In the recent years there have been many cases of vehicles where brakes
have become a major problem. Brake failure is one of the most dangerous and gruesome experience particularly when one is driving on national highways or high-speed roadway. It is very important to ensure that the brakes are in good condition to avoid an accident. The ability to stop your car is necessary to guarantee your safety and the safety of others on roads.
Therefore, here are some of the steps to be followed when there is a brake failure in a car.
- Do not panic at the first sign of danger, instead be practical and move the vehicle into the lane or exit lane. If required to change lanes do it smoothly and cautiously by watching mirrors and the traffic around very closely. As other vehicle drivers will not be aware of the problem in your car, so you have to be very careful.
- Try to get the car off the roadway and to a safer place to avoid stopping traffic or being involved in a rear-end collision.
- Use indicators or park light to alert other vehicles.
- Slow down the car gradually by taking foot off the accelerator and simply steer as the vehicle slows and shift the car into a lower gear to let the engine help slow the car easily.
- When in a safest position activate hazard flashers so that people become aware that something wrong with the vehicle.
- Once off the travelled roadway regularly apply the parking brake until the vehicle stops. If there is a brake failure then direct the car onto a soft shoulder or rub the wheel against a curb which will help you to slow down.
- Move steering left and right that will also allow car to slow and do only if it’s safe.
- Once the car is parked safely, put out flares, reflective triangles or warning flags beside and behind vehicle to alert other drivers and keep hazard flashers going.
- If possible send for professional assistance
- Do not stand behind or next to the car and if possible stay away from the vehicle and wait for help to arrive.
If at high speeds and going to hit something then follow the below tips:
- Take your foot off the accelerator so that one doesn’t hit it unnecessarily fast.
- Steer towards the object that seems to be least dangerous. For instance: wooden fencing is much softer than a brick wall. So try to avoid solid objects like trees, or lamp-posts these will not give way when one actually hit them.
- Keep pulling the handbrakes and any other brakes that a vehicle has so that one can keep a control on the car as it stops.
- If the stopping space and/or the handbrake are broken downshift to lowest gear as this lets the gearbox take even more of the speed. This method is extremely controllable and effective braking than the hand braking.
- Push the curb with the wheel to slow the car down.
Be very cautious while driving. One should be prepared for any kind of emergency and as we all know Prevention is better than cure! It is better to keep a track of your car problems.