Home » How to make an emergency stop: Brake Failure | Aquaplaning

How to make an emergency stop: Brake Failure | Aquaplaning

Learn how to make an emergency stop safely

Any responsible driver should know the best way to stop his/her car in case of a brake failure. It is a really important safety tip and you must know that engine braking might save your life.

This is necessary given that there are situations that we cannot control and in which it is necessary to be able to stop safely/immediately .

Even if we refer to a serious situation, such as brake failure or aquaplaning, in wet road conditions, knowing the safety measures we must take can make the difference between being involved in an accident or avoiding an extremely dangerous situation.

How do you do an emergency stop in case of brake failure?

In case the brakes fail, it is really important to know what measures you need to take. This situation is one of the most feared situations a driver can encounter.

It is also an extremely dangerous event, and managing this situation immediately with caution can make the difference between life and death. Knowing how to keep calm and react accordingly is an essential aspects for our own safety and also for the safety of other traffic participants.

What is the first thing a driver should do if the foot brake appears to fail?


First of all, it is advisable to shift to a lower gear as soon as possible. Doing so will slow down the car. This measure can be applied both in the case of cars with automatic and manual transmission.

If the car is equipped with a manual transmission, it is recommended to go shift to lower gear without constraining the car too much. (example: 5’th gear to 4’th gear but never shift from 6th gear to 2nd Gear)


What should you never do during a brake failure?

It is not advisable to stop the engine completely because then you will not be able to control the steering. Also it is not recommended to put the car in neutral, because this maneuver will prevent you from continuing the braking process and actually you will gain momentum.

Do press the acceleration pedal. Although it may seem extremely logical, drivers in extreme situations can react in an abnormal way.

Remember to avoid the temptation to press the pedals because doing so will only make the situation worse.


Does emergency brake work if brakes fail?


Yes it works and you should use the emergency brake. If you do this, you have a pretty good chance of being able to stop the car completely. If this does not happen, at least you will be able to slow down considerably. Emergency braking has different characteristics on each car .

That is why it is advisable to know your vehicle very well in order to be able to anticipate its behavior in emergency situations. You can test your emergency brake while driving slowly in a remote location. This way you will learn how much brake it applies and how your vehicle reacts in such cases.

Signal to other traffic participants that you have a problem. Turn on the emergency lights or even use the horn.

Those around you must know that you have a problem, so that they can get around you and continue safely on their way.

In the best possible case, using the above methods you will be able to reduce the running speed enough so that you can stop the car naturally by gradually decreasing the speed.

If somehow the car doesn’t stop and you will have to hit something eventually, it is good to orient yourself for the object that has the lowest possible resistance. For example, it is better to orient yourself towards a fence that delimits a property, than to come into direct contact with a large tree trunk.

How do you stop aquaplaning?

press the brake pedal gradually

This method for safe stopping refers to the situation in which the car aquaplanes and looses the grip. The moment a car starts to skate you will notice that you will be able to exercise quite a small control over the speed or steering of yout car.


However, this does not mean that you will not be able to do anything to recover. Car skidding often occurs in cars that are quite old and not equipped with the ABS system. However, the event can also be encountered in the case of cars equipped with ABS.

  • Step 1

Gently press the brake pedal for one second. If the pedal is maneuvered aggressively, the car may skid worse.

It is recommended to press the pedal gradually for one second and then allow itto return to its original position gradually.

  • Step 2

Continue to press the pedal and release gradually. By doing this, you will be able to slow down the car enough and regain control so that you can recover safely.

  • Step 3

Give yourself time to rest. After going through such an event and you managed to regain control of your car, it is advisable to relax for a short time before getting behind the wheel again.

Collision avoidance Brake

You can use this method in conditions where an emergency brake is required to avoid hitting an object present on the road.

For example, it could be an animal jumping in front of the car or an accident that you only notice in the last minute.

Collision avoidance brake - animal on the road

Decide rapidly which way you want to use to stop the car. You need to consider whether or not your car is equipped with ABS. If your car is equipped with ABS, it is advisable to press the brake pedal to the maximum while turning the steering wheel with caution if possible.

If your car is not equipped with ABS, you should not force the brake pedal to the max and steer only when you have released it to avoid loosing grip.

Always check your brakes condition

Regardless of the method or situation that requires emergency braking, the most important thing is to stay calm. Unnecessary stress can prevent you from reacting accordingly and being able to manage the situation in the best possible way.

For this reason, we recommend to periodically check brakes condition, in order to ensure they are always in optimal condition.

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