As a driver, one of the scariest things that can happen behind the wheel is to have your brakes stop working. They can stop working for any number of reasons ranging from a mechanical failure to damage to the brake lines.
No matter what the reason is that your brakes went out, you need to know how to handle the issue to prevent a collision. If you cause a car crash because your brakes fail, you, your mechanic or others could be responsible for any damage caused.
What do you do if your brakes aren’t working correctly?
If you find that your brakes aren’t working and have space around you, now is the time to hit the hazard button and turn on your hazard lights. This informs people around you that something is wrong.
Take your foot off the accelerator at this time, and hold the brake down (if you have an ABS system). If you don’t have an ABS installed, pump the brakes instead.
If those two things don’t work, your next option is to pull back on the emergency brake (or activate it in whatever way you can in your vehicle). If it is a lever, pull up smoothly instead of jerking the brake, because this will slow you down over time instead of risking a skid.
What about if you don’t have any braking pressure?
If you really have no other options inside the vehicle, you can drive off the side of the road into a grassy area or use a guardrail to slow down. Go over into the emergency lane and gently go parallel to the guardrail. You don’t want to hit the nose of your vehicle, instead, drag along the side. If you’ll go off the side of the road, look for a flat, open area with texture that will help slow your vehicle, like grass or soil.
These evasive actions may cause a “controlled crash,” so it’s only for use as a last-ditch effort to avoid a collision with another person or vehicle.
If you were put at risk by faulty parts or if another person crashes into you because of their brakes failing, you can look into making a claim to help cover your financial losses and get the support you need for any injuries suffered.