It’s a driver’s worse case scenario. You’re driving along on the Interstate on your daily commute to work. As you’re driving, you find that you need to either tap or hit the brakes for some reason, whether it’s traffic in front of you slowing down, an emergency situation with another vehicle, or yielding to road construction. You hit the brake pedal… but nothing happens.
What do you do?
We have compiled a list of critical steps you need to take in the event that your brakes go out while your car is in motion (even though we are truly hoping it never happens to you!). These tips will help you get your car to stop safely as soon as possible. Read about them below!
Step 1 – Keep calm. Don’t let panic get a hold on you; you’re only more likely to get in an accident that way. Just stay calm and slow down by stepping off the gas pedal and coasting.
Step 2 – Turn on your hazard lights so that you can notify the motorists around you that something is wrong. If need be, you can use your horn as well.
Step 3 – Shift your car into a lower gear to help slow it down. This will work regardless of your car being an automatic or a standard.
Step 4 – Carefully work your way over toward the shoulder of the road. If you happen to be on the highway, try using an exit ramp. Just try to get to a safe spot in which you can allow your car to slow down – away from traffic!
Step 5 – If your car has ABS (antilock brake system), firmly brake while you continue to steer. This will help slow your car down. If your car happens to have only standard, non-antilock brakes, try pumping the brakes by using short taps to get your car to stop.
Step 6 – As you’re slowing down to a stop, try to shift into neutral and use your emergency brake. Don’t use your emergency brake before you’ve reached a safe spot!
Step 7 – As soon as you’ve stopped your car successfully, do not attempt to drive. Instead, call for help and have a professional tow your car to a mechanic. Also, refrain from shutting off your car until you’ve come to a complete stop. A shut down car is devoid of power steering, and pulling your car over will be incredibly difficult, if not impossible.
It’s quite likely that if you take good care of your brakes that you won’t experience your brakes going out on you. Prevent brake failure by taking your car in for routine check-ups, including brake system inspections. These inspections can uncover all sorts of problems that you might not be aware of in the first place. Also, listen very closely to your car. You know it better than anyone else; if it sounds off, don’t hesitate to take it in to your mechanic to get a checkup.
Want more tips on how to take care of your car? Check out our blog for a plethora of tips, tricks, and all the latest news. If you’re in need of auto insurance from a reliable and friendly insurance company, we’re the right ones for you. Just call us at 1-800-766-MMIC or check us out online at www.madisonmutual.com to see how we can help!