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PSA - Set your emergency/parking brake


Kodos
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Last night, right before the Super Bowl, I had an unusual experience. It had snowed about 5 inches, and I was shoveling the driveway before the game. My driveway slopes down about 2-3 feet over a length of maybe 30 feet. It's an incline, but not crazy steep.

I finished shoveling the top half of the driveway, and moved my Forester to the top of the driveway to make it easier to work on the bottom half. I put the car in park, got out, and resumed shoveling at the bottom. Two or three minutes later, I heard the sound of a vehicle moving in my driveway. I was expecting a pizza delivery, and was quite shocked when I turned to see that the Forester was rolling toward me. I briefly entertained trying to jump in and hit the brakes, but saw that would be impossible. The garage door was open with my Dad's car inside, and I had about 10 feet to work with, so I made contact and pushed on the front driver's side corner trying to slow it down a bit to minimize damage to the car/my house. Amazingly, that seemed to help, as the car went a little to the right (away from the side I was on) and gently nudged into the corner of the garage and stopped. I wasn't hurt, nor was the house. The Forester has a little bit of paint transfer, but no real damage. All in all, about the best outcome I could have hoped for. My impression was that the car was rolling, not sliding, and the tire tracks supported that impression. I could see the tire tread, not the flat ice you'd expect if it had been sliding. The top of the driveway was pretty clear of snow, and I had salted there before moving the car.

After a bit of googling, it appears this is not that unusual. I called the dealership, and talked to a guy in the shop who said he had seen similar things happen in their sloped parking lot.

The upshot is, don't just put the car in park and think things are all set. Put on the emergency/parking brake too. If I had had headphones on and hadn't heard the car rolling, it might have gone very poorly for me.

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Yeah. I had room to get out of the way if I had to, like if it was heading toward my Dad's car and I was going to get squashed. But the car angled a bit toward edge of the garage instead, so I was in a good position to slow it down without risking getting crushed. I had room to bail out. It all happened so fast.

Edited by Kodos
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25 minutes ago, Kodos said:

Last night, right before the Super Bowl, I had an unusual experience. It had snowed about 5 inches, and I was shoveling the driveway before the game. My driveway slopes down about 2-3 feet over a length of maybe 30 feet. It's an incline, but not crazy steep.

I finished shoveling the top half of the driveway, and moved my Forester to the top of the driveway to make it easier to work on the bottom half. I put the car in park, got out, and resumed shoveling at the bottom. Two or three minutes later, I heard the sound of a vehicle moving in my driveway. I was expecting a pizza delivery, and was quite shocked when I turned to see that the Forester was rolling toward me. I briefly entertained trying to jump in and hit the brakes, but saw that would be impossible. The garage door was open with my Dad's car inside, and I had about 10 feet to work with, so I made contact and pushed on the front driver's side corner trying to slow it down a bit to minimize damage to the car/my house. Amazingly, that seemed to help, as the car went a little to the right (away from the side I was on) and gently nudged into the corner of the garage and stopped. I wasn't hurt, nor was the house. The Forester has a little bit of paint transfer, but no real damage. All in all, about the best outcome I could have hoped for. My impression was that the car was rolling, not sliding, and the tire tracks supported that impression. I could see the tire tread, not the flat ice you'd expect if it had been sliding. The top of the driveway was pretty clear of snow, and I had salted there before moving the car.

After a bit of googling, it appears this is not that unusual. I called the dealership, and talked to a guy in the shop who said he had seen similar things happen in their sloped parking lot.

The upshot is, don't just put the car in park and think things are all set. Put on the emergency/parking brake too. If I had had headphones on and hadn't heard the car rolling, it might have gone very poorly for me.

Thanks for sharing, very scary for sure. Quick thinking panned out. Just glad to hear that all were safe

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Glad you are okay and there wasn't too much damage.

My son lives in Knoxville and everything there is on a hill. Not too long ago Knoxville had gotten some snow and ice. My son parked his Toyota Tundra in his drive and went into the house. A couple minutes later his neighbor across the street called him to tell him his truck had slid down the driveway into his front yard. Fortunately there was no traffic or kids playing in the street and there was no damage to the truck or his neighbor's yard.

He did have the emergency brake on. 

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