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This Is Why I Don’t Let My Dog Drive

Posted in Bizarre, Crashes, Funny, Pictures, Toyota by Kurt Ernst | May 20th, 2010 | 2 Responses |

People in Minnesota tend to be a bit odd. Maybe it’s the freezing cold winters, which start in October and last until May. Maybe it’s the hordes of ravenous mosquitos, which come out in April and last until September. Maybe it’s the Borneo-like summers, where every day is 90 degrees with 99% humidity; whatever it is, it begins to affect people over time.

A Jetta driver in Minneapolis stopped to get a cup of coffee. Imagine his delight to find a Toyota Prius parked into the passenger side of his Jetta when he returned. Behind the wheel, presumably with a “it wasn’t me, really” look on it’s face, was a dog. No driver, just a poodle behind the wheel. A few minutes later, a woman walks up to the Prius, looking surprised, She says, of course, that the accident happened while she was away from the car; hence, either someone stole her Prius and crashed it into the Jetta, or the poodle drove the Prius into the Jetta. Surveillance footage of the parking lot clearly showed that it was the dog behind the wheel.

I don’t have access to a Prius, but in the interest of investigative journalism I attempted to duplicate this with a Lexus HS 250h Hybrid, which has the same brake and shift interlock as the Prius. My border collie is way smarter than a poodle, but she just couldn’t understand that I wanted her to simultaneously step on the brake and shift the joystick into Drive. She got bored, so I gave her a rawhide flip chip and played the role of canine companion myself. After exhaustive testing, the only way I could duplicate this is by leaving the car in Neutral, with the engine off but the car powered on. Sure enough, forward motion was achieved by bumping the joystick into Drive. Could a dog do this accidentally? Given the placement of the shifter, absolutely. Sure, there’s a warning chime when you open the door, but five bucks says the driver was on a cell phone and didn’t hear it as she left the car.

If the car's in Neutral, bumping the shift into drive will move you forward.

Do I really need to remind people to always shift into Park (1st or Reverse on a manual transmission), turn the engine off and apply the parking brake before you exit a vehicle? Where does it end? Do people need a reminder that it’s “first pants, then shoes”?

Found on Jalopnik

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2 Responses

  1. inthebuff says:

    Koko’s not allowed behind the wheel…yet.

  2. Joel says:

    My cat could do more damage than that dog did.