Details for Click & Clack.
Click & Clack Talk Cars “The Tappet Brothers’’ By Ray Magliozzi Till deaTh do us parT BY RAY MAGLIOZZI Dear Car Talk: What can a passenger do to bring a car safely to a stop if the driver should die while driving the car on a highway? My wife sits in the passenger seat. She cannot drive or safely move from her seat without help. But she can reach the ignition key, steering wheel and console gearshift with her left hand. stop accelerating. She’ll do that by putting the car in neutral. Whether your foot is on the gas or the cruise control is set, shifting into neutral will cause the car to coast to a stop. You can have her practice putting the car in neutral a few times while you’re driving. Just don’t practice slumping over. She won’t find that funny. Once she has the car in neutral, she’ll want to steer the car out of harm’s way. With her left hand on the wheel, she should be able to slowly edge the car over to the shoulder of the road. We are blessed with a carefully maintained 2010 Toyota Venza, and my mechanic (may he live forever, or at least until I’m gone) looked at me in profound wonderment and said -- without expletives If she really has her wits -- “Where did THAT question about her, show her where come from?” the emergency flashers are, and she can turn those on to It worries me. What do alert other cars that you’re you suggest Barbara do if I not just a lousy driver, John, have a “medical event” while but there’s an emergency. driving? -- John Once the car is safely on Well, first she should call the shoulder of the road and her boyfriend and tell him the stopped, or almost stopped, coast is clear. she can put the car in park Actually, John, it is an and call for help. unpleasant thing to think about, Hopefully, a Heimlich but there are things Barbara can do in such an emergency. maneuver will bring you back Let’s say you’re driving, and so she can look forward to you suddenly choke on a beef doing it all over again someday. *** jerky at 65 mph.We don’t know Got a question about cars? the details. Is your foot still on the gas? Are you using cruise Write to Ray in care of King control? Are you slumped onto Features, 628 Virginia Drive, Orlando, FL 32803, or email the steering wheel? by visiting the Car Talk Let’s say all of those are true. website at www.cartalk.com. What Barbara wants to do *** is avoid driving off the road, or (c) 2018 by Ray Magliozzi into a bridge abutment. So, the and Doug Berman first step is to grab the wheel Distributed by King and keep the car going straight. Next, she has to get the car to Features Syndicate, Inc.