What action to take if your
brakes fail when driving
Fortunately brake failure is a very rare occurance in modern vehicles, but it does happen. As long as your vehicle is serviced regularly and has had its annual MOT, then it should be safe to drive.
Brakes use a hydraulic system which transfers the pressure from your footpedal to the brake pads using hydraulic fluid. If this closed fluid system gradually leaks, or becomes contaminated with water, then the brakes will slowly become less efficient and may stop working altogether.
This would normally be noticed by the driver as the brakes would start to feel 'spongey', and you would need more and more physical effort for them to work properly. If this starts to happen, you should get them checked immediately by a qualified mechanic.
If the hydraulic system fails completely, your brakes will not work at all, and this becomes a very dangerous situation.
If you need to stop quickly you can use the handbrake in an on-off pumping action, DO NOT just pull hard on the handbrake or your vehicle will definitely skid. If you have time, change down to second gear and bring the clutch up gently - the change in gear ratios will help slow the vehicle down.
Total brake failure as mentioned earlier, is very rare. Keeping your vehicle serviced regularly should enable brake problems to be identified, and remedied, long before
they become a safety issue.
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