But that's exactly what happened to Frank Lecerf when the 36-year-old set off to do his weekly food shop in northern France.
Mr Lecerf, who suffers from epilepsy, was driving a Renault Laguna specially adapted for a disabled driver.
It was when he joined a dual carriageway en route to a nearby supermarket that his brakes failed and the car's speed dial refused to budge from 60mph.
Each time he tried to apply the brakes the car instead accelerated, until he found himself traveling at a consistent 125mph and unable to slow down.
Speeding on the fast lane of the motorway he alerted emergency services on his mobile.
Police sent an escort to accompany him, clearing vehicles out of his way and ordering three toll barriers to be lifted.
Mr Lecerf had no choice but to continue beyond Abbeville - his intended destination - past Calais, Dunkirk and into Belgium.
He continued his charge through Belgium for an hour until finally, 125 miles from home, his petrol ran out and he swerved into a ditch in the town of La Panne, which means 'breakdown' in French.
Mr Lecerf told local newspaper 'Le Courrier picard': "It is a miracle that I survived. There is no other word.
"Whatever happens, I am never going back in that car."
Amazingly no one was injured, but Mr Lecerf suffered two epileptic seizures after he stepped out of his car.
He said he had experienced a similar problem on two previous occasions but his car had been checked and no fault was found.
A lawyer representing Mr Lecerf said he was bringing a case against Renault over "endangerment of a person's life".
Renault said they would await the results of an investigation.