Them’s the brakes!
Another problem has hit the news lately for drivers; brake problems. Drivers are facing brake failure in certain types of vehicles. The manufacturers say it’s a computer problem from the vehicle. The computer problem can be fixed at the dealership, but the driver can also fix the problem by using their own computer; their brain.
The first thing to remember is that the driver is the one in control of the vehicle; not the vehicle’s computer. The driver has to look well ahead of the traffic to anticipate the traffic slow downs and respond early with gentle braking. This will also give the driver time to respond differently if their brake pedal doesn’t stop the vehicle. Tailgating magnifies the problem because the shortened following distance wouldn’t give the driver enough time to properly respond to the problem. Would you know what to do?
If you’ve found that your brakes have failed, immediately start pumping your brake pedal. This may help to build up some brake pressure in your brake lines, which may be enough to help you to stop in time. At the very least, it will warn the driver behind with your brake lights that you’re trying to stop.
If that doesn’t work, apply your parking brake; with the button depressed if it’s a hand brake, or the release lever pulled out if its foot operated. If the button is depressed, you can easily release some pressure if you’ve pulled too hard and the back wheels have locked. This is a back up system to your braking system, so please ensure that you maintain the quality of this system. You wouldn’t expect a sky diver to jump out of a plane without knowing their back up parachute isn’t working, would you?
If the parking brake doesn’t stop you, you may need to quickly place the gear selector in the lowest gear and then aim for a soft place to put your vehicle. This may include bushes, a garden or even an assortment of garbage bags. Hitting something that can be easily replaced is better than hitting a pedestrian or moving vehicle.