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What to do if your brakes go out while driving

On Behalf of | Nov 9, 2021 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

Having your brakes go out while driving in Chicago is a terrifying experience. If you’ve ever had this happen, you know how important it is to think and act quickly. Here are some of the steps that you should take in these circumstances.

Pump the brake pedal

Non-working brakes sometimes start working again if you can build up brake fluid pressure by pumping the brake pedal hard and fast. When you do this, your brake light will flash on and off, which should alert other drivers around you that you are having brake problems.

Gradually apply the parking brake

Your parking brake should still work since it is a completely separate vehicle part from your regular hydraulic brakes. Using the parking brake could make you come to an abrupt stop though, so try to get to a safe place and apply it gradually.

Shift into lower gears

If your vehicle is a stick shift, you can start shifting into lower and lower gears until you get to the lowest. You’ll probably hear an unpleasant sound if you were traveling at a high speed, but it’s much better than the sound of truck accidents.

Look for the safest place to land

As soon as you know that you are having brake issues, you should be looking for the safest place to steer your vehicle. An open field or a large hedge would be ideal. Remember that property damage is better than crashing into other moving vehicles or pedestrians, so try to steer away from people.

You should also remember to turn on your hazard lights and honk your horn so people know you aren’t able to stop. Once your car does come to a stop, call 911.