What To Do If Your Brakes Fail While Driving

Experiencing brake failure is a hazardous and unfortunate event. It brings us back to the reality we often forget while driving that our vehicles are not perfect machines, and they, too, can refuse to follow our commands.

Although most modern vehicles are reliable and less problematic, it is not safe to think that nothing bad can ever happen to them. For this reason, we must know how to handle various car problems safely and what we can do timely to avoid major hazards.

Here, we will discuss some tips that can help you protect yourself and others on the road if your brakes fail in a moving vehicle.

Don’t Panic

As soon as you realize that your vehicle’s brakes are not working, the first step you need to do is to stay clear-headed and avoid panicking. This is important because the next few moments after the realization are crucial to you and everyone else’s safety around you.

If you fail to remain calm during this time, you might make a wrong decision under pressure. One wrong move at this point can adversely affect you and other people on the road.

Therefore, breathe deeply and keep your head clear of all the negative things that can go wrong. Instead, think of how you can maintain complete control over your vehicle and how you can get your car safely off the road.

Do Not Turn Off Your Car

Turning off your car might seem right, as it will help you slow down almost instantly. However, this could cause skidding and prove to be far more dangerous than one would expect.

Turning your car off will disable your power steering or lock it completely, further decreasing your control over your vehicle. Therefore, always keep the engine running until you’ve come to a complete stop. Not turning your car off will also allow you to turn your vehicle over to the side of the road, where you can safely bring it to stop.

Turn On Your Hazard Lights

When your brakes fail on a highway, you must alert other drivers on the road about your situation. You can do this by turning on your hazard lights.

It is important to note that if the roadway is relatively clear, turning on just the hazard lights can help. However, if there is traffic on the road, along with turning on your hazard lights, you should honk your horns to warn everyone. Even if other people don’t understand your situation, they will be careful to steer clear of you.

Downshift Slowly

When experiencing brake failure in manual transmission, make sure to downshift your car as soon as possible. You shouldn’t downshift your vehicle to the last gear instantly; instead, move to the lower gears gradually. Downshifting too quickly from the 4th to the 1st gear can cause your car to skid out of control. In an automatic transmission, taking your foot off the accelerator should cause your car to shift to lower gears.

Downshifting to lower gears will slow down your car and help you safely move your vehicle to the side of the road. There you can apply your emergency brake and bring your vehicle to a halt.

Try Your Luck With The Brakes Again

Most modern cars have a dual braking system in them that controls their front and rear brakes independently. As a result, for your vehicle to completely lose all its braking power, both halves of the system would have to fail.

Try applying consistent and aggressive pressure to the brake pedal and see if you can engage half of the brakes to slow down your car. This will not work if both halves of the dual braking system have failed.

Apply Your Emergency Brakes Cautiously

Emergency brakes are not like regular brakes and won’t bring your car to a halt immediately. Instead, they will gradually slow your car down. However, you should employ the emergency brake very carefully to ensure you stay in full control.

The emergency braking system is separate from the primary hydraulic braking system and can help you stop your vehicle. However, it will take longer to do so than traditional brakes that can help you slow down and stop your car instantly.

Call For Help

Once you have safely stopped your car or have gotten it off the road, it is time to call your roadside assistance or towing provider. You must get your brakes checked by a professional before driving the car again. Even if you presume that your brakes are working fine now, and you can drive the vehicle yourself to a nearby mechanic shop, don’t do it until you get them inspected by someone.

You can also have your vehicle towed to a nearby mechanic so they can provide the necessary repairs. For quick and reliable towing services or roadside assistance in Edmonton and surrounding areas, visit our website or contact us here today.