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Old 13th March 2006, 01:31   #1
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Default 130mph, throttle stuck, then brakes fail. What do you do?

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article...080205,00.html

130mph, throttle stuck, then brakes fail. What do you do?

By Will Pavia
After 30 minutes of terror, a BMW driver found a devastating answer

IT WAS a BMW with a top speed of 135mph, but the owner, Kevin Nicolle, never knew quite how fast that was until last Sunday, soon after he discovered that his accelerator pedal was stuck to the floor.
In 30 minutes he sped through three counties, outran a fleet of police cars and finally careered on to a roundabout, shouting to a woman police operator to call an ambulance because “I ain’t surviving this”.
It was “like being strapped on to a rocket”, he said.
NI_MPU('middle');Mr Nicolle, 25, bought his BMW318 in April. “Some people spend money on themselves,” he told The Times. “All my money goes on my car.”
Disaster struck as he was driving it through the North Yorkshire dales along the A1 on his way home to Portsmouth. As he passed the town of Thirsk, he took his foot off the accelerator — but the car speeded up. “The pedal was stuck to the floor,” he said.
Mr Nicolle called the AA on his hands-free phone. They told him to call the police, who dispatched four fast cars and a helicopter. For a time the brakes held the 125-horsepower engine to 70mph. He then tried to slip the car into neutral. “I couldn’t do it,” he said. “I couldn’t turn off the ignition because it would have disabled the power steering and made it even more dangerous.”
The police officer on the end of the line said that they would attempt a “rolling stop”: boxing in the car with police vehicles to slow it down gradually.
It was too late. The brakes began to burn out and the car started going faster and faster with Mr Nicolle gripping the steering wheel in terror.
“I saw the dial going past 100mph, 115, 120,” he said. “I was praying for the police cars to show up, but they couldn’t catch me. I was reaching 135mph. I honestly thought I was going to die. I started to get pins and needles all over my body. I was really panicking and broke into tears.” He overtook cars on the verge of the fast lane. He tore up behind two articulated lorries, driving side-by-side.
“There was another guy in the fast lane,” Mr Nicolle said. “I tried to go through and the guy sped up. He wouldn’t let me through. What was he thinking? I had my hazard lights on and there was a helicopter above. I was inches from the back of the truck and the car.” He managed to thread the BMW between the two vehicles.
Police told him to get on to the hard shoulder. He shot past several slip roads, narrowly missing a car. Then he saw the sign — Roundabout 800 yards. It was a raised roundabout, with a grassy crest. “That’s when I said: ‘I ain’t surviving this’.” He remembers a loud bang, and a woman’s voice shouting: “He’s crashed, he’s crashed.”
Then he was upside down against the roof. “The car started to fill with smoke. I said to the firemen, ‘Don’t cut my car’. It seems stupid but she’s my baby. The firemen said, ‘She’s a write-off, mate’.” Mr Nicolle survived with hardly a scratch.
BMW will now examine the car, which was built in 1998. “We would need to see how it has been maintained,” a spokesman said. “It sounds like something has happened to the throttle cable.” In 1999 the company recalled 280,000 vehicles because of problems with brakes and airbags. “That was a completely unrelated problem,” the spokesman said. Mr Nicolle said that he will never drive again. “If you walk away from an accident like that you want to call it quits.”

WELL, TRY THIS...
Stephen Mead, assistant chief examiner at the Institute of Advanced Motorists, says:
DO NOT

Put your foot underneath the accelerator pedal and try to lift it up. You could lose control of the vehicle

Brake. It will not help as the accelerator will still be jammed on

Pull key out of ignition — the steering will lock

Try to use handbrake. “The rear wheels are likely to lock and then it’s goodnight Vienna”

DO

Shift the car into neutral

Turn the key one notch to kill the engine. You will lose power steering and power-assisted brakes but you will still be able to control the car
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Old 13th March 2006, 01:45   #2
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nice story buddy.. kinna shockin
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Old 13th March 2006, 03:02   #3
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yeah read it in todays papers... gr8 tips as to wht to do in a similar situation

~cheers

-ASH
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Old 13th March 2006, 03:19   #4
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Long back saw a very similar thing on "World's Wildest police Videos"....
I think... killing the ignition is the BEST option.....
Power steering gone???... as if it was helping a lot at 130+mph!!!
Brakes lose.. most of their power???.... BIG TIME engine braking will come into play as soon as you kill ignition.... you won't need the brakes for stoping.

If I am not wrong.... it was not such a serious situation.. as created by the driver.
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Old 13th March 2006, 06:41   #5
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sounds like a 80s Hindi movie.

they didnt say if it was manual or auto.

if it was manual, I would have shifted to neutral, auto also can be shifted.

Or just kill the ignition...must be a really inexperienced driver.
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Old 13th March 2006, 09:03   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mpower
Or just kill the ignition...must be a really inexperienced driver.
Hey,

Given the circumstances the most experienced drivers also panic. How often does one just jam the brakes knowing very well the car will lock up when someone jumps in front of you or you see a speed breaker. A common response is to jam when sometimes you should turn or down shift.

His situation was different and you must realise the speed he was at excess of 200kmph. What would you do No brakes No gear control sit cool.

Viper

No Offense buddy not getting personal.

Last edited by viper : 13th March 2006 at 09:06.
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Old 13th March 2006, 09:40   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mpower
Or just kill the ignition...must be a really inexperienced driver.
Isn't this called Monday morning quarterbacking? Unless you have been under such situation first hand, you have no idea what he went through.

Driving at 135mph (216Kmph) without brakes on a highway with normal traffic? Think again, what kind of experience with help you here, F1?

He is very lucky to have survived.
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Old 13th March 2006, 10:35   #8
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Im sorry, but i am with Mpower on this one.

I understand Viper & Samurai's points about panic situations, but this guy had 30minutes!!!!
Seems like the type of guy who would pull out his hands free kit for help instead of trying to use his brains.
And im suprised that in all his comminucation with the AA and the police they didnt tell him to turn the ignition off. I think they must have, but he must have refused as he didnt want to ruin his car (or lose powersteering).
Also i think that he could have brought his car to a complete stop using the brakes, but he probably just didnt want to ruin his car, once again.

However im not saying that this isnt a scary situation, infact on this years FSAE car we are putting in a push/pull throttle cable because last year the throttle got stuck when someone was driving it in a small parking lot! (ofcourse he had only a few seconds - and he managed to think of braking to a stop and killing the engine)

cya
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Last edited by Rehaan : 13th March 2006 at 10:36.
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Old 13th March 2006, 11:18   #9
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Scary!! But if the dude had 30 minutes on a stuck throttle and without a crash in the interim, there HAD to be atleast one straight stretch where he could have put off the ignition. I say straight stretch because he could have rolled to a stop without needing to steer.

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Old 13th March 2006, 11:37   #10
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OMG!
the best thing to do in such a situation is to start reading Hanuman-Chaaleesa! j/k

when he was having 30 long minutes, i guess instead of panicking he'd tried every method of slowing down.
be it using handbrake judiciously, or tried downshifting, switching off ignition, rubbing the shoulders with the side-rails (if any), etc.

if he'd be in india at much lesser speed, he might have not survived for sure.
thank god he came out without any major injury.
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Old 13th March 2006, 11:45   #11
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Well as i see it 30 mins at 218 kmph is like driving for 100 kms without brakes at such speeds for half an hour... That sure required some high speed driving & overtaking..
Agian i still think he could have done away with putting the ignition off cause DAMMIT what good is a power steering at 216 kmph ???

Last edited by ThE_DoN : 13th March 2006 at 11:48.
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Old 13th March 2006, 11:58   #12
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its easy for us to say things ...but i agree with a few of us ...he could have just switched off the ignition and waited for the car to roll to stop as no ignition means no brakes as well ....
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Old 13th March 2006, 12:14   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speedsatya
its easy for us to say things ...but i agree with a few of us ...he could have just switched off the ignition and waited for the car to roll to stop as no ignition means no brakes as well ....
Well half way through he didnt have brakes anyway!

But no ignition doesnt mean no brakes, it just means no vaccum from the engine to the brake booster, hence no POWER/ASSISTED brakes. Brakes will still be useable but you will REALLY REALLY have to stand on it!

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Old 13th March 2006, 12:23   #14
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Quote:

if he'd be in india at much lesser speed, he might have not survived for sure.
If he was in India, he would have crashed way before accelerating to 130MPH.

Safer or not? Your guess is as good as mine...

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Old 13th March 2006, 15:16   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO
If he was in India, he would have crashed way before accelerating to 130MPH.

Safer or not? Your guess is as good as mine...

GTO
right.
in india, a brake-failure case even at 100kmph can kill you in no time.
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