Lexus Family Safety Camp

A couple weeks ago, my family and I were invited to the first "Lexus Family Safety Camp" hosted by Lexus. My husband and I were not sure what to expect - we did know that we would be leaving the kids at Kidspace Children's Museum for the morning while we talked about vehicle safety. What I did not know was that I would actually be in the drivers seat slamming on brakes and skidding corners in the parking lot of the Rose Bowl. Wow!! What an experience! We learned way too much to put into one post - I want to be able to make this short enough that you have the time to really sit down and learn from what we learned - so we will be posting all week about our experience at "Lexus Family Safety Camp"

First up is the Brake Override System - Toyota, who is the parent company of Lexus will be adding a brake override system to all its new cars by the end of the year. Brake override automatically reduces engine power when the brake pedal and accelerator pedal are applied simultaneously. This happens under certain driving conditions:
  • The throttle opening is greater than 1/3
  • Vehicle speed is above 5 mph
  • Brakes are applied firmly
Like I said, I really want to make this as short as possible so that it's not only easy to read but also can be better absorbed. One of the courses I drove tested this very system. A few of my fellow bloggers and I rode passenger while our instructor demonstrated the right way to stop an accelerating car. I actually had to laugh at myself while he was talking because as we were discussing the way to help slow down and stop the vehicle I thought - man, there are times my husband does this and I complain for him to take it easy on the car that he's just going to damage it!! For example -
  • If you find yourself in a situation to where the vehicle will not brake and come to a slow down - you can gently put the car in neutral which will not cut power leaving you the ability to steer and brake. My husband does this sometimes while we're stopped at a red light and sometime he does not wait until we come to a complete stop and I had always just "assumed" this was not good for the car - my husband was happy this was a lesson I had come away with! This will not damage your car
  • And get this - you can also shut off the engine while the car is in motion! I really would have let me husband have it if he had done this before camp!! This does not hurt the car - but enables you to safely bring it to a stop. You will lose power turning off the engine so it may be hard to steer and brake - but in an emergency I think all of our super hero powers emerge, especially in us Moms!!
With this new system it really was amazing!! We were put in the drivers seat and given an opportunity to test out each method of stopping the car. I put the medal to the pedal and at 40 mph I slammed on the brakes with my foot also on the accelerator. Even with the accelerator at 40 mph the brake override system worked and stopped the car!!

So I hoped this has helped you and now if you are ever in a situation where the accelerator is stuck. We are going to be bringing you more safety features all week long as we feature "Lesson's learned from Lexus Family Safety Camp"!