Okay, so you’re driving along, and suddenly you have to stop. Only problem is, you tap on the brakes, and nothing happens. While this may be a staple for any cartoon involving a super villain, it carries some dangerous repercussions in real life. Read on to know what to do in the unlikely event of sudden brake failure.
It sounds easy, but I’d wager that 99% of the population would probably panic, pretty bad. Your mind will probably race, frantically trying to remember if you’ve pissed off any sociopaths lately. Trust me, your time is better spent recalling the awesome ideas I’m about to give you.
Do: Pull the E-Brake
The first thing you should do is pull the emergency brake, and the sooner the better. Instinct will tell you to yank it with all your might, but that can be detrimental. Instead, pull slowly and steadily, to get the most out of the e-brake.
Do: Pump the Brake Pedal
Yes, we’ve already established that your brakes aren’t working. That’s why this article exists in the first place. But by pumping the brakes a little, you might just be able to generate enough pressure to slow down, or even stop. Is it likely? No. Is it worth a try? Yes. Unless, of course, you’ve got something better to do with your feet…
Don’t Turn – Yet
Before you can react, look around to make sure you aren’t going to drive straight into a department store, or a herd of ducklings. If you’re out in the middle of nowhere, and you’re going 60 mph, and there’s an open gorge dead ahead, then yeah, you can turn.
It won’t stop you, but it’ll at least slow you down.
Don’t: Abandon Ship
Have you ever heard someone try to defend their decision to not wear a seat belt? “Naw, I don’t wear it so’s I can just get thrown free.” The decision to leap out of your car comes across as equally dumb. Of course, it’s all well and good if you just out and tumble to a stop. Minor scrapes and bruises are preferable to having a steering wheel pass through your sternum, but by bailing, you’ve just turned an unstoppable vehicle with very little control into an unstoppable vehicle with absolutely no control. Congrats.
You’ve made the decision to remain in the vehicle. Take this opportunity to swerve out of the path of things you would otherwise hurt, maim, or kill. You might also want to lay on the horn, to help others understand why you’re driving like a maniac.
Do: Yank the Wheel Back and Forth
If there’s room, try zig-zagging sharply. That will slow you down a little. Also it will really drive home the part about you looking like a maniac.
Do: Tell Your Friends
Did you survive? Congrats! Now you have an awesome story to tell everyone you meet. Milk it.