Almost everyone in California drives a car. There are over 27 million licensed drivers in California, which is by far and away the most in any state. However, many drivers take their cars for granted, meaning that they don’t get their cars checked as often as they should. For example, few drivers worry about their brakes.
However, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), brake systems are the third most common factor in car crashes. For this reason, August has been designated as Brake Safety Awareness Month.
How To Ensure Brake Safety
The best way to prevent your brakes from failing is to have your brake system inspected on a routine basis. Generally speaking, you should have your car inspected every two years. During an inspection, a mechanic will check your brake system for any issues. If any issues are present, they can make the necessary repairs or replacements to ensure that your brakes work safely.
What To Do If Your Brakes Fail
Even if you are diligent about having your car inspected, it’s no guarantee that your brakes will work properly 100% of the time. Fortunately, if you know what to do, you can navigate the situation safely despite your brakes failing. Just be sure to follow these steps:
- Keep calm. Take a deep breath and keep calm. Panicking will only make the situation worse.
- Take your foot off the gas pedal. It may seem like an obvious tip, but it can be hard to think straight in such a situation. Make sure your foot is not on the gas pedal.
- Turn on your hazards. Let everyone around you know that there’s an issue by turning your hazards on.
- Downshift. Downshift a little at a time to avoid damaging your transmission. Downshift your way into neutral.
- Pull the emergency brake. Once you’re in neutral, pull your emergency brake. If you pull your emergency brake while going fast, it could cause your car to spin out of control.