What to Do When Your Brakes Fail

It doesn’t happen often, but brakes can fail.  One minute you’re driving along, slowing down for a stop or a slower car in front of you, and the next minute you experience a sense of helplessness when your brakes give out. 

While it might make sense to panic, staying calm is the first and most important step to bringing your vehicle to a complete stop in a safe manner.  Our Temporary Shoring team receives calls on a weekly basis in which a car has lost control and plowed through a home or business.  We hope you never have to experience driving without working brakes, but if you find yourself in a situation, here are some helpful hints to stay safe once your brakes fail.

The ultimate goal is to bring your car to a stop as best you can and in a safe manner for both you and your surroundings.

  1. Let up on the gas pedal so your car’s velocity starts to reduce.
  2. Signal pedestrians and motorists to a problem by turning on your hazards. Honk your horn if you need to.
  3. Look for a safe place to pull over. It may be riding along the shoulder of the highway until your car comes to a natural stop or circling an empty parking lot.  You may have to keep driving to find an area where you can slow down.  If you can, call 911 or have your passenger make the call to alert them to your problem.
  4. Shift into neutral once your car has slowed down and then apply the emergency brake.
  5. When you have come to a complete stop, turn off your car. Make sure you don’t turn it off while still in motion as you’ll lose your steering control.

The loss of braking power can happen in an instant.  Take the time to have your brakes inspected at least once a year and understand the telltale signs of bad brakes.  If you hear grinding or feel you are putting more pressure on the brake pedal to stop, take it in for service.  Be prepared before you find yourself in this situation; take a look in your car’s manual to figure out what types of brakes your car is fitted with.  If you have anti-lock brakes (ABS), you can keep pressure on your brake pedal while steering.  If you don’t have ABS brakes, try using short taps to the brake pedal.

If you are a homeowner or business owner and have had a car lose control and crash through your building, give our LaPointe Construction Board Up Service team a call.  Our Temporary Shoring services will shore up your home so it is safe to inhabit while you wait for repairs.  We’ll clean up the debris from the accident and secure your structure.  We have the experience to keep you and your property safe and secure.

Call us at 978-447-5991 with questions regarding our Temporary Shoring Services.  You can also visit our Facebook page for additional information at https://www.facebook.com/LaPointeConstruction.