You are driving normally but suddenly you come across a red light, you try to push the brake pedal, and nothing happens. It is a terrifying situation when you realise that your brakes have failed you. It’s not only a threat to your life but everyone else on road. Typically, it happens when you have a lost lots of brake fluid or have worn out your brake pads. If you ever find yourself in such situation, here are some of the things that you can do to handle it safely.
What You Should Do
The most important thing to do when your brakes fail is to keep calm. Panic and knee jerk reactions will put you in more danger.
- Downshift Right Away
The first thing you should consider doing is to put your car in lower gear smoothly. It applies to both automatic and manual vehicles. It will slow down your car and may give you enough time to pull over for help. However, make sure that you do it in a controlled manner. Shifting directly from fourth gear to first gear can lock your wheels and can skid your car on road. Make sure you get efficient Hillside driving lessons at Pass First Go to avoid such accidents. They can polish your driving techniques and can prepare you for any unforeseen situation.
- Apply Emergency Brake
Next, you should push your emergency brake. It won’t stop your car but will at least slow it down. You should be aware of the location of emergency brake in your car. Some cars has a hand-activated lever, others have a small pedal to the left of gas. It is a good idea to test your emergency brakes when you are driving at slow speed to make sure how powerful it actually is.
- Pump Brakes if Pressure Feels Low
If the brakes feel loose when you press them, it might be due to lack of fluids. In this case, you can pump the brakes to rebuild the pressure. It might take a while so keep pumping. If you have built up enough pressure, push the brakes all the way down to make the most out of the built-up pressure.
- Pull Over
You should turn on the hazard lights and keep moving towards the right side of the road and safely pull over. Use the mirrors if you need to change the lanes and signals the drivers around you to let them know that you are moving over. Keep your seat belts on or honk the horn as much as you can to let everyone know that it’s a case of an emergency. You should try using what’s available to stop the car like driving onto grass if there’s some off road.
- Have Your Car Towed
Even if your brakes are back to working again, you should pull over and call someone to tow your car. After a malfunction like this, you should take your car to a repair shop for further inspection. Routine inspections can prevent such scenarios from happening in future.
Make sure that you keep these tips with you next time you go behind the wheel.