Police said the driver, 85, just drove his sister back to Houston for cancer treatment. KPRC 2 was told he accidentally hit the gas instead of the brakes of his Tesla.
The man's sister got out OK. The man was unconscious and was pronounced dead later at a hospital.
Yep. Around the time of the Toyota SUA (sudden unintended acceleration) PR disaster, this came out:Humans do very occasionally get the pedals mixed up. It is rare. Think of how many times a day, just in the US, that a human foot touches a brake or accelerator pedal correctly, vs. how often a human touches the wrong pedal thinking it is the "right" one. I would hazard a guess that humans get their pedal choice correct 99.99% of the time. When they get it wrong, usually it is just a momentary touch, their brain says "oops wrong pedal", and no harm done. But sometimes their brain fails to consider the possibility that they are touching the wrong pedal and assumes, mistakenly, that they have the right pedal but the pedal is not responding as it should so the solution is to press it really hard!
Assumptions can be dangerous things.
He had a passenger.How the h would they know about pedals? Did they go to the afterlife and interview the guy? Sounds like an assumption. Ps. He was 85. All kinds of things can happen.
Back then, many of us who worked in fields like ergonomics, human performance and psychology suspected that these unintended-acceleration events might have a human component. We noticed that the complaints were far more frequent among older drivers (in a General Motors study, 60-to-70-year-olds had about six times the rate of complaints as 20-to-30-year-olds), drivers who had little experience with the specific car involved (parking-lot attendants, car-wash workers, rental-car patrons) and people of relatively short stature.
Several researchers hypothesized how a driver, intending to apply the brake pedal to keep the car from creeping, would occasionally press the accelerator instead. Then, surprised that the car moved so much, he would try pressing harder. Of course, if his right foot was actually on the accelerator, the throttle would open and the car would move faster. This would then lead the driver to press the “brake” harder still, and to bring about even more acceleration. Eventually, the car would be at full throttle, until it crashed. The driver’s foot would be all the way to the floor, giving him the impression that the brakes had failed.
In the cases that went to court, jurors naturally asked, why would a driver with decades of driving experience suddenly mistake the accelerator for the brake? And why would the episode last so long — often 6 to 10 seconds or more? Wouldn’t that be ample time to shut off the ignition, shift to neutral or engage the parking brake?
First, in these situations, the driver does not really confuse the accelerator and the brake. Rather, the limbs do not do exactly what the brain tells them to. Noisy neuromuscular processes intervene to make the action slightly different from the one intended. The driver intends to press the brake, but once in a while these neuromuscular processes cause the foot to deviate from the intended trajectory — just as a basketball player who makes 90 percent of his free throws sometimes misses the hoop. This effect would be enhanced by the driver being slightly misaligned in the seat when he first gets in the car.
The answer to the second question is that, when a car accelerates unexpectedly, the driver often panics, and just presses the brake harder and harder. Drivers typically do not shut off the ignition, shift to neutral or apply the parking brake.
Anyone notice that these events are nearly exclusively involving elderly tesla owners.
Personally, I would like to see Tesla Motors offer a very thick rubber cover for the brake pedal. The aluminum pedals on my Model S are at the same location, depth wise. If I press the brake without centering my foot on the brake pedal, I may push both pedals at the same time.
With a rubber brake pedal cover, the right sole of the driver's shoe would be higher than the accelerator when pressing the pedal. My GM cars are designed that way, and it works to avoid double pedal press.
I have learned to move my foot farther to the left to break the habit that the GM vehicles create. But, some drivers may like a brake pedal cover, and that would be an easy fix. It could be replaced when worn or removed when selling the vehicle.
Don't you have one of the first ones before the change was made? Wasn't the change retroactive where Tesla would swap out? Have you asked them about this?
My 70D is exactly like you want it. Well except there is rubber on both pedals, but the brake pedal is closer to the driver.