A law suit was settled last week in death of Star Trek actor Anton Yelchin, who was crushed when his own SUV rolled on a slope and pinned him against the mailbox he was checking.
Sadly, however, deaths like this where a vehicle rolls away despite having ostensibly been left in ‘Park’ are all too common and actually have a lot to do with the endemic incompetence of the majority of people who write state drivers manuals throughout the USA and yet have little-to-zero expertise in the subject of best-practise safe driving.
I’ve been triggered into writing this by an old post on the same topic that I’ve just seen and replied to, on the Allstate Safe Driving Blog.
By no means are all “safe driving” writers always accurate enough!
With no disrespect to Allstate or the writer of the piece, it was clearly written by someone with only a reasonable knowledge of the issue himself, despite having referenced various sources. I say this because there were a couple of inclusions which are very questionable.
The first of these was about using the “emergency brake” — a highly inappropriate name for the parking brake — to help stop the vehicle, and my response to that point is shown in my reply to Allstate, below. Having said that, a handbrake is a dramatically safer option that a foot-operated parking brake because, with the button held in, it can be applied much more accurately and released instantaneously without extra risk.
From Car & Driver’s blog, excellent news that “…Michelin and the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile [FIA] (Foundation?) have secured commitments from all 50 U.S. states to include consistent tire-maintenance and safety information in their driver education programs.”
There are 51 booklets that can be thought of as state drivers’ manuals in the USA because, apart from the 50 actual states, DC has one, too. And back in 2006 — dare I say “bravely!” — I read them all and then wrote a research paper on my findings. It was published by the Society of Automotive Engineers [SAE] at their World Congress, in Detroit, in 2007. (For the sake of perspective, I will add that to my surprise and great pleasure, my presentation of the paper to a technically very adept audience won me an SAE award for being judged to be in the top five percent of the hundreds of papers presented by their authors at the multi-day event.)
One week ago, on July 10, 2017, the National Transportation Safety Board [NTSB] published their periodic “Safety Compass” blog. The post in question was called “Best Days of Their Lives” and is very good, in relation to the safety of young drivers.