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(The Consumerist)   If you think turning off the ignition, standing on the brakes, or putting the car in neutral will stop your out-of-control Toyota or Lexus, boy are you in for an amusing twist   (consumerist.com ) divider line
    More: Scary, Lexus, Toyota, mats, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, maximum speed, guard rail, tow trucks, overrides  
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45040 clicks; posted to Main » on 24 Feb 2010 at 12:21 PM (6 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2010-02-24 01:21:57 PM  

obzerver: From the Lexus website: (new window)Six-speed paddle-shift sequential automatic Electronically Controlled Transmission with intelligence

heh.. intelligence huh?


maybe the car was depressed...even if the accelerator wasn't
 
2010-02-24 01:22:08 PM  

Katie98_KT: yes, it is. the button above the gear shift with the giant P on it, is a parking brake.


Honey, I've owned a Prius for 5 years. It's not a parking brake.

That's a pedal on the side side, see it over there?

www.thetruthaboutcars.com

The button is the Park" gear selector.
 
2010-02-24 01:22:13 PM  

doglover: LOLIDRIVESTICKPAD

I always knew automatics were retarded, and this proves it. If it happened to me I'd try and hit the center wall maybe.


This. Another BIG reason why automatic transmission should be banned or something.
 
2010-02-24 01:22:23 PM  

GoodOmens: davidw001: The local rag here carried a headline stating "toyota deaths have surged" and the article went on to say that there were 34 deaths that MAY have been due to this problem over the last 10 years. I'm not trying to be an ass here or anything, but if these numbers are correct, how does this recall stack up against others? I remember the big Explorer recall due to tires. Were there many fatalities involved there?

Honestly, just asking.

I think it was around 100 deaths regarding the firestone tires.

One of the business decisions behind a recall is to calculate how much the recall would cost (lost sales, cost of parts etc) vs just paying out lawsuits for every time the problem would occur.

This problem could have been prevalent for several years before Toyota decided it was worth it financially to issue a recall.


What company do you work for?
 
2010-02-24 01:22:54 PM  
Women are allowed to drive?
 
2010-02-24 01:23:06 PM  

Treetop1000: I think everyone has missed the point...
CELLPHONES cause Toyotas to malfunction.

That's right, I said it.
CELLPHONES are teh EVIL cause of this.


Postal Penguin: What is interesting is that most new planes today are completely fly by wire and yet are some of the safest forms of travel.


...and you can't use cell phones on planes...

I think we're on to something here!
 
2010-02-24 01:23:06 PM  

Katie98_KT: ee, the problem I have with people complaining about the push button hold requiring 5 seconds to turn off is that ITS EXACTLY LIKE THE COMPUTER YOU"RE USING RIGHT NOW.
I mean, haven't you ever had to hard shut down a computer? You hold down the power button for 5 seconds til it turns off.


It's amazing, though, how many people don't know that and resort instead to yanking out the power cord from the back of the computer.

In fact, yanking out the power cord is such a universally understood method of "making it stop when all else fails" that perhaps instead of mounting a big red kill switch (which is only going to sit there daring you to press it) on the dash, they should mount a phony power cord in a receptacle in the dash. Yanking that cord out is now the new kill switch.

/No, not really
 
2010-02-24 01:23:39 PM  

flizzard: bhcompy: ihatedumbpeople: Incident happened in 2006? I wonder when...our AllData system doesn't show the ES350 model was available until the '07 model year.

The NHTSA contacted the people that currently own the car and they said they bought it with under 3000 miles from the woman in question after the incident, so I doubt there is any fabrication on that part of the issue.

Wow. Sold the car to a random schmoe after this, huh? "No, nothing at all wrong with the car..."

Hope she personally gains nothing from this.


Well, if you just bought a $40000 car and had it go all poltergeist on you you'd probably sell it and try and recoup cost as well since Toyota was in denial stage at the time
 
2010-02-24 01:24:05 PM  

GoodOmens: oldfarthenry: Let's see - the government pours BILLIONS into the domestic auto industry then TA-DA - their major competition gets raked over the coals over recall issues.

Sorry, lady - I know the UAW is paying you a lot of money to testi-lie but I'm smellin' a conspiracy!
*adjusts tin foil hat*

Considering there are NOT similar problems with other foreign car companies such as Hyundai, Honda, Subaru, BMW, Nissan, Mercedes (and I can continue on). I see a lot of holes in your theory.


Look at car manufacturers by sales volume and gross revenue and it makes a bit more sense. Toyota and Honda (along with the big three) tend to sell the ENTIRETY of merc/BMW/Vol/etc in a few days. Premium luxo imports are the least of Detroit's worries.
 
2010-02-24 01:24:14 PM  

StreetlightInTheGhetto: alywa: Deucednuisance: See that little green light in the pic you posted? It's green because that can is in park. The rectangular button that the light is part is pushed in to shift into part. It's not a "parking brake button", that a pedal on the left.

Sounds like operator error.

You are exactly right... please re-read my post to get the point I'm making. It is extremely unintuitive... many of the stories (the CHP officer accident, in a loaner Lexus for example) are in rentals. There is no reason to make such an ass-backwards design when virtually 100% of other cars on the road have "park" in the gear selection. Same for push-button power needing a 3-second hold time to shut down with no written warning on instructions on it. All of this seems obvious if you own one, but as a renter, loaner, or new car owner it isn't.

True. No one in my immediate or extended family owns a Toyota. (Why yes, I live in Michigan, how did you know?). I had never heard of such a thing before the recalls... although I've driven in a few, including a Prius. Anyway, it still seems fairly stupid to me.

That said, whenever I rent a car or drive an unfamiliar work car, I try to figure out all the weird crap about it before I take off.

But in a panic situation, who knows. I might just forget. Or I might not have had time before leaving to go over all the random crap on the car. Who knows.

But it's a good point. Why not have a little sticker or something that explains how to turn the car off?


It all depends on your dealer's initial orientation of the car. They should probably tell you (mine did and they probably all do now) but since it is a departure from the standard key system, I think you should take the personal responsibility to read on it before you drive (i.e. how to access and start a car if the FOB battery dies - which has happened to me while out and about). And who wants to leave a ugly looking sticker on your dash?
 
2010-02-24 01:24:18 PM  

Zukipilot: "Smith's ride of terror began on Oct. 12, 2006, as the retired social worker was heading toward Knoxville in her new Lexus 350 ES.
As she pulled onto Interstate 40, Smith said, the car suddenly accelerated out of control. She took off the cruise control, hit the brakes, threw the car into reverse and even pulled the emergency brake. Nothing worked."

She is from Sevierville Tn... Her exit is 16 miles from Downtown Knoxville... do the math, she drove at 100 MPH from her exit all the way to down town Knoxville? Toyota needs to hire her to drive for there race division....

So she can drive through fairly heavy traffic (always is in that area) at 100 MPH, while digging through her purse to get her phone and call her hubby, and watch the clock to know the ordeal lasted 6 minutes????

Sounds like a social worker trying to increase the ol' retirement income to me... but I could be wrong...


GODDAMN YOU ALL TO HELL.

BLUETOOTH. She. Was. Using. Blue. Tooth. God. Damn. It.

/bangs head slowly on desk
 
2010-02-24 01:24:18 PM  

Prank Call of Cthulhu: It's amazing, though, how many people don't know that and resort instead to yanking out the power cord from the back of the computer.


yanking it is just so much more satisfying
 
2010-02-24 01:24:23 PM  

Jaws_Victim: mantabulous: Eddie Adams from Torrance: God was a real dick for letting her ride 6 miles at 100 MPH before stopping her car.

You forget that it's all part of his plan. His ways are beyond your understanding.

Bullshiat! 6 miles at 100 mph? Thats 600 miles! That's TORTURE!


WAT
 
2010-02-24 01:24:37 PM  

bhcompy: ihatedumbpeople: Incident happened in 2006? I wonder when...our AllData system doesn't show the ES350 model was available until the '07 model year.

The NHTSA contacted the people that currently own the car and they said they bought it with under 3000 miles from the woman in question after the incident, so I doubt there is any fabrication on that part of the issue.


Did they mention if the car had tried to kill anyone else?
/Perhaps it really didn't like its former owner =>
 
2010-02-24 01:24:37 PM  
"I put the car into all available gears including neutral, but then I put it in reverse and it remains in reverse as the car speeds to over 100 mph down the interstate."

What's the word I'm looking for here? hmmmm....

Oh, yes...bullshiat. Bullshiat is the word I'm looking for.
 
2010-02-24 01:24:38 PM  
This is just the first strike in the machines' war on mankind. It starts with the cars. Then moves on to our computers, TVs, microwaves. I'm kind of afraid of my iPod right now. I'm pretty sure it watches me as I sleep.
 
2010-02-24 01:25:26 PM  
rattchett: Dead for Tax Reasons: TheBitterest: FTA: "After six miles later, God intervened," and the car began to slow on it own, though the engine continued to rev itself in cycles."

Why does God get all the credit for stopping the car, but none of the blame for starting it in the first place?

that was teh devil's work

God told me the expression on her face was priceless.

/and by God I mean Phil the schizophrenic homeless guy.



Don't be so glib you hypocrite.
 
2010-02-24 01:25:34 PM  

Fark_Guy_Rob: davidw001
The failures all involved tread separation-the tread peeling off followed often by tire disintegration. If that happened, and the vehicle was running at speed, there was a high likelihood of the vehicle leaving the road and rolling over. Many rollovers cause serious injury and even death; it has been estimated that over 250 deaths and more than 3,000 serious injuries resulted from these failures.


Thanks man, I was just wondering if the Toyota numbers were close to the last big recall I could remember. Being in my local paper I would have guessed they were overblown. It's horrible anyone should lose their life because of an inferior product but I wonder if the media isn't turning this into the next swine flu?
 
2010-02-24 01:25:36 PM  
I'm skeptical... Something's not adding up with this woman's account. She's hurtling down the road at 100+ mph in a panic and she has the wherewithal to systematically try every single thing someone would suggest she try? And also calling her husband? And every system in the car simultaneously fails catastrophically? This happened well over a year ago, but she can remember every single detail and order of events with such clear and unambiguous detail? This happened so long ago and yet she chokes up at just the right time for dramatic effect?

My BS detector is lighting up...
 
2010-02-24 01:25:43 PM  

Deucednuisance: Katie98_KT: yes, it is. the button above the gear shift with the giant P on it, is a parking brake.

Honey, I've owned a Prius for 5 years. It's not a parking brake.

That's a pedal on the side side, see it over there?

The button is the Park" gear selector.


pretty sure that's just a manual version of the same thing. *shrugs* I know what you're talking about, my parents kept hitting it when they got the first prius.
 
2010-02-24 01:25:48 PM  
It's bullshiat that Toyota is getting raked over the coals for this.

Did the power windows still work? Roll down the window, sit on the door, tuck your shoulder and roll out of the car, problem solved. People act like just because the accelerator was at full throttle, putting it into neutral didn't work, the brakes didn't work, and turning the car off didn't work that this lady was out of options.
 
2010-02-24 01:25:48 PM  
I, too, have been one of the 'just put it in neutral and kill the ignition' people, as that's what I did when the throttle on my car (mbz e class) stuck (and even then, it was gunk in the FI system, was able to let it slowly throttle down after being off for 2-3 minutes, then start it again, go to the next signal light, repeat, all the way home).

If it's truly the case that the electronics are hosed and shifting the car does not take it out of gear, someone's gonna be on the bad end of a big lawsuit, and rightfully so. Duty, breach, cause, damages, all of the components of a really expensive class action suit.
 
2010-02-24 01:26:14 PM  

oldfarthenry: Let's see - the government pours BILLIONS into the domestic auto industry then TA-DA - their major competition gets raked over the coals over recall issues.

Sorry, lady - I know the UAW is paying you a lot of money to testi-lie but I'm smellin' a conspiracy!


I agree with you, the timing is incredibly suspicious.

That said, these are legitimate issues. Toyota has admitted to them. They do exist. I just find it curious that prior to the government takeover of GM, Toyota had an umblemished record. With the Prius's and all, the left loved them. Now, suddenly Toyota must answer before Congress. Next thing you'll know, the media will plant bombs in Toyota's, test drive them on the air, then trigger the bombs and blow the cars up. Not like they haven't done that before.
 
2010-02-24 01:26:44 PM  

nyuhsuk: I have owned the same exact model Lexus ES350 and I believe the parking brake is fully mechanical as you can feel the spring pressure as you lock/unlock the sucker. I have no idea but can the parking brake effectively slow a car to a stop IF this throttle was in fact going out of control?


No.
 
2010-02-24 01:26:45 PM  

TheFreshmanWIT: In addition, vacuum is no longer produced in an engine at full throttle. What could have happened is that the woman noticed it was accelerating out of control, so she tried to brake repeatedly, causing there to be no more vacuum in the system.

THEN, she tried to shift, however without remaining vacuum, the transmission couldn't shift!


Then how does an automatic shift up when at full throttle?
 
2010-02-24 01:27:24 PM  

nyuhsuk: It all depends on your dealer's initial orientation of the car. They should probably tell you (mine did and they probably all do now) but since it is a departure from the standard key system, I think you should take the personal responsibility to read on it before you drive (i.e. how to access and start a car if the FOB battery dies - which has happened to me while out and about). And who wants to leave a ugly looking sticker on your dash?


I'm not used to this "not having a key to use when the FOB battery dies" crap.

But what I'm saying is that having a sticker for cars with frequently changing drivers (work fleets, rentals, etc.) would not really be such a bad thing.
 
2010-02-24 01:27:35 PM  
After 6 miles God intervened as the car came very slowly to a stop. I pulled it to the left median. With the car stopped and both feet still on the brake, the motor still revved up and down. At 35 mph it would not shut off. Finally, at 33 mph, I was able to turn the engine off.

Yeah. I was actually attending to some other stuff and wasn't paying attention or I might have intervened sooner. This goofball in Wyoming had prayed up a message about a show called "Family Guy" and that they were making graven images of me. I checked it out on Youtube and it's the same old guy with a beard and a white robe thing. Not worth smiting. I switch back and there's an emergency from this broad whose car is out of control and going 100 miles an hour. When she gets to the part where she's promising me 20% off the top, I flip the electronics off. I mean, she's driving a Lexus so I'm figuring 20% of something here.

By the way, honey, still waiting for that 20%. Got some pox and boils warming up. Just sitting here in my Dockers waiting for your check. See? No white robe. Got a nice full head of hair too Mister Seth MacFarlane. You, on the other hand, may begin to notice the onset of Male Pattern Baldness. Just saying.
 
2010-02-24 01:27:36 PM  

capnmonkey: Roll down the window, sit on the door, tuck your shoulder and roll out of the car


having rolled off a car going a measly 30 mph...I would not recommend this emergency plan
 
2010-02-24 01:28:23 PM  

Postal Penguin: What is interesting is that most new planes today are completely fly by wire and yet are some of the safest forms of travel. Electronic controlled everything is not unsafe, it just seems Toyota farked it up.


This. I was telling my friend the other day that a properly designed electronic throttle should be safer than a mechanical one.

The caveat being "properly designed."
 
2010-02-24 01:28:24 PM  

theoriginalslash: It starts with the cars. Then moves on to our computers, TVs, microwaves. I'm kind of afraid of my iPod right now.


"...And then it started playing Barry Manilow at full volume! And I couldn't make it stop!!! I pushed pause and then menu and then fast forward, and then all of them at once, but it just kept playing! And I don't even have any Barry Manilow in my iTunes library!!! I was so scared, I thought it would never stop..."

/Shivers
 
2010-02-24 01:28:38 PM  

impaler: The only reason I can think they went that route, is that they're afraid of accidental deceleration. But given the choice between accidental deceleration, and accidental acceleration, it should be a no brainer to choose deceleration.


Harry Chapin nods in assent.

PsyLord: Problem with that is that if the kill switch is to the computer, that will also knock out the power steering, power brakes (anti-lock, etc), and electronic stability control which would make the vehicle difficult to drive. Lose/lose situation.


It isn't that bad. I scrammed (killed the engine with the car in motion) a rental car once on a twisty back road in the hills once. Braking and steering weren't a problem. Jeering from the carful of submariners was. I got over it.
 
2010-02-24 01:28:41 PM  
 
2010-02-24 01:28:51 PM  

capnmonkey: It's bullshiat that Toyota is getting raked over the coals for this.

Did the power windows still work? Roll down the window, sit on the door, tuck your shoulder and roll out of the car, problem solved. People act like just because the accelerator was at full throttle, putting it into neutral didn't work, the brakes didn't work, and turning the car off didn't work that this lady was out of options.


Yeah, doing that at 100 MPH would solve all of your problems.
 
2010-02-24 01:28:56 PM  

Prank Call of Cthulhu: It's amazing, though, how many people don't know that and resort instead to yanking out the power cord from the back of the computer.


heh. what do these people do for laptops?
 
2010-02-24 01:29:04 PM  
With the car stopped and both feet still on the brake, the motor still revved up and down. At 35 mph it would not shut off. Finally, at 33 mph, I was able to turn the engine off.

If the car is stopped, why is the speedometer registering speed?
 
2010-02-24 01:29:09 PM  
[Disclosure] I'm an engineer. [/disclosure]

I don't approve of drive-by-wire.
We own three cars. Each of them has mechanical throttle and transmission linkages. The throttle on each vehicle is spring-loaded right on the axis of the throttle body: cut the cable or linkage, and it closes. The transmissions have mechanical linkages: push the lever into neutral, and it goes into neutral.

I will try to avoid buying a vehicle that doesn't have those features. If that means everyone in the family drives a Police Interceptor, I can live with that.
 
2010-02-24 01:29:25 PM  

ihatedumbpeople: Incident happened in 2006? I wonder when...our AllData system doesn't show the ES350 model was available until the '07 model year.


umh... what year did the 07 model year go on sale? (hint: it wasn't 07)
 
2010-02-24 01:29:25 PM  

Goatspunk: Jaws_Victim: mantabulous: Eddie Adams from Torrance: God was a real dick for letting her ride 6 miles at 100 MPH before stopping her car.

You forget that it's all part of his plan. His ways are beyond your understanding.

Bullshiat! 6 miles at 100 mph? Thats 600 miles! That's TORTURE!

WAT


what you people fail to understand is that the

EARTH HAS 4 CORNER
SIMULTANEOUS 4-DAY
TIME CUBE
IN ONLY 24 HOUR ROTATION.
4 CORNER DAYS, CUBES 4 QUAD EARTH- No 1 Day God.

 
2010-02-24 01:29:25 PM  

Katie98_KT: pretty sure that's just a manual version of the same thing.


No.

Parking brake is mechanical. Uses a cable to physically engage the rear drums. Button's just a gear selector, that's all, has no capacity to engage the rear brakes.
 
2010-02-24 01:29:41 PM  

Barakku: nyuhsuk:
Bullshiat! 6 miles at 100 mph? Thats 600 miles! That's TORTURE!

What kind of retard math are you doing?

6 Miles times 100 mph is obviously 600 miles miles per hour. You *combine* the labels, stupid.


If you combine the labels, it's miles squared as you said retard.
 
2010-02-24 01:29:42 PM  

Kuroshin: Every single control system would have to fail all at once in a very specific way for this to happen. The engine ECU would have to set throttle to full and the transformer ECU would have to lock itself in drive, shift gears, and refuse to accept all inputs (that's three failures in one).


There's one word you've conveniently omitted here - Maximum Overdrive! What if a comet/alien thingie MADE this happen? HUH? HUH? What then, Mr Smart Mechanic Guy? You know, aliens have taken over Missile Siloes with nucular weapons using waves from there UFOs! So, do you really think Toyota has better designs than the military?!

/ps didn't you evar watch Killdozer?!!
 
2010-02-24 01:29:45 PM  
There is clearly something wrong with some of Toyota's products, but witnessing the blithering retardation of other drivers on a daily basis leads me to suspect a great deal of operator error behind a lot of these "runaway car" stories.

At least 30% of the drivers on the road don't seem to have mastered "forward," "backward" or "straight line" (as in "driving in a straight line" or "parking between two straight lines"), so I'm doubting that all of the accidents are purely mechanical failure. Just as most other accidents are mostly driver dumbassery.
 
2010-02-24 01:30:20 PM  

Katie98_KT: heh. what do these people do for laptops?


wethose people take the battery out.
 
2010-02-24 01:30:24 PM  

CrowdSceneExtra: Toyota's electronic throttle system does not have a brake override. If the accelerator and brake are both pressed, the car will rev the engine and apply the brakes.


And this is their single largest fault. My 1998 VW has this.

That and I want someone to stand up and point out if all these tards learned to drive a manual transmission, this would not be happening.
 
2010-02-24 01:30:37 PM  

HansensDisease: benlonghair: I want a cable that goes from the gas pedal to the injectors or carburetor

The throttle cable in my 70's era Pontiac Ventura got jammed once. The butterfly valve was full open and it was not much fun getting the car to a stop.


I had a buddy with a '72 Nova that did the exact same thing.
 
2010-02-24 01:30:41 PM  

mongbiohazard: I'm skeptical... Something's not adding up with this woman's account. She's hurtling down the road at 100+ mph in a panic and she has the wherewithal to systematically try every single thing someone would suggest she try? And also calling her husband? And every system in the car simultaneously fails catastrophically? This happened well over a year ago, but she can remember every single detail and order of events with such clear and unambiguous detail? This happened so long ago and yet she chokes up at just the right time for dramatic effect?

My BS detector is lighting up...


I really do hate all of you right now. RTFA, or failing that, RTFT, or failing that, STFU.

capnmonkey: It's bullshiat that Toyota is getting raked over the coals for this.

Did the power windows still work? Roll down the window, sit on the door, tuck your shoulder and roll out of the car, problem solved. People act like just because the accelerator was at full throttle, putting it into neutral didn't work, the brakes didn't work, and turning the car off didn't work that this lady was out of options.


Yes. That makes perfect sense.

I bet she could use some rope and tie the wheel straight like they did in Speed, too! While she got ready to jump out of the car! At 100 mph!
 
2010-02-24 01:30:49 PM  
This reeks of exaggeration and b.s. I'm no automotive design expert, but she's describing a complete failure of several independent systems. If these cars are really this badly built, we should be seeing hundreds of them careening off of roadways every day.

Most people like to think that they're a great driver who would calmly, step-by-step try various ways to get their vehicle back under control. In reality, she was probably yelling to herself "Ohnoohnoohnoohnoohnoohnoohno" with her hands glued to the steering wheel, slamming both feet on the brakes. At some point she may have tried changing gears, using the parking brake etc. but hardly as she describes it. Maybe "god intervening" just happened to occur when she finally tried these other options.

I don't know if they have cross-examinations in these hearings, but if they do, I suspect that Toyota will have a field day poking holes in this woman's story.
 
2010-02-24 01:30:50 PM  
I re-read the article and saw the part where she mentioned the Bluetooth. That makes things more palatable; I'm willing to believe there was voice-dialing involved.

And I'd also forgotten about some of the push-button transmission systems. Hell, GM had those rather a long time ago.

But really, NO kill switch?
 
2010-02-24 01:30:51 PM  

Roy_G_Biv: GoodOmens: oldfarthenry: Let's see - the government pours BILLIONS into the domestic auto industry then TA-DA - their major competition gets raked over the coals over recall issues.

Sorry, lady - I know the UAW is paying you a lot of money to testi-lie but I'm smellin' a conspiracy!
*adjusts tin foil hat*

Considering there are NOT similar problems with other foreign car companies such as Hyundai, Honda, Subaru, BMW, Nissan, Mercedes (and I can continue on). I see a lot of holes in your theory.

They didn't close their only UAW-organized plant or get close to being number one in market share.


What would be the point? Taking out your #1 rival when you continue to make crappy cars would just mean someone would pick up the slack.

Hyundai surpassed Toyota's market share in the US for new cars and currently sits at #1. Why isn't GM targeting them?
 
2010-02-24 01:30:56 PM  

mongbiohazard: I'm skeptical... Something's not adding up with this woman's account. She's hurtling down the road at 100+ mph in a panic and she has the wherewithal to systematically try every single thing someone would suggest she try? And also calling her husband? And every system in the car simultaneously fails catastrophically? This happened well over a year ago, but she can remember every single detail and order of events with such clear and unambiguous detail? This happened so long ago and yet she chokes up at just the right time for dramatic effect?

My BS detector is lighting up...


I'm not saying she's not lying, but have you ever been in a harrowing experience? I remember vividly every detail of my first car accident(a head on collision) that happened 11 years ago, and after talking to others about it, it seems that my experience/memory is not uncommon(including the whole world seemingly moving in slow motion)
 
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