What To Do If Your Vehicle’s Brakes Fail While Driving?
December 3, 2020 Topic: Safety Tips
What to do if your vehicle’s brakes fail while driving?
Have you ever experienced complete brake failure while driving? Most of us have not, mostly due to advanced technology failsafes. However, the unlikely scenario is still possible. It is essential to know how to react if your brakes fail. The split-second decision could be lifesaving.
How to stop a vehicle that has total brake failure.
- Pump the brake pedal continuously. This could build residual pressure in the brake system to slow the car, but will most certainly warn trailing traffic you are attempting to stop. If you feel brake pressure return, gradually press the brakes until you come to a stop.
- Slowly and gradually pull or press down on your parking brake. Your parking brake is mechanical, not hydraulic, and will slow the car down from the rear wheels. However, DO NOT activate your parking brake too quickly or forcefully, as your vehicle could spin out of control.
- If your parking brake does not work, you can shift into lower gears one gear at a time to slow the car down with the engine. This is called engine braking.
- Drive into the least hazardous area not only for you but for other vehicles and pedestrians around you. You should prioritize avoiding injuries to yourself and others. If you do not have a safe area on the road to pull off safely, look for a grass median, open field, or bushes to help slow the vehicle.
- When the vehicle has come to a stop, place it in park with the emergency brake on and not attempt to move it.
- If you or anyone else is injured or there are significant damages to your vehicle, call 911. If no injuries or damage occurred, call a tow truck.
How can you prevent brake failure?
Regular brake maintenance can prevent brake failure. Most brake failures are due to vehicles losing brake pressure. Brake pressure is most often lost when a caliper is overextended because the brake pads and rotors are too thin. The other most common hydraulic issue is master cylinder failure. If you feel your brakes gradually becoming weaker and weaker, you should have your vehicle serviced to insure you don’t have a faulty master cylinder. Brake fluid loss due to breached brake lines will also cause brake failure. Maintaining your vehicle will insure you don’t develop brake line leaks.
Brakes To Go can help with any of these problems. Our inspections are free! And proper maintenance of your braking system is the only way to ensure safety. Even though brake failure is rare, you can be ready in the event this happens to you.