I just read the latest saga of a runaway Toyata Prius and have to shake my head in bemusement. This guy had to have the police pull alongside him and tell him to pull the emergency brake and turn the key off? The 911 call lasted 23 minutes. 23 minutes??? What kind of dim bulb doesn't know to take the car out of gear and shut off the engine? When did people get so stupid?
My husband tells the story of a broken motor mount on a '60's muscle car he owned which allowed the engine to pivot on its mounting when revved, pulling the throttle cable and jamming the throttle wide open. And on a '60's big block Chevy, wide open was WIDE OPEN. It would make the acceleration of a Prius look like a rubber-band driven matchbox car. Not being an idiot, he put it in neutral, braked and coasted over to the shoulder. He didn't run down the highway at 90 miles an hour whimpering to the 911 operator that he couldn't stop.
BBC's "Top Gear", probably my favorite television program ever, had a segment about driving in Finland where, the Finns being no one's fools, would-be drivers are put through a grueling instruction period before they are licensed and allowed on the road. I'm assuming lesson one is "If you turn the key off, the car won't go." Pity they don't teach that here.