One of the most harrowing experiences you can have while driving is having your brakes go out. Not only is it an extremely dangerous situation to be in, but fear might make you have a hard time thinking clearly about how to cope with the brake failure and get your car- and yourself- to safety. Here are some tips to help you be prepared for what to do in case your brakes ever fail when you’re on the road.
- Don’t Panic- Easier said than done, we know, but keeping a level head and staying calm can help you to follow the next steps to get your car off the road safely.
- Try the Brakes Again- Most modern cars are equipped with a dual braking system, which means that the front and rear brakes are controlled independently. This enables your vehicle to still have half the braking power when one half fails, and you should still be able to stop your car somewhat, or at least slow your car down by applying consistent pressure to the brake pedal.
- Reduce Your Speed- If your braking system is unsuccessful at stopping the car or slowing it down by a considerable degree, try slowing it down in other ways, such as very carefully engaging your emergency brake, or downshifting to a lower gear.
- Ease out of Traffic- To decrease the likelihood of getting hit by another vehicle, try to get your car safely to the side of the road. If you are on the highway or a major thoroughfare when your brakes go out, you will need to drive in the right lane until you can get to a safe place. Remember to put on your hazard lights and alert your fellow motorists to your predicament by honking your horn and flashing your headlights.
- Don’t Turn Off the Car (Yet)- Turning off the ignition to your vehicle will shut down the power steering, and could cause the steering wheel to lock into place, so make sure your car has come to a complete stop before taking the key out of the ignition.
- Get Help- Once your car is safely off the road, raise the hood and keep your hazard lights on, and put any reflective triangles or road flares you may have around your car to improve visibility. Call roadside assistance from your cell phone and stay next to your car until help arrives.
- Visit Your Mechanic- Even if the brake failure seems like a one-time fluke and your car is operating normally after your ordeal, it is safest to have a certified mechanic check it out before you drive it again. Get your car towed to your local auto repair shop for a brake inspection and any necessary repairs. Regular brake inspections in the future will lessen your chances of sudden brake failure.
General Muffler & Auto Supply is Ansonia’s top choice for auto repair. You and your brakes are in good hands with our team of experienced, ASE-certified technicians. Let us safely and effectively repair your brakes and get you back on the road! Call us today at 203-735-6406 to schedule an appointment.