Brake failure is not something most people worry about when it comes to driver safety. Unfortunately, it does happen. In fact, the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) states that brake failure is the third most common vehicle-related factor in vehicle crashes. Because of this, August has been designated as National Brake Awareness Month.
Preventing Brake Failure
The last thing you want to do is find yourself driving on one of the busy Los Angeles freeways only to have your brakes fail on you. The most effective way to prevent such an issue is to take your vehicle in for a regular inspection at least once a year. Have your brakes looked at and if they’re starting to wear down or get old, have them replaced.
What To Do in the Event of an Emergency
Although getting your vehicle inspected regularly can help prevent brake failure, there may still come a time when your brakes fail while you’re driving. If this does happen, the following are a few tips to help reduce the risk of getting into an accident as a result:
- Don’t panic – Panicking because your brakes aren’t working won’t help. People who panic may even step on the gas pedal by accident, which will only make things worse. Take a deep breath and try to calm yourself down so you can navigate your situation safely.
- Turn on your hazard lights – Put your hazard lights on so that everyone around you knows there’s a problem.
- Downshift if you drive manual – If you drive a manual car, downshift. Doing so can help slow your car down a little at a time. Even if you can’t stop all the way, slowing down can help prevent a bad accident. Shift into neutral once you reach first gear.
- Use your emergency brake – Once you’re in neutral, pull your emergency brake. Once you come to a complete stop, don’t forget to put the car in park.