A Guide to Staying Safe:
We’ve all been there – the heart-stopping moment when you press the brake pedal, and nothing happens. This is especially concerning in the light of KWCH News12 advice to drivers to use caution and be prepared for rapidly changing conditions. And, while a brake failure is a rare, knowing how to react can make all the difference between a near miss and a potential disaster.
What NOT to do When Your Brakes Go Out
In this blog, the experts at Tracy’s Tire Pros and Automotive in Wichita discuss what NOT to do when your brakes go out. And, ensure you’re better equipped to handle this frightening situation.
The first and most crucial piece of advice when facing brake failure is to remain calm. Because, panicking can cloud your judgment and lead to hasty decisions that may make the situation worse. So, take a deep breath, stay focused, and remember that there are alternative methods to slow down your vehicle.
Don’t Slam on the Brakes
Let’s face it, slamming on the brakes when they’ve already failed won’t solve the problem. In fact, it could make things worse. Because, rapid and forceful application of the brakes may lead to a loss of control. And, it could also cause the vehicle to skid. Instead, apply steady, firm pressure to the brake pedal.
Don’t Ignore Warning Signs
Brake failure is often preceded by warning signs such as squealing, grinding, or a soft brake pedal. And, ignoring these signs can lead to a critical situation. Therefore, regular brake maintenance and prompt attention to any unusual sounds or feelings while driving can prevent a complete brake failure. Tracy’s Automotive is here to ensure you are safe while on the road. And can help you put together a regular brake maintenance schedule.
Don’t Shift to Neutral
Some might believe that shifting to neutral will stop a vehicle, but this can be dangerous. Because, it might cause the engine to rev uncontrollably, making it difficult to regain control of the vehicle. Instead, focus on downshifting gradually to slow down while maintaining steering control.
Don’t Turn the Ignition Off
Turning off the ignition in an attempt to stop the vehicle is another common misconception. Doing so will not only disable power steering but also eliminate the possibility of using the engine for additional slowing through downshifting. So, keep the engine running and use it strategically to your advantage.
Don’t Forget About the Emergency Brake
Your vehicle is equipped with an emergency brake (also known as a parking brake) and can help in this situation. Engage it gradually to slow down your vehicle. And, remember that sudden and forceful application may lead to skidding, so use it in conjunction with other methods for a controlled slowdown.
Don’t Neglect Surrounding Traffic
While you’re dealing with brake failure, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings. So, signal your distress to other drivers using your hazard lights and horn. Then look for an escape route or a safe place to pull over.
Experiencing brake failure is a frightening scenario, but knowing what NOT to do can be just as important as knowing what to do.
By staying calm, applying alternative methods to slow down, and being mindful of your surroundings, you can increase your chances of navigating a brake failure safely. But, remember, regular brake maintenance is the best cure for avoiding unexpected challenges on the road. And Tracy’s Tire Pros and Automotive are here for whatever you need. They serve customers all over Wichita and Goddard: West Maple Street auto care and auto repair, East First Street N. and West 21st Street N.
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