Dallas Law Firm Blog

Do You Know What to Do If Your Brakes Fail?

Do You Know What to Do If Your Brakes Fail?More than likely, the brakes on your vehicle will never fail. However, in light of several recent recalls due to malfunctioning brakes, we would like to go over the best ways to slow and stop your car in the event of brake failure.

As a defective brake attorney, I have seen many accidents caused by bad brakes. As with any driving skill, it is crucial that you are prepared for an event such as this. The following list is adapted from material compiled by the National Safety Council, and represents the best way to stay as safe as possible during brake failure.

  • When you feel the brake not working, try hard to maintain your calm. Turn on your hazard lights and signal to move onto the shoulder of the road as soon as possible.
  • To help slow your vehicle, downshift. This can be done in a car with either an automatic or manual transmission. Be sure you are familiar with how to downshift.
  • Once you are slowing down, shift into neutral and slowly pull on the emergency brake.
  • If this brake has failed as well, use the curb. Rub your wheels against it to help you stop.
  • If you feel a crash is inevitable, try to hit something as “soft” as possible. For example, hitting a fence is better than hitting a tree and bushes are “softer” than buildings. Obviously, do your very best to avoid hitting cars or pedestrians.
  • Once you have stopped do not attempt to drive the vehicle. Even if the brakes appear to be working again, have the vehicle towed to a repair shop.

Determining the Cause

If the above advice is too little, too late, then it is crucial that you determine what caused your brakes to fail. Often, manufacturer defects or faulty repair work is to blame. If someone’s negligence caused your brakes to fail, then you may be entitled to compensation for any injuries caused by the resulting Texas traffic accident.

Our Dallas personal injury attorneys have the skills and resources to fight even the biggest car makers. If you believe that a defect in your braking system caused your car accident, do not delay in speaking with an attorney. In these cases, time is of the essence and if you wait, valuable evidence can be lost.