HomeAutomotiveWhat Should You Do If Your Brakes Stopped Working On The Road

What Should You Do If Your Brakes Stopped Working On The Road

Just last weekend, there was a viral video circulating on Facebook that a woman’s Chery Omoda 5’s brakes suddenly stopped working on the highway. 

Made In China car jokes aside, it is uncommon for brake systems to fail even in modern cars

Nonetheless in the unforeseen future, if your car does have the same problem as this poor driver in which the car brakes stopped working, what exactly can you do in the spur of the moment? 

Read more: How To Know If Your Brakes Are Failing? Here Are 8 Signs To Look Out For

What Should You Do If Your Car Brakes Suddenly Stopped Working?

car brakes not workingIn the unlikely event that this happens to you, we highly recommend that you follow these steps to prevent an accident and bring your car to a full stop.

Don’t Panic

We know this sounds obvious but one of the first things you should do is not panic. Don’t let your emotions get the best of you. Panicking would just make the situation worse. 

Take a deep breath to calm yourself while keeping a firm grip on the wheel before moving on to the brakes. 

Keep Pumping The Brakes Again

car brakes not workingYes, we are stating the obvious again. But given the scenario and circumstances, there is very little choice you can make other than to keep trying. 

Most car brakes are operated via a hydraulic system. Thus, if the brakes don’t work, continuously pumping the brakes may be able to release some brake pressure to slow your car down. 

Shift To A Lower Gear Till The Vehicle Stops

car brakes not workingAssuming there are still manual transmission drivers out there, shifting into a lower gear slows down the engine. This gives you more time to react on the road if your car brakes stop working. 

For automatic drivers, do not shift the gear to neutral (N) immediately because you’ll make all four wheels spin at different speeds; this will make your car spin out of control. 

Gently lift your foot off the accelerator and keep pumping the brakes. Once the vehicle has come to a full stop, put the gear to park (P) then call for help. 

Slowly Move Your Car Toward the Emergency Lane

car brakes not workingIf all else fails, Open your hazard lights to warn everyone and slowly move your car to the emergency lane. Turn off the engine and exit the vehicle to prevent the car from rolling any further.

Engage the Parking Brake

car brakes not workingOnce your car has slowed down and is in a safe location, gently engage the parking brake and make sure the vehicle has come to a complete stop. 

Read more: The Dangers of Fake Brake Pads & How to Spot Them

If Your Car Still Won’t Stop At All…

car brakes not workingConsider using objects and infrastructure from your surroundings. A guardrail, a divider, or hitting the dirt road are your best bets to bring your car to a stop. 

You can bring your car to the dirt road or glide along the guardrails to create some resistance to slow down your car. 

Sure, your car will get damaged in the process. But nothing is more important than your life and the safety of other drivers on the road. 

Read more: Squealing Brakes Are a Cry for Help. Bring It to a Stop Before It’s Too Late!

What Should You Not Do If Your Brakes Fail

Yank the Parking Brake Right Away

Picture this – your car is at cruising speed. The brakes don’t work so you decide to pull the parking brake in the middle of the road. What do you think will happen next? 

No, you will not pull off a rad Tokyo Drift scenario on the highway. Your wheels will lock up immediately and could result in a crash. 

As mentioned above, slowly bring your car to a full stop first before engaging the parking brake.

Staying Inside The Car

If the worst-case scenario where even the emergency brakes have failed, do not stay in the car! 

Your car has no other way to stay put, even more so on an inclined road with a chance of rolling off. 

Get your belongings and children out of the car. You and your family’s safety is the utmost important thing here. 

A faulty car brake happening while driving is a nightmare I wouldn’t even wish upon my worst enemies. 

Remember to check on your car’s brake pads occasionally and don’t forget to send it for regular maintenance, even if it’s a new car. 

We cannot stress how important it is to invest in a good set of brake pads and stay away from fake ones. That’s why there is a saying – buy cheap, buy twice.

With that, drive safe out there. 


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