Failure to set a handbrake causes damage (and hilarity)

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RIP Anton Yelchin.


Tragic mishap, the poor guy.


Breaks never made anyone go faster…

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As a teenager I worked in a tourist parking lot, and the whole time I was there (across five summers), there were only two incidents where failure to set the parking break was a problem.

One resulted in the car in question - which was parked slightly too far back and off the pavement - rolling down a steep hill and destroying itself on the side of a large stone building housing hydro electric generators. (The building was barely scratched.) We installed extra concrete parking curbs along that side afterwards.

The other rolled out into the parking lot, and squashed against my shins with it’s rotted out front fender. Seriously, I don’t know how it held together long enough to reach our parking lot. It wasn’t moving fast enough to cause injury, but the rotted fibreglass mess left horrible orange stains on the shins of my pants. We needed a tow-truck and shovels to remove it.


just don’t leave the car in neutral. problem solved?


As soon as you see this:

you know it’s going to be good.



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It’s not as simple as that. Even if you leave it in gear, it can still roll away. The gears aren’t enough to necessarily hold it in position. I had a convertible do that to me on an incline. It rolled back and into a tree. Had it rolled straight, it would have crashed through the front of a house. This is why everyone who parks on the hills of San Francisco also turn the wheel all the way to the curb. Should the car start rolling away, it won’t roll far.


Reminds me that I still remember when cars had real bumpers.


Taking a driving test in L.A. is good because they teach you to park on a hill properly. facing down hill and you point the front wheels turned to the curb and touch the curb, so if it starts to roll the curb stops it. Pointing up hill you point the wheels away from the curb and touching the curb, so if it starts to roll backwards the back of the front wheel hits the curb and it stops. (at least i think that is how it is done, its been awhile)

But I guess if you can’t remember to set the hand brake you won’t remember to do that.

By the way, trying to get into a moving, out of control vehicle seems like a good way to get partially or totally squashed.


I’ve been driving a manual transmission car for nearly three decades and I can’t comprehend how people let this sort of thing happen. You stop the car, put it in reverse (usually the lowest speeds gear on the car), turn wheels to/away from the curb depending on how you’re parked (when on a hill), and apply the parking break. Every. Single. Time. I don’t think it would be possible for me to skip the steps they’re so ingrained.


Bad design kills.

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Yeah, some of them were like as you describe “hill/steep incline” related. And I agree, use the parking brake there.

Some of the samples in the video were not real inclines…it more seemed they left the car in neutral.

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They see me rollin’…they panicking!


The car rolling over that person’s legs. Ouch. I wonder how many other people were hurt, unseen, in these videos.


Sometimes it’s due to lack of maintenance - the cable or the brake shoes are stuck, so setting the hand control doesn’t properly engage the brakes. Or the brakes could be worn to the point they won’t hold on a hill.

The guy at 1:38 talking on his phone got what he deserved. Put the phone down, and pay attention to what you’re doing!


You used a tow truck and shovels to remove pants stains? Hard core!


That steamroller clip at the end was impressive.

I wonder how difficult it would be to design a feature that would automatically apply the parking break if the car is at a stop and the weight from the driver’s seat has been removed?

I can’t think of a situation where that would lead to a problem, but I’m not an engineer.


This is one of the many, many reasons I don’t drive stick. Even with an auto, I always set the parking brake. I cannot fathom parking a car without it.