When a vehicle’s brakes fail, the consequences may be both life-threatening and horrifying.
If a driver’s brakes fail, what actions should they take? Will comprehensive coverage pay for new brakes? Do they need handbrake failure insurance?
We’ll cover what you need to know about brake failure and the steps to take after a brake failure.
What steps do I take if my brakes fail?
It’s essential to keep your head in the game when things go wrong. In brake failure, the best course of action for you is to stay calm and make every effort to remove your vehicle from traffic safely.
Step #1 – Check Your Brakes One More Time
A dual brake system, which regulates the front and rear brakes separately in your automobile unless it’s a classic, is more than likely standard on your car.
This means that for your automobile to lose all braking force completely, both parts of the system would have to go down simultaneously.
It’s still possible to have your car’s braking capacity decreased by half, although it may still have some stopping power.
The brake pedal should be pressed hard and steadily to check whether you can bring the vehicle to a standstill.
Step #2 – Employ the Emergency Brake
If your primary braking system fails, you may use extreme caution with the emergency brake.
A separate emergency braking system may help you stop the car, but it will likely take longer to do so than if you used the regular brake pedal.
Step #3 – Take a Lower Gear and Shift Into It
Keeping your foot off the pedal and downshifting allows the engine to help slow down your vehicle. To slow down your automobile, go through the gears one at a time if you have a manual gearbox.
Your automobile should change into lower ratios when you take your foot off the gas pedal with an automatic gearbox.
It’s also possible to use the paddle shifters (if available), levers on the steering wheel of automobiles with this function, or shift into manual mode and downshift to the lowest gear in modern cars with automatic transmissions that can also be driven manually.
To learn how to drive your automatic automobile in manual mode, see your owner’s handbook.
Step #4 – Exit the Road Safely
Once you’ve slowed down your vehicle, you must move it out of harm’s way. Getting your automobile into the appropriate lane is the most crucial thing if you’re on a highway or a major road.
Keep an eye out for oncoming traffic, and always use your turn signals. Turn on your hazard lights as you arrive in the slow lane cautiously.
Use your car’s lights and horn to notify other drivers if necessary and keep clear of any potential dangers.
Shift into neutral after exiting the right lane into the shoulder (preferably a parking lot). If the vehicle begins to slide, use the emergency or parking brakes to slow it down. But be ready to let go of the brakes if necessary.
Keep an eye out for alternate methods to come to a halt if your vehicle’s emergency brake fails.
Step #5 – Leave the Engine Running
Keep the engine running until you have come to a complete stop before shutting off your automobile, even if it may seem like a good idea.
When the ignition is turned off, your power steering is usually turned off as well, making it more challenging to turn the car. It also might cause the wheel to get jammed.
Step #6 – Call for Assistance
Once your automobile is off the road, you may need some help. To get assistance, raise your hood and turn on the warning lights. Make yourself more visible by placing reflective triangles or road flares behind your vehicle.
Avoid standing close to (or behind) your car if you can, especially in oncoming traffic. You may also make a roadside assistance call right from your smartphone.
Step #7 – Inspect Your Brakes With a Qualified Technician
Make sure you get the vehicle evaluated by a professional even if the brakes seem to be working correctly again. Tow your automobile to a dealership or a technician so that they can check and fix it.
It’s important to remember that frequent brake inspections might help you keep your car in good health to avoid difficulties in the first place. If your vehicle’s brakes fail, it’s essential to know what to do in the case of an emergency.