Drivers Mostly at Fault for Toyota Crashes

As the investigation in what was the automotive industry's largest recall in history continues, more and more data points to the whole deal having been caused by driver error, rather than by a design or manufacturing flaw.

This is, at least, the latest word on the street. According to Autonews, citing once again National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) officials, the drivers have been found at fault in 35 of 58 crashes blamed on unintended acceleration. Meaning that in 35 cases investigators were not able to find any evidence of the driver having applied the brakes.

Of course, when you look at the whole story from another angle, you can clearly see that in the remainder of the cases, something else, not the driver, has been the cause of the crash. What that something else is, nobody has been yet able to determine, but the NHTSA was able to find that either the brakes had been partially applied, or the data recorder in the cars failed to record anything.

Of all the 58 cases looked into by the NHTSA and aside from the 35 of no evidence of braking having been found, in 14 cases the brakes were only partially pressed, while in nine cases, the brake had been depressed in the last second before impact.

There were also a few cases of drivers applying the brake and gas pedals at the same time but only one case in which the floor entrapped the pedal. Despite all these findings though, a conclusion is hard to reach yet.

“At this early point in its investigation, NHTSA officials have drawn no conclusions about additional causes of unintended acceleration in Toyotas beyond the two defects already known -- pedal entrapment and sticking gas pedals,” NHTSA reportedly wrote in a report submitted to lawmakers.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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