How choosing a wrong floormat for your could be lethal!
Every year, 1.3 million die in road crashes. Car accidents are caused due to three main reasons: speed, impaired driving, and distractions. These accidents can be avoided if you give your complete focus on the road. But there are certain unexpected things that might kill your day or even you.
One such scenario is the accident caused by car floor mats. This could be a driver’s worst nightmare. I mean, who on earth would expect themselves to be killed by a car mat? The carpet/mat underneath the driver’s foot gets stuck on the accelerator pedal. The driver had stepped on the brake pedal, but instead of braking, the car auto-accelerated, possibly because of the design of the floor mats.
Here is a sad scenario of a crash that happened due to an incompatible car mat from a third-party manufacturer.
There are many things that could have been wrong with the floor mats including their design and the lack of fasteners. Take no risk, buy genuine accessories recommended by your manufacturer. But DO NOT install anything that isn’t approved by your manufacturer. And if you want to save money, go ahead and buy online! But DO NOT install anything that isn’t approved by your manufacturer.
Six years ago, accidents due to car mats was a huge headache for Toyota. Between 2009-2011 about 4 million cars of the Japanese automaker were recalled due to the possibility of car mats jamming the accelerator and auto-throttling.
It was a big setback for Toyota. Its disciplined business approach, surging profits and reputation for quality were all at stake. Unlike some manufacturers, Toyota did not implement what’s called a smart throttle. Toyota never saw the killer car mat coming. It’s a software algorithm that allows the brakes to override the accelerator.
Anyways, coming back to the matter, the size variation causes the loose floor mat to entangle in such a way that the accelerator pedal would get pinned down while preventing the brake pedal from being depressed. Placing the car mat in a proper manner will avoid such freak accidents.
The following steps should be taken while choosing a car mat:
- Choose the type: recommended– vehicle specific type.
- Determine the best type: recommended- rubber mats or heavy-duty mats.
- The backing of the mat: recommended- gripper mat back.
If you’re buying a custom mat first create a paper pattern by taking the measurements and place it in the car.
Before placing the car mat:
- Clean the car floor.
- Clean the mats.
- Determine which mats go where.
- Place the mat and check the fit.
The above steps will definitely help you save your life from the killer car mats. Owners normally tend to buy aftermarket products as they’re easily available in any automobile shops.
How these car mats become a villain is not a big mystery. Misaligned floor mats are the number one reason for these accidents. This does not occur with your stock car mats. But if you give your car for a service in an unauthorized service centre, new mats (mostly aftermarket products) are provided which may not fit the space. Most local service centers (unauthorised) guide you to buy certain aftermarket products. Don’t fall for that, buy genuine products recommended by your manufacturer alone.
Check Your Existing Mats:
If your car has stock floor mats already, take the time to make sure they are hooked to their restraint fixtures, if the car is so equipped. If you have aftermarket or accessory floor mats, make sure they are secured and can’t move around in such a way as to interfere with pedal travel.
Never stack floor mats; there should be only one per person. And always keep travel trash clear of the driver’s foot well. And please do give your vehicle for servicing at least once in every year. Apart from the killer mats it is we who is responsible for our own fate, so please obey the traffic rules, drive safe and always wear the seatbelt.
Elizabeth Mathew is a digital journalist and a photographer. A life-long generalist, she writes for various blogs covering digital entertainment, social media and tech. She can be followed @raisamathew