Title text: It was the funniest 6.5 seconds of my life, although as usual like 80% of it was just Tom and Ray's gasping, hacking laughter.
A car's brakes fail on a winding mountain road. As a response, the driver calls a live radio phone-in show, overlooking the fact that he is in immediate danger and has no time to gather outside advice before improvising a solution. The driver loses control of the car and plunges over a cliff.
If this ever happens to you,
- Downshift into second and then first gear, which should limit your vehicle's speed
- Use your "emergency brake," it's not just for parking
- Shifting an automatic transmission into Park may stop the vehicle, or
- Turning the ignition off, with the transmission still in gear, may stop the vehicle
- Otherwise, find a safe place to coast to a stop, if possible, or else
- Try to wreck your car in a way that won't kill you or your passengers. Aim for something that will slow you down before stopping you, like a stand of bushes.
The title text refers to Tom and Ray Magliozzi who were the co-hosts of the weekly radio show Car Talk. It was a car advice/comedy radio show often aired on NPR stations. While there is some actual advice given on the radio show, it's presented as a comedy/entertainment show. Much of the show did involve the hosts "gasping and hacking" as they ask non-relevant questions of the callers and add their own commentary or relate other personal asides and stories.
- Of the potential responses to my brakes' failure, I did not choose the best.
- [A cliff is visible, with a car flying off it.]
- Voice from car: Hello, you're on Car Talk.
- NPR made a shirt out of this comic, it can be seen at shop.npr.org.