Your brake system is one of your car’s most important features, playing an important role in keeping you and your passengers safe. Your brakes also help protect motorists that share the road you. That’s why you should have your brakes checked for potential brake failure by a professional, according to your manufacturer’s recommended service schedule.
August is Brake Safety Awareness Month. You should not only have your brake system inspected, but you should learn what to do if you experience brake failure while driving.
5 Steps for Dealing with Brake Failure
The following are 5 steps you should follow if you experience brake failure while you are driving:
- Remain calm – Panicking will only make things worse. Take a deep breath so that you can remember what you need to do next.
- Remove your foot from the gas – This might seem obvious, but a panicked driver sometimes continues putting pressure on the gas pedal. Take your foot off the gas so your car will begin slowing naturally.
- Turn on your hazard lights – People know that something is wrong when they see your flashers. This can ensure they’re more cautious about the situation and give you space.
- Downshift into neutral – Whether you’re driving a manual or automatic transmission, slowly downshift to a lower gear, gradually shifting to the lowest possible setting (“neutral” or “low.”). Downshifting too fast can damage your transmission.
- Park – Your emergency brake should allow you to park your car.