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The words Brake Failure strike fear in the hearts of not only drivers but also other road users too. A vehicle that is moving smoothly suddenly turns out to be something that has a demon inside when its brakes fail. Cars and other big vehicles that suffer a brake failure swerve around on roads causing injury and even death to their occupants and other road users.
Although there have been several technical advancements in car safety devices and technologies, they are a bit expensive and hence are not found in entry level and mid level cars. Systems such as ABS and EBD help control a car's movement and ensure brakes work properly when needed. But if you are driving a mid level hatchback without such safety features and suffer a brake failure, what can you do?
Here are some tips that you can follow when you feel your brakes are not working well.
- Do not loose your cool and feel tensed. Try to bring your vehicle to the left lane of the road so that you can maneuver your car more easily.
- Use all warning and hazard lights in your car so that other vehicles keep a safe distance from you.
- Use the hand brakes slowly so that the wheels do not skid. If this does not work reduce speed of your vehicle by shifting down gears slowly. Shifting down gears is one of the easiest means of reducing your vehicle's speed.
- Do not apply the clutch for too long as the wheels will move more freely when the gear in neutral.
- Move your car out of the tarmac when you feel your speed has reduced considerable and drive your car on to the sand if it is available. Although sand can make your car slip when speeding, it has the capacity to slow down your vehicle when you are slow.
- Once your vehicle stops do not attempt to start it again and drive it further. Try to call a mechanic or alert passersby to send a mechanic along to fix your car.
Prevention is better than a cure is an adage that works for cars too. Always get your car serviced on time and ensure the brakes are checked on every service. Ensure there is sufficient brake fluids.
Have a safe and happy journey.