Just A Public Service Message From Jane. You Can Thank Me Later.

I settled in with my scrambled egg, toast and tea and flipped on the TV.

“Next up, a mom’s car speeds out of the control with a stuck accelerator.”

Not some random, ordinary woman. A mom. My heart started to pound. My stomach started doing flip flops. My arms began to go weak. I reached for the remote and switched to the weather channel, thinking maybe coverage of tropical storm Issac would calm me down.

You know the recurring nightmares most people have? You’re in a classroom, final exams are about to start and you haven’t studied. Free falling off a cliff or out of an airplane. In an important meeting and you’re standing there naked.

I don’t have those dreams.

I dream about my car careening out of control, the brakes not working or my absolute worst nightmare ever, my boys and I plunge into a sinkhole, full of water and as we’re sinking I know I can’t save us and my boys are looking to me for help.

That last dream is hard for me to even write down without my heart racing out of control. I need to take a break.


I’m back.

Watching satellite images and waves and pictures of sandbags, I couldn’t shake the image of that woman’s car speeding onto the shoulder and then back onto the highway again because she couldn’t stop. I thought, why does this freak me out so much? Is it lack of control? Fear of the unknown?

So. I educated myself.

If your accelerator gets stuck:

  1. Put your foot firmly on the brake with steady, strong pressure. (DO NOT pump the brakes.)
  2. Shift the car into neutral.
  3. The car will slow down and come to a stop.
  4. Turn the car off.

Watching this video helped calm me down. I don’t know why. Maybe because the automotive engineer demonstrating is so cool and in control.

For me, knowledge is power. I’m calmer now. And after his recommendations, I  think a Volkswagon in going to be my next car.


Filed under In the News, Lessons Learned

11 responses to “Just A Public Service Message From Jane. You Can Thank Me Later.

  1. This is a good lesson! Now if I can only remember it…

  2. You have a keen eye to spot the emphasis on the word “mom.” The media knows what they are doing. 🙂

  3. Stick to walking, my accelerator never gets stuck. 😉

  4. It happened to me. In a VW. In rush hour. I did what’s in those directions (though I tried to pump the brakes first). I also used the emergency brake. The car stopped, but the engine kept revving. Everyone told us the mat was stuck on the accellerator. But it wasn’t.

    Luckily, my then 2 1/2 year old was home.

    And I never set foot in that car again.

  5. Phew. Thank you. I like having a solution ready.
    (Is your email working? Have sent several…)

  6. I’ve heard Volvos are very safe vehicles (though the cost is astronomical). I have weird mom-neuroses too, but my horror tales are different than yours, though equally devastating to my psyche whenever I “go there.” A reason why I don’t. 😉

  7. Wow. Good to know. (I worry on the road, but for other reasons… that always make me remember how life can change forever in a flash.)

  8. Freaks me out too. I do believe its a control thing. Okay, so I steadily press hard on my brakes, and shift my car to neutral. Got it. Thanks,


    • My idea of heaven is a life without cars. My idea of not-heaven is sitting in a car for anything more than 15 minutes at a time regardless of how wonderful the destination will turn out to be. My dream is to retire some place that I can walk whenever and wherever I need to go. In the meantime, I appreciate your information!

  9. Good to know. Thanks Jane!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s