As you learned to drive, it’s likely that you practiced emergency stops. Since then, you may never have had to do this. However, the exercise was done for a reason. Millions of road traffic collisions occur every year in the U.S. and innocent road users, such as you, are often involved.
It’s vital to understand how to come to a safe stop in your vehicle because this could just save you from physical harm. Outlined below are some important points to remember.
1. Firm but smooth braking
Rash movements while driving are generally never a good idea. You always want to be in full control, whether you are accelerating, slowing down or coming to a complete stop. If you need to stop quickly, then you should press the brake pedal firmly but smoothly. If your car is modern, then you’ll probably feel the anti-lock braking system (ABS) kick in. You will feel a pulsating sensation under your foot. It’s important not to panic at this stage because this sensation probably just means your ABS is working as it should.
2. Stay in a straight line
Steering while braking can be counterproductive. You should typically be doing one or the other. If your car is facing forward as you apply the brakes, they will work more effectively. Steering to one side while braking means that you are more likely to swerve, increase your braking distance or lose control of the vehicle altogether.
Safe braking practices could limit the seriousness of an accident or even prevent it. However, this is not a guarantee. Unfortunately, the negligence of other road users can place you in danger and even cause you emotional and physical harm. If you’ve been involved in a crash, be sure to look into your legal options.