First of all, this isn’t a very common problem, so you shouldn’t worry. But since brake failures do happen in cars, let’s talk about how to handle the situation should it ever happen to you.
Remember to not panic when it comes to a mid-drive brake failure. Training yourself to breathe deeply from your stomach can help you stay calm and think clearly in the event of an emergency.
When to Use Your Emergency Brake
Newer cars have a dual braking system. This means that your brakes have not one but two means of coming to stop. An emergency brake or parking brake is a manual braking method for when your anti-lock braking system fails. Learn where your emergency brake is and how to engage it in the unlikely event your brakes fail.
Reduce Your Speed
According to the National Safety Council, one way to slow down if your brakes fail is to keep your foot off the accelerator and downshift, then rely on the engine to slow down the car. If you have a manual transmission, work your way down through the gears to slow the car down. If you have an automatic transmission, taking your foot off the accelerator should cause your car to shift to lower gears as it slows down.
Some newer vehicles have a hybrid automatic transmission with the ability to manually shift the gears. Check your vehicle’s owner’s manual for information on how to use your automatic transmission in manual.
Move to Safety
Once you’ve gotten your car to slow down, you’ll need to find safe place so you can call for roadside assistance. If you’re on the highway or a larger road, you’ll need to concentrate on getting your car safely into the right lane so that you can get it off the road. Be sure to:
- Pay attention to surrounding traffic
- Use your turn signals
- Make your way into the shoulder
- Turn on your hazard lights
- Steer around any possible hazards
- Use your car’s lights and horn to alert other motorists
Keep the Car Running
Many people think that shutting off your vehicle will help you come to a complete stop. But turning your engine off disengages other systems you need to maintain control of your vehicle, including your power steering, making it much more difficult to steer your vehicle safely off the road.
Call for Roadside Assistance
You’ll need some help once you’ve pulled over. Pop open the hood and keep your hazard lights on. If you have an emergency kit, put out reflective triangles. Be sure to stay behind your vehicle in order to make yourself more visible to other motorists. Call for a tow truck to take you to the nearest brake repair shop.
Your brakes must be in working order in order for your vehicle to pass its annual safety inspection. Scheduling time for regular brakes maintenance is an excellent preventative measure against unexpected and life threatening vehicle malfunctions. If you are due for a brake inspection in Katy, Texas, schedule an appointment with Dillon’s Automotive today.