Having your brakes fail while driving is one of the scariest situations most drivers can think of. The loss of control and helplessness of not being able to slow down can cause panic but knowing the correct steps to take if this does happen can put you in a much safer position.
First and most importantly, do not panic and turn off your vehicle. This will turn off your power steering and lock your steering wheel entirely. This means you will have even less control of your vehicle creating an even worse situation. Turning off the vehicle can also cause you to begin to drift and lose traction from your tires. Remaining calm and not making a decision like this in panic situations will make you and the people around you much safer.
To begin to slow down the vehicle you should make sure to take your foot off the gas pedal and not accelerate any more. Reducing your speed is the most important thing in this situation to ensure your safety. Even if you believe you can keep driving to make it to a destination down the road, it usually only creates more problems and increases the chances of an accident.
Next you should put your hazard lights on so cars around you know to keep their distance and begin pressing the brake pedal firmly and repeatedly. Modern vehicles tend to have dual braking systems so doing this may be enough to activate at least half the car’s brakes to begin to slow you down.
Once your vehicle begins to lose decent amounts of speed, you can try and engage the emergency brake. When doing this, you will want to make sure that your tires are straight to avoid skidding and drifting. Your emergency brake will most likely not slow you to a halt but can decrease your vehicle’s speed greatly.
Finally, when your vehicle is traveling at a low enough speed, you should begin to pull off to the side of the road. It is much safer to do this than to try and stop on the road where both you and others will be put into danger. If you are on a highway, you may also try and use the guard rails to finally slow your vehicle to a stop. While you will scrape the side of your vehicle, it is much more important to get you into a safe situation.
Here at Dewey’s Towing, we have been helping the community since 1958. If you want more information or have any other automotive needs, call us at 608-362-5377 and see what we can do for you.