How To Stop If Your Brakes Fail

The brakes in your vehicle are one of the most important safety features needed when you are out on the open road. If you happen to encounter a situation where your brakes do not work properly when you try to use them, you will need to think and act quickly to get your vehicle to a stop without injuring yourself or others. Here are some ways you can stop your vehicle when your brakes are not working.

Try Pumping Your Brakes

If you put your foot on the brake pedal and your vehicle does not slow down at all, use a pumping motion with your foot to try to jump-start braking action. It is possible that an air bubble has obstructed the braking fluid from getting to the brakes inside one of the brake lines. The pumping action can dislodge the air bubble, allowing the fluid to once again flow freely. 

If you have an automatic braking system in your vehicle, hold the brake pedal to the floor until you feel resistance. Remove your foot from the pedal and let the computer take over the pumping motion.

Use The Emergency Brake

Every vehicle has a back-up brake installed in case of emergency. This emergency brake is usually located to the left of your steering wheel on the lower dashboard or the floorboards. In some vehicles it is in the middle console area. When engaging an emergency brake, pull it slowly instead of with a quick jerking motion. Pulling it too quickly can cause your vehicle to fishtail, possibly causing an accident as a result.

Drive To Higher Land

If you are in a hilly area and your vehicle is not coming to a stop, try driving to an area with an incline in an attempt to slow down your vehicle. Pull your vehicle to the shoulder as you drive so it is away from other traffic as it rolls back down.

Downshift The Vehicle

Try downshifting your vehicle to a lower gear to get it to slow down. You can also try to put your vehicle into neutral while steering it to the side of the road so you are out of the way of oncoming traffic as the vehicle slows. 

Hit Something

If nothing you try gets your vehicle to stop, you may need to hit something. Look for a guard rail or curb and steer your vehicle toward it while beeping your horn to alert others to get out of your way.

For professional automobile assistance, contact a company such as Alignment Center.