How to Handle Your Brakes Malfunctioning While Driving

One of the scariest things to happen while you are driving is experiencing the brakes give out completely. You step on the brake pedal, and nothing happens. This can be frightening no matter where you are, but especially when driving fast on a highway or going down a hill. However, if you know how to handle it, you can avoid a dangerous situation. Here are some tips for handling your car when the brakes go out.

Let Go of the Gas Pedal

The first thing you should do when the brakes go out is get your car to slow down and eventually stop. However, do not make the mistake of just turning off the ignition, hoping that will stop the car. While it will slow your car down, it also turns off your power steering. This makes it really hard to turn your car toward the side of the road in an emergency. You don't want to make things harder, so instead of turning it on, remove your foot from the gas pedal, then turn on your hazard lights. This will help you to start slowing down, plus warn others to keep their distance from you.

Switch Gears and Slow Down

Once your foot is off the gas pedal and the hazard lights are on, start switching to a lower gear. Remember, you can do this even with an automatic transmission. Switch to the lowest gear, which will further help your car to start slowing down. As it gets slower, begin making your way to the side of the road or to the right lane of the highway if you are in the middle or left lane. Begin pulling to the side of the road when it is slowing down enough to stop safely. If you find an area on the side of the road with dirt, that can really help your car to slow down to a stop much more easily. Be aware of your surroundings when you choose where to pull over.

Get to a Mechanic

Make sure when you get your car towed, it is directed to a mechanic. You need to know why your brakes went out and have them repaired immediately. Even if you get back into your car and the brakes start working again, it is much too risky to rely on. Visit companies like Belmont Husky Service to have your brakes inspected on a routine basis in the future to prevent this from happening again.