Two pedals, inches apart, one for gas and the other for brakes.
An elderly Michigan woman apparently mistook the gas pedal for the brake, jumped the curb and crashed into a Panera Bread restaurant. About 15 – 20 patrons were inside the restaurant at the time. Two people suffered minor leg injuries from flying shards of glass. A building inspector determined there was no major structural damage to the restaurant, but the café and bakery are closed until the glass is replaced. The crash is still under investigation.
Fortunately, the injuries in this incident were minor, but that is not always the case. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly 16,000 preventable crashes occur every year due to drivers mistakenly hitting the gas instead of the brake pedal.
Gas pedal accidents became newsworthy in 2003 when an 86-year-old driver mistakenly stepped on the gas pedal instead of the brake then panicked, plowing into an open-air market in Santa Monica, Calif. Ten people were killed and 63 injured. A Colorado woman stepped on the accelerator instead of the brake, killing an 18-year-old who became engulfed in flames after being pinned beneath a toppled gas pump. A man was pinned between two vehicles when a truck driver apparently mistook the gas pedal for the brake. The victim died the following day.
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