Imagine yourself driving along at a high rate of speed then pushing your brakes and nothing happens. What would you do? First, you need to stay calm. However, telling yourself to stay calm and actually being calm are two different things.
The best way to help yourself stay calm in an emergency situation is learning what to do in the event of brake failure, prior to it actually happening.
Eight Things You Must Do if Your Truck Brakes Fail
1. Put your hazard lights on, and continually honk your horn to let other drivers know you are having a problem.
2. Remove your foot from the gas pedal. And if you have your cruise control on, turn it off.
3. If your brakes feel soft and go to the floor, you are probably low on brake fluid, and pumping the brakes may help rebuild the pressure. If the brakes are hard, something else has gone wrong or there may be something wedged under the pedal.
If the problem is an obstruction, then, of course, remove the obstruction. If the brakes are hard, you can try pumping the brake pedal (this may take several tries) then press the pedal down to the floor and keep the pedal squeezed to the floor, even if you have ABS brakes. This could help your truck use the pressure you built up when you pumped the brakes.
4. Now slowly shift your truck into low gear. This will help slow your engine down. Don't shift down too fast, or it may cause you to lose control.
5. Slowly apply the emergency brake. This could stop your truck, but it will take longer than normal to come to a stop because the emergency brake only makes use of the rear wheels.
It's extremely important that you apply your emergency brake very slowly and steadily; otherwise, it could lock your tires and cause you to lose control. You can do this by holding in the release button if your truck has one. This will allow you to regulate the pressure as you apply the brake. Additionally, if you feel the wheels begin to lock, release some of the pressure from the brake and hold it there.
6. Be aware of what's on the road, including obstacles and other vehicles. Continually look for the best way to maneuver around them.
7. Try making sharp turns from side to side. This will cause friction and could help slow your truck down. However, don't use this method if you're traveling at a high rate of speed, or it could cause your truck to flip or spin out of control.
8. You should also consider using the obstacles around you to try and stop. Look for an incline, and use the emergency brake at the appropriate time. You can also use the guardrails to help slow your truck down, or you can gently sideswipe other available obstacles. Using small trees or hedgerows can also help slow your truck down; however, you need to make sure there's nothing behind the hedgerow, and try to ensure that you don't drive into a tree that has a trunk larger than four inches, as this can be dangerous.
You can also look for any other safe alternatives such as driving over a curb or into a grassy field. Just remember that jumping a curb will probably jerk the steering wheel from your hands, so you'll need to hold on tight so the truck doesn't bounce back into traffic or out of control.
Learning what to do in case of an emergency, before something actually happens, could save your life. It's important to spend some time practicing the different types of maneuvers you could use to stop your truck should your brakes fail. If you are injured in a truck accident, retain the Philadelphia truck accident lawyers of the Lassen Law Firm.
The Lassen Law Firm only deducts a low 29% contingency fee, not the standard 40-45% like other firms. We serve ALL of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. We can sign you up over the phone and start working on your case today.
The Lassen Law Firm
1515 Market St #1510
Philadelphia, PA 19102