Stopping Your Vehicle When Your Brakes Fail

The braking system of your vehicle is one of the most important parts in keeping you and your vehicle safe from an impact. If you drive with faulty brakes, you risk having an accident from not being able to come to a complete stop. Many people will panic if they press their brake pedal to find out it is not doing anything to stop the vehicle. Here are a few quick action answers to a braking system that seems to not be in working order. Knowing how to react may save you from getting into an accident.

Pumping Your Brakes

If you step on your brake pedal and it does not respond, you may have an incidence where the brake fluid is not getting through the brake lines. Push down and let up on the brake pedal several times quickly. This pumping action may get the brake fluid moving. Vehicles equipped with anti-lock braking systems would need the computer to do the action for you.

To get it to start the pumping motion, press the brake down as far down as you can with as much force possible. This will allow the computer to take over with trying to find a problem.

Parking Brake

Your parking brake is a back-up brake used for large inclines. If your regular brake system is not working, you can attempt to use the parking brake to stop your vehicle. Pull on it gently so that your vehicle may have a chance to slow down before stopping, saving on wear and tear of your vehicle and avoiding injury.


You can try to stop by using the gear your vehicle is driving in. Downshift your vehicle so you are driving in a lower gear. The transmission will need to be used to slow your vehicle in the brakes' absence. 

Warn And Hit

If nothing you try works in slowing your vehicle down to be able to come to a stop, you may have to hit something to get the vehicle off of the road before someone gets hurt. Try to side-swipe something on the side of the road such as a guard rail, fence or another car as a last resort. The impact will help to stop the vehicle. Make sure you beep your horn while you are looking for something to hit so you can alert other drivers and pedestrians to get out of your way.

If you have more questions or want to know more, try contacting a company that offers repair and other services, like Covey's Auto.