I want to thank Jim Romanesko for this story. At his “Obscure Store” blog, he wrote, and I quote:
Remember when older drivers hit buildings after hitting the gas pedal instead of the brakes? That's been replaced with the-Toyota-did-it! Excuse.
(Romanesko points to this story, and I’m sure there will be lots more just like it.)
In a NYT article, the writer stated that if you think your foot is on the brake but it’s on the accelerator, you’re likely to experience the following disastrous sequence of events: You press down; the car moves; you want to make it stop, so you press down much harder, but your foot is still on the accelerator.
I personally think it’s time to ask the big question: Why not put the brake and accelerator pedals much further apart in an automatic car, and make us learn to put one foot on each pedal? There would be no more pressing the accelerator when we thought our foot was on the brake. (And we could still build the current configuration for people who have a disability and really need it.) I’ve driven with one foot on each pedal, and I don’t see the problem.