All of us hopes that this incident does not happen in our lifetime or driving experience. But if it does, it is better to be knowledgeable on what to do and what you should know.  Here are some quick steps to help you get by this unfortunate incident.

Step 1

The most obvious step is to let other drivers know that there is a problem with your vehicle. Make use of your hazard lights to make yourself visible to other drivers on the road. This will catch their attention.

Utilize your hazard lights to make yourself visible to other drivers on the road

Step 2

Stop stepping on the gas pedal and if it’s applicable to your vehicle. This will slow the car down and inhibit further acceleration but if you’re on a road that slopes downward, gravity will not work in your favor.

Step 3

If you’re driving a vehicle with a manual transmission, you can shift to a lower gear. Once you take your foot off the gas pedal, the vehicle should slow down and this is when you need to shift one gear lower. As you feel the car go slower, you can shift down one gear more if applicable.

However, you need to keep in mind that the defective brakes are not your only problem. Since this is an emergency, don’t be afraid to honk at other drivers if you think you need to warn them. Also, try your best to keep your hands on the steering wheel whenever you can since you would still need to maneuver your car into safety.

Step 4

Once you feel that the car will come to a complete stop, shift your hazard light to a turn signal. If you’re not sure that other drivers are paying attention to you, you can honk your horn a few times before trying to make the turn.

Finally, make your exit safely and park at an open space to avoid collision with other vehicles and running over people and private property.

Step 5

Once you’re close to the safe parking spot, pump at your brakes. Your car never really runs out of braking power, it’s just reduced so much that you can barely feel it.

If you feel that the car is slow enough, pump at your brakes to create more friction in less time. Press the brakes towards the floor as hard as you can to stop the car fully with its braking power left.

Step 6.

You can also try using the emergency brakes if your car is already at a low speed. This is also known as the parking brake and can be found in the center console between the two seats in front. If step 5 does not work for you, you can try this, but make sure that the car is as slow as it can possibly get.

If you pull the emergency brakes while the wheels are still rolling at a fast speed, you may end up with locked wheels. When the wheels lock, you will hear a clicking noise from your wheels. This can make your vehicle suddenly stop and could cause it to tip over.


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