THE COMBINATION OF THE CAR BEING PUT INTO PARK AND THE KEY BEING REMOVED THAT DOES IT.

Which means that if you’re traveling at mach 120mph and you’re panicking on what to do because you have the silly feet and got your mat lodged into your accelerator pedal, seriously, turn the damned car off. It’ll work.

It was so frustrating to read all of that because it’s both wrong, and shows the complete lack of critical thinking skills the commenters are equipped with. Have they ever tried to turn a car off anywhere besides “Park”? No? Well then, probably not the best source of information regarding the matter then, huh? I mean, that’s pretty basic, right? If I want to learn to skydive stopping my local “We’ve never Skydived but we’re experts, trust us” shop on my way home for information is probably not my best bet nor in my best interest.

OK so that information was completely wrong, what else could get my panties all wadded up? Well like I said, that option happens to be the least-effective of the two that would work in the given situation. The more effective option is still to tap the gear lever into Neutral, and stop like normal with the brakes.

The scenario as given was that the car was accelerating like mad and life was on the line. A lot of people were wasting time killing brain cells of all that read their tripe by saying that they wouldn’t and therefore you shouldn’t put the car into Neutral in that situation, you should turn it off and fight it down to a stop against a now non-functional Power Steering unit, and non-functional Power Braking unit. Which while possible, is far from easy.

Their rationale? Because the engine will rev up and bounce off the redline, and BY GOLLY! It could be a really expensive fix to have that motor repaired if it bends a valve or blows a rod or seal.

(Kudos to you if you just pictured a large blubbery sea animal getting… You know what? nevermind)

How far down do you have to pull your stupid hat to come up with this lame-ass reason for not doing the right thing? I mean, we’re talking about a 3,000lb piece of metal hurling itself down a road at speeds man was never intended to travel, with the lives of all inside — and possibly the lives of others outside — on the line. Really guys? You know what, shut the f*ck up. Why? Because you might die, and possibly having to repair an engine is the better alternative, given the situation. So… Why? Why spread such stupidity on the web? Why misinform so many people?

If you have read those comments, if you heard the story and the stupid among you have said anything resembling the above, shut them out, and listen to me here:


Seriously. Browsing the internet, it’s good to see (sarcasm) that we still have plenty of stock of stupid. Can’t run out of that, now can we? Demand’s just too high.

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