What to Do When Brakes Fail

stressed out driver
stressed out driver

It’s a scenario that every driver dreads, but one that is essential to be ready for: Brakes failing while driving. The consequences can be severe, but knowing what to do in advance can make all the difference. In this post, we’ll go over steps you can take to ensure your safety and that of others around you if you find yourself in this situation.

Stay calm and act fast

The first step is to stay calm and act quickly. Keep your eyes on the road and try not to panic. The goal is to bring your vehicle to a stop in a safe manner as soon as possible. Remember, you still control your car even if your brakes have failed.

Pump the brakes

If you have a conventional braking system, try repeatedly pumping the brake pedal. This might build up the brake pressure and slow down the vehicle. If you have an anti-lock braking system (ABS), you should avoid pumping the brakes. Instead, press down hard on the brake pedal and let the ABS do its job.

Downshift gears

If you’re driving a manual transmission vehicle, downshifting gears can help reduce the speed of your vehicle. The engine’s resistance will help slow the vehicle down when you do this. For automatic transmission vehicles, switch to a lower gear to slow down the car.

Use emergency brakes

While you should avoid using emergency brakes as much as possible, they are designed for this scenario. Use them gently and gradually, and if your vehicle has a foot emergency brake, avoid using it because it may cause your vehicle to skid.

Use your hazard lights
If you cannot stop your vehicle, use the horn to alert other drivers that you are in trouble. Turn on the hazard lights so other drivers can see you and avoid collisions. 
Look for a safe space

Aim for an open, flat area without trees, curbs, or other obstacles. Look around for any signs, such as a parking lot, and try to steer the vehicle towards it.

Maintain your braking system

To avoid ever having to use these tips, you need to maintain your braking system properly. Regular maintenance will help you detect any issues and fix them before they cause an accident. Get your vehicle serviced regularly, and always replace worn-out brake pads and rotors. If you notice any unusual sounds or vibrations when you apply the brakes, take your car to the mechanic immediately.

Brake failure is a scary incident that can happen to anybody. Since bracing in events like this can be difficult, staying calm to keep yourself and others on the road safe is essential. Reviewing this guide can help you stay prepared for what to do when your brakes fail. Please take the necessary steps to keep your car well-maintained and make a habit of having your vehicle checked to prevent its occurrence.

For more safe driving tips, click here

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