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Can you imagine being in an unspeakable scenario where you are driving your vehicle at high speed, but when you firmly apply brakes, you notice it has a failure?

This kind of situation can even take an experienced driver off-guard. Brake failure is a forbidden situation to be engaged in.

Therefore, it is wise to be fully prepared for this condition. When you are ready, you can have a random potential to handle the situation well and avoid any expected accidents.

Let’s explore what to do and not to do if brakes fail when driving.

 Experiencing sudden brake failure is unlikely to happen. Here, we will go over some of the safety driving tips to take if you experience brake failure.

What to Do and Not to Do if Brakes Fail When Driving

What Not to Do When Brakes Fail

How will you avoid unexpected things when engaged in a brake fail situation? Here are the essential details to follow up in such a condition.

1. Don’t Panic

Panicking is the first thing you shouldn’t attempt to do as soon as you realize that your vehicle’s braking system has collapsed.

The best option is to ensure you are clear-headed and stay calm to think of possible ways to escape that dangerous situation.

Fear is the most fundamental cause of panic when your car’s braking system fails. Learn to overcome fear when engaged in this kind of situation.

2. Don’t Attempt to Downshift the Gears Quickly

Do not instantaneously change the vehicle’s gears from 4th to 1st. This may cause skidding of your car and make its control more difficult when the brakes have failed.

3. Never Turn off the Vehicle

It may also employ skidding. When you attempt to turn off the vehicle before you stop, the steering wheel will lock itself, turning off the steering power, and the engine braking will malfunction.

You should strictly avoid turning off your vehicle because it will limit your complete driving control

4. Don’t Be in a Haste to Use Emergency Brakes

You should also avoid applying the emergency brake in a hurry. It can also promote unnecessary skidding of the vehicle.

The recommendable time to apply is when you have already downshifted the gears and pumped the vehicle brake pedals.

What to Do When Brakes Fail

How can you take the responsibility to stop your vehicle in case of a break failure? The point elaborated below can help you in such a frightening situation.

1. Stay Calm While Taking Your Foot off the Gas

It is the first thing you should consider when your brakes fail to avoid an unnecessary increase in the car’s speed. 

2. Power up the Warning Lights


Your second idea is to put the warning lights on and ensure you keep hooting to alert other potential drivers on the road creatively. Let them be aware that your vehicle has some unexpected mechanical issues.

The warning lights and frequent honking will unburden the traffic around your vehicle and exploit you with more room on the road.

3. Pump the Brake Pedal

Nowadays, modern vehicles have an independent dual braking system that controls both the rear and front brakes. When you pump your brake petals continuously, brake pressure may be created, capturing half of the car break. The half of the brake may bring the car to a stop.

Pumping the brakes helps you find the final bit of energy in the car’s system, expecting it to generate enough strength to stop it from moving.

However, this solution may not work in case both breaking systems collapse.

4. Gradually Downshift the Gears


It typically applies when your braking system has failed. You can slow down your car by using engine braking.

You may experience an unusual startling sound when you are downshifting; however, it appears perfectly fine as long as you gradually change the gears, one at a time.

You can lower the gears using a paddle shifter in an automatic car.

5. Cautiously Apply the Emergency Brake

When compared to the braking system, emergency brakes are different. However, emergency brakes help you slow down the vehicle to a halt.

Its precaution is to use the emergency brake very carefully and slowly as it is susceptible and may cause your car to spin. Release the emergency brake in case your car starts spinning.

6. Steer Yourself from the Traffic

If the braking system malfunctions on a bustling road, move away from the traffic by changing lanes.

If workable, try rubbing the vehicle’s body to create friction against any barrier along the road to slow it down. Once it works out and your car slows down, adjust to neutral.

Before you steer away from the road, carefully avoid the blind spot area. Here are the ways to check a blind spot when driving.

7. Contact Roadside Assistance

Immediately you control and stop your car from moving, contact roadside assistance only when you have an included add-on in the car insurance.

It will take care of any repairs, offer towing services, and drive you to your final destination where you were heading too.

You can also call for a tow truck and have your car taken for inspections in your repair shop. Don’t drive the vehicle unless all problems are firmly fixed.

What Are the Signs of Brake Failure?

The signs that show your brakes need a checkup include an unusual drag felt when accelerating, the occurrence of a pulse right in the brake pedal, the vehicle pulling towards one side, squeaking and clicking sounds when the brake is applied, and the Anti Lock Braking system light turns on.

What Are the Reasons for Brake Failure?

The significant reasons for brake failure include insufficient brake fluid or grease, worning out of the brake pads, blocking of the master cylinder, and overheating of the braking system that catalyzes the loss of its brake power.

What to Do to Prevent Brake Failure?

You can prevent brake failure by ensuring the brake pads are replaced timely, checking the oil seals and brake fluids simultaneously, and checking the master cylinder.

Final Remarks

Stay calm where necessary and follow the tips mentioned above if you are in a brake failure situation. “Prevention is better that cure”; you can take responsibility by taking your car for frequent brake systems checkups.

Seek professional help when you notice any slight change in your car’s brake system. Don’t ignore any change that can occur.

If you wish to learn more about safe driving tips, book driving lessons at Pierre Paul Driving School, a known establishment. Call us now at 718-576-6277 to schedule an appointment.