How to Stop a Car When the Brakes Fail

Driving is something most of us do every day, and vehicles are known to malfunction at times. One thing that can happen to a vehicle is brake failure. When your brakes fail, you will struggle to stop your car. There are, however, steps you can take to remain safe in the face of brake failure.

What to Do When Your Brakes Fail

Brake failure can be scary, but there are ways to prevent accidents, even in the middle of failing brakes.

To stop your car after a brake failure, follow these steps.

  • Remain calm and remove your foot from the gas pedal.
  • Use your hazard lights or your horn to signal to other drivers that you are experiencing issues.
  • Shift your car into a lower gear to help it slow down. 
  • If a shoulder is available on the road, carefully move your car onto the shoulder.
  • If you have anti-lock brakes, press firmly on the brake pedal while continuing to steer. If you have standard breaks, try using short taps to pump your breaks.
  • Once you’ve slowed down significantly, shift into neutral and pull your emergency brake.
  • Come to a complete stop, and call for help.

See how to stop a car during brake failure here: 

Preventing Brake Failure Before it Happens

There is always a chance that brakes can fail, but proper brake maintenance can lessen the risk of brake failure.

Things you can do to maintain your brakes include:

  • Keep the brake fluid cylinder full.
  • Regularly inspect your brakes.
  • Pay attention to dashboard lights that warn of brake issues.

Vehicles Need Love, Too

It is important to stay on the defensive rather than the offensive when it comes to vehicular issues. Regular inspection and maintenance of your entire vehicle is the best way to prevent unexpected malfunctions and failures while driving.


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