By Kristin Varela on August 29, 2012
Have you seen the harrowing footage of the Kia Sorento that malfunctioned and sped up to 115 mph on a Missouri highway last weekend? The driver, Lauri Ulvestad, managed to dial 911 with one hand and drive her-out-of-control car with other, weaving in and out of highway traffic, avoiding trucks by driving onto the shoulder and speeding through orange-barrel construction zones for more than 45 minutes.
We remember similar stories a few years ago about "runaway car" incidents that ultimately led to a massive recall of Toyota vehicles. While each incident is unique and may require its own unique solution, experts agree on these basic steps to try if you're ever involved in something like this.
In Ulvestad's case, these steps didn't work. She couldn't shift the transmission into Neutral, and the brake pedal seemingly didn't work. Ulvestad was finally able to slow and stop her car by lifting up on the accelerator pedal with one foot while simultaneously pressing on the brake with the other foot.
It's scary to think about being involved in something like this, but it's worth it to take the time now to commit these steps to memory.
It's like life insurance: It may be totally unpleasant to even think about it now, but there may come a time when you'll feel grateful for having gone through the discomfort.
Senior Family Editor Kristin Varela blends work and family life by driving her three tween-teen girls every which way in test cars. Email Kristin