Truck put into park while driving

While moving across the state, me driving the moving van, we were stopped on the highway for road construction. My lovely wife was driving my 2015 f 150 and accidentally shifted to M instead of Drive. After realizing this she was trying to shift to Drive but somehow slammed it into Park. She said she was going 10-20 MPH (was in 1st gear). She came to an abrupt halt, had a panic, then shifted to D and continued across the state without incident. I have yet to drive it or listen to see if I hear anything that is about to explode. Should I take it in? Did I dodge a bullet? What should I be listening for/looking out for?

Well, that would be the first thing to do . And if it makes no noise and seems to work properly then relax and drive on.


We used to have a Japanese Mitsubishi Lancer with a quirky automatic shift.

On day I accidentally shifted it into Park while going forward at about 15 mph. There was a loud jerk and tire squeal and I quickly shifted to neutral.

There appeared to be no damage done and the car soldiered on trouble-free for couple more years when rust took its toll.

Short of removing and disassembling the transmission… I doubt there’s a definitive way to determine any damage. More than likely, you may have “cost” a few thousand miles of useful life on the transmission.

Of course, it could end up in a wreck next month and get totaled. Personally, if the truck still drives/shifts fine, I’d chalk it up to a lesson learned and not to be repeated.

The greatest potential problem might be a broken parking pawl. If the truck does not move like it’s in neutral when it’s in park, and there are no weird shifting patterns, I would say you dodged a bullet

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On most electronically controlled automatics of the last 30 years or so, there are electronic safeguards in place that would prevent the transmission from actually going into park above a certain speed. I actually put this to the test on my 95 Bronco as it was due for a transmission rebuild anyway, I made a wager with friend who was riding shotgun that absolutely nothing would happen if I threw it into park whilst traveling at about 45 MPH. My friend was confident that the transmission would either drop out of the vehicle or we would come to screeching halt (which would’ve happened for old-school hydraulically controlled units). So I indeed threw it into park, and as expected nothing happened at all, the transmission continued operating just like it would have had I kept in drive.

The caveat here though is that were were driving at moderate speed and no attempt was made to slow down. There is likely a threshold ( below 15 MPH would be my guess) where the transmission would attempt to engage the parking pawl even though the truck is still moving. Did you wife attempt to brake and stop the truck or did it try to come to stop with the rear wheels skipping along as the parking pawl ratcheted away? If your truck is operating normally, you’re probably okay though.

I doubt this hurt anything. The worst case would be breaking the parking pawl or cracking the transmission case and that apparently did not happen.

Years ago a friend of mine (with me aboard) shoved the trans in a Camaro into PARK three times. He did this at 45 MPH.
No harm, no foul. The only obvious thing was three lengthy sets of skid marks from the tires.