If you were driving down the freeway one day, you might think about what you might do. Tap the brakes right before you take the exit, but you don’t slow down. No matter how hard you try, nothing happens, no matter how hard you try. You don’t have any brakes! What will you do next?
At the same time, you push on the brake pedal in most cars today. You can see how this piston pushes on brake fluid in the master cylinder, which pushes the brake fluid up. It goes through small pipes, called brake lines, to the pistons at each wheel and stops them. Piston: They push brake pads against a disk or drum to stop the car. It would not work if you lost a lot of brake fluid or if someone cut your brake lines.
First, if you ever find yourself in a situation where there are no brakes, pump the brakes. There may not be enough fluid in your brake lines to get things under control if there is only a small leak, not a cut.
The next thing to do is to try the emergency brake. This is a real emergency. In most cases, if someone cut your brake lines, he or she also cut the cable for the emergency brake, so let’s say that you also find that the emergency brake isn’t working either.
Now you have a real problem. What comes after transmission is next on the list of things to try, You can downshift a gear at a time and use the engine as a brake at the same time. There are a lot of people who do this with their manual transmissions as a matter of habit. If you drive a car that has an automatic transmission, it works just as well Drop down a gear, wait for your speed to slow down, and then drop down another gear. It helps if there is a grassy median. You can drive on it to speed things up a little. The surface of the grass and the uneven ground will help slow the car down a little.
Strategize if it looks like you’re going to run into something before the car is stopped, then do that. You can run into something solid, like a huge concrete post on a bridge, or something that will fall apart, like a chain link fence. Choose the object that will fall apart. By putting the side of your car up against a wall or guardrail, you can slow down. It also helps to drive up a steep hill.
Think strategically if you’re doing all of this and it appears that you’re going to collide with something before you can get the car stopped. When faced with the choice between running into something solid — such as a massive concrete post on a bridge — and something that will give way — such as a chain link fence — choose the object that will yield. You should try to reduce your speed by edging the car’s side against a wall or a guardrail if at all possible. Another option is to drive up a sloped embankment, which will also be beneficial in some situations.