Recently a man in his 80s confused the gas pedal with the brake pedal; after three blocks of travel at high speed, his car mangled three people to death while others mangled remained alive.
Horrible, horrible, horrible!
His license should be taken away.
This kind of accident, unfortunately is not rare and age is not a factor.
Fifty years ago automobiles were mainly manual shift. Such an arrangement required that the left foot be used for the clutch and the right foot for the dual -- and hazardous -- purpose of depressing the gas pedal as well as the brake pedal. The accident described was more numerous in those time.
Today most young people don't even know the function of the clutch and cannot drive a vehicle so equipped. Almost all cars are, fortunately, equipped with automatic transmission; this means that the vehicle shifts without any help from the motorist.
Despite the fact that almost all vehicles which can be operated without the inherently dangerous practice of using the right foot for two purposes, the NJ Motor Vehicle Services unit says: Use your right foot for both the brake and the gas pedal. This will make sure that you do not brake and speed up at the same time.
The fuddy duddy mentality of the DMV -- not wanting to break from the past because most of the personnel are too old -- results in swapping lives for the value of saving brake systems, however meritless. They thus encourage braking practices necessary 50 years ago even though they were inherently dangerous; depressing the gas pedal when the intention is to depress the brake pedal.
Let's replace the old b------s at the DMV with younger people who see the value of dedicating the left foot to the brake pedal and the right foot to the gas pedal. The result will be a welcome reduction in this kind of accident.
Warmest personal regards,
Frank X. Landrigan