Norfolk, VA Car Accident Lawyer Studies Unintentional Acceleration Causes | Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

This week we covered the tragic story of a Lynch Station man who was struck and killed by a pickup truck in a church parking lot in Hubbleston, Virginia. The driver of the truck, 69-year-old Henry Woodford, told the Virginia State Police that his foot became stuck on his truck’s accelerator, causing him lose control of his car and back into the man.

While some might classify this fatal Virginia car crash as a freak accident, unintentional accelerator incidents and sudden acceleration are actually more common than you might think. What exactly is an unintentional acceleration accident? Very simply, it is a crash that takes place after a driver loses control of their acceleration pedal. It can happen for several reasons, but there are three major causes:

  • Defective auto part. In the last year alone, there have been several large recalls from large car manufacturers due to defective accelerators and dangerous car mats. In one case, accelerators were becoming engaged without warming. In other cases, car floor mats were becoming wedged against the pedal, causing unintentional acceleration. 
  • Jammed pedal. As in the above case, it is possible for a pedal to become stuck, either from a human body part or by an object in the car. 
  • Human error. Several investigations into sudden and unintentional acceleration have found that many cases are simply a matter of drivers accidentally pressing the accelerator instead of the brake. In some cases, they continue to “slam on” the brake when they are in fact pressing the acceleration pedal. This is especially common when drivers are operating a car they aren’t familiar with.


If you have been injured in a Virginia car accident that involved sudden acceleration or unintentional accelerator accident, it is important to your personal injury case that you understand exactly how and why your accident occurred and who was responsible for the issue. At Shapiro & Appleton& Duffan, we can help you investigate your case and make certain that you get the compensation that you deserve. Contact a Virginia accident lawyer today.