Overreacting hardly ever does any good, and when your car brakes do not function as they should, it only makes things worse. The best advice is to get yourself prepared with the following 8 steps that might save you and the others if you happen to be in such a situation.
1. Once again, don’t freak out!
Panicking only makes things worse. Expect that there is always the possibility of your car brakes failing for God-knows reasons no matter how much of an experienced and careful driver you are. In such cases, it can also do harm to other people who happen to be in proximity to you.
2. Stop the car with the emergency brake
There is more than one term referring to this very specific brake: Parking brake, handbrake, emergency brake, or e-brake. This device works independently from the hydraulic one and is operated by either hand (slowly pulling up on the brake handle) or by feet (squeezing down on the brake pedal), keeping a vehicle immobile and in some cases performing an emergency stop. It’s also very important to bear in mind that driving with your e-brake engaged will definitely cause damage to your car, therefore, always release your e-brake before starting the vehicle. Moreover, frequent use of a parking brake is highly recommended to keep it from rusting and having it working properly in emergency situations.
Check with the rear view and wing mirrors before you switch lanes or turn to pull over. It’s extremely important to have your eyes on the road while trying to steer to avoid other vehicles, pedestrians and dangerous obstacles.
Carefully and quickly pullover is a good choice
4. Check for any obstruction under the brake pedal
Try to feel it with your foot or have a car occupant (if any) check it for you, and if there is anything lying on the floor under the brake pedal, put it out of the way.
5. Hit the brakes repeatedly
Pumping your brakes non-stop for a while may produce sufficient pressure to trigger the braking system back to stop the vehicle. This may not work out immediately so you really need to keep trying. Apply many times then hold the brake pedal to the floor to create, along with pressure built up through pumping earlier, a sudden force to revive the braking system.
You should also hit the brakes repeatedly
6. Alert people around you to your problem
Switch on your car’s hazards light, then honk the horn to get people’s attention and let them know that you are being in trouble which can affect them. Even when they could not tell what exactly is going on, the warning you’re sending out still works to put people on alert mode and keep going with caution and avoid your vehicle. Open all the windows to have air resistance to reduce your car’s speed while yelling for help or to warn off people.
7. Make use of the traffic calming devices to stop your car
Run your vehicle towards speed bumps (if any), seek for slopes/inclines to go up. Utilize the roadside shrubs or small trees and try to navigate your car through them. Avoid trees with large trunks cause the collision can be fatal for the you and the passengers.
Make use of the traffic calming devices to stop your car
8. Reach for the nearest help right after you’ve come to a stop
It is risky to resume your driving even after you manage to get your braking system back into work again. Take precaution by getting help and have your car towed to the nearest garage/workshop to figure out what’s wrong with it and have it fixed promptly.