Tiger Woods’ Unintended Acceleration in Crash Hints He Mistook Gas for Braking

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office has released the findings of an extended investigation into the February 23 one-vehicle crash involving pro golfer Tiger Woods. Speeding was a factor, but not reckless or distracted driving.
The Genesis GV80 SUV after Tiger Woods' crash in LA County 1 photo
Photo: YouTube/The Guardian
As we informed you right after the press conference, the LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva revealed that, at the time Woods lost control of the loaner Genesis GV80 SUV in the California hills, he was doing twice the legal speed: 85 mph (136.7 kph) in a 45 mph (72.4 kph) zone.

While speeding was clearly a factor, reckless or distracted driving was not, Captain Jim Powers said, as you can see in the video below. Data from the SUV’s “black box” reveals unintended acceleration at the moment of the crash, which hints Woods might have mistaken the acceleration pedal for the brake. In fact, the data shows zero braking even after the car went off course, over a road divider and into the opposite lane, and 99% acceleration.

Captain Powers says they don’t have a proper explanation for why that happened, but he believes Woods panicked as he realized he’d lost control of the car. “When you panic... your initial thought is to hit the brake. It is believed he may have done that but hit the accelerator instead of the brake,” Powers said.

Woods himself is of no help to investigators on this account: he has no recollection of the crash. That said, Powers insists that Woods was not impaired either by drugs or alcohol and that he wasn’t distracted. Still, no blood tests were conducted and no phone records were asked for.

For the first time since the crash, Woods also released a statement, thanking first responders and the team of doctors that performed surgery on his shattered leg. He also thanked fans and the community for the support but did not otherwise address the crash or the investigation results.

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About the author: Elena Gorgan
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Elena has been writing for a living since 2006 and, as a journalist, she has put her double major in English and Spanish to good use. She covers automotive and mobility topics like cars and bicycles, and she always knows the shows worth watching on Netflix and friends.
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