Don’t panic

Realizing that your brakes have failed is a scary situation. Is it crucial to your safety and for the safety of those around you that you remain calm, so breathe and try to stay clear-headed.

Leave space, apply your brakes early, and give them another chance

To give yourself a chance to bring your vehicle to a complete stop safely, always remember to leave plenty of space between you and the vehicle in front of you. Slow down early for red lights, stop signs, and stopped traffic ahead of you. Pumping your brakes continuously will alert other drivers around you that you are attempting to stop your vehicle. When they see your brake lights illuminate, they will know something is wrong.

Carefully engage the emergency brake

Make sure you downshift and pump your brake pedal before applying your emergency brake. Pulling your emergency brake aggressively could cause you to lose control of your vehicle.

Downshift into a lower gear

You’ve hit your brakes, pumped your brakes, used your emergency brake, to no avail. The next step you’ll want to take is downshifting to your lowest gear possible as quickly as possible. Your lower gears should help slow the car down. While it may not be enough to bring the car to a complete stop, if you’re on a road that isn’t too busy, you should be afforded enough time and space to steer in a safe direction until your car comes to a complete stop.

Safely get off the road

After you’ve slowed down, it’s important that you get your car off the road as quickly as possible to avoid getting hit. Always remember to use your turn signals and hazard lights to alert other cars around you of your manuevers.

Don’t turn your car off until you’ve stopped

Turning your car off prematurely could result in power steering failure. This makes your car more difficult to turn.

Signal for help

Turning your hazard lights on or igniting flares are an effective way to signal to other drivers that you are in need of assistance.

Turn your hazard lights on so that other drivers are alerted that you are in need of assistance. If you must get out of your vehicle, make sure you do so in a safe area in order to avoid oncoming traffic.

Get your brakes inspected by a professional

Take your car to repair shop to get it inspected. A professional can tell you whether or not you need repairs.