It isn’t common, but it can be a terrifying experience. You are driving along and suddenly; no brakes. It’s good to know what to do and hopefully, you won’t have to call your car insurance agent about too much damage. Let’s learn how to deal with emergency car brake failure.

Keep Calm

First of all, don’t to panic. This is easy to say but hard to do. However, a clear head can save your life. Turn on your hazard lights right away and stay alert.

Don’t Shut The Car Off

Cutting the engine will take away your power steering and may lock up the tires to send you skidding out of control. Turn the car off only after you have come to a complete stop.

Pump The Brakes

You probably already tried this, but pump the brakes again and again. They might just grab enough for you to guide the car safely to the side of the road. Make sure you push the brake pedal as far as it can go before you decide that your brakes are completely out.

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Try The Emergency Brake

The emergency brake can be employed gradually. Be careful because if you slam on the emergency brake you might bring the car to a screeching halt and get rear ended. Apply the brake with steady even pressure while you slowly pull over. If you start to skid, release the brake and apply it again gradually. Keep an eye out for other cars in order to avoid collision.

Downshift

If the emergency brake does not work, you can try downshifting if you have a standard transmission. Some automatic cars also allow you to shift gears manually. Shift down one gear at a time in a controlled manner. Meanwhile carefully begin to make your way to the side of the road.

Steer And Honk

You must remain in control of your car at all costs. You might have to steer around other cars or obstacles. You might even have to go off road or onto surfaces not normally used for driving. Look to guide your vehicle to safe open spaces or through objects that give. Don’t be afraid to honk your horn in order to warn other drivers.

Move To A Safe Place And Be Visible

It will take some effort, and you might even have to scrape against a curb, wall, guardrail or highway divider to scrub off some speed. Gradually try to make it to the side of the road where a grassy shoulder can help you come to a complete stop. Do not try to drive the car again.

Once you are completely stopped, keep your hazards blinking and open up your trunk and hood. If you have road reflectors or flares, this is the time to use them. Stay as far as possible as you can out of traffic, and call for help right away.

After you call a tow truck, you can call your car insurance agent to make a claim.

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Published in CARCHEX Auto Insurance Resources by CARCHEX on November 11, 2014