Trying To Get Your Vehicle To Stop When Brakes Fail

If you find yourself in a situation where you are unable to get your vehicle to slow down or come to a stop when you apply pressure to your brake pedal, you will want to have a back-up plan in place to get yourself and your vehicle to safety. There are a few ways you can effectively get your vehicle to come to a stop when your brakes fail. Here are some tips you can use if you find yourself in this type of scenario.

Use The Emergency Brake To Stop

All vehicles will have an emergency brake to use in case the standard braking system is not effective in stopping a vehicle. This can be engaged by pulling on a lever usually located on your dashboard, in the center console area, or along the driver's side floorboard. It is a good idea to take a look at your vehicle instruction manual so you can find this lever before it will be needed. If you need to pull on the lever, do so slowly so your vehicle does not cause damage to other vehicles in the area, as pulling on it quickly can cause fishtailing to occur.

Try Shifting Gears To Slow The Vehicle

If your vehicle does not stop effectively, slowing it down will be necessary to get to safety. Try to switch gears from "drive" to "low 1" or "low 2". If you have a standard vehicle, this can be done easily. If you have an automatic vehicle, you may feel some jerkiness as you switch gears as you do not have a clutch to aid with a smooth transition. This process may cause damage to the vehicle's transmission; however, it may be necessary in keeping yourself and others from getting hurt. Move your vehicle to the shoulder of the road as you switch gears, and place it in "neutral" when it slows down.

Pump On The Brake Pedal To Dislodge Air

If your brake fluid is not able to effectively get to your brakes, your vehicle will not slow down when you push on the brake pedal. Sometimes an air bubble can be lodged inside of the brake lines, causing an obstruction of the fluid to get where it needs to go to do its job. Pumping up and down on the brake pedal with your foot will aid in moving this air bubble out of the way so the fluid will disperse to the correct area without a blockage.

Have your car towed to an auto repair shop to repair your brakes.