Road-related mishaps happen due to a host of different causes – recklessness, distracted driving, defective car components, and many more. In the U.S., brake failure alone accounts for a multitude of devastating, sometimes even fatal car crashes. As such, it is important to check every important component of your car, including the brakes, to avoid being injured in a car accident.

Imagine driving at around 70 mph on an interstate when you suddenly noticed that your brakes are not gripping. Before you get cold feet, remember these simple tips in managing dysfunctional car brakes:

Never panic!

When you panic, certain regions in your brain become hyperactive, greatly affecting your reasoning skills and muscle coordination. When your brake goes out, the first thing you should do is to think that the situation is under your control, because it really is.

Let others be in the know

By honking your horn or turning on your hazard lights, you are telling everyone in the road that something’s wrong with your car.

Give your brake a second chance

For cars equipped with antilock brake system (ABS), try applying your brakes again by holding firmly on the brake pedal while you steer. Pumping your pedal if your car is equipped with ABS can actually accelerate the car, which will not help the situation. On the other hand, for cars equipped with standard brakes, apply short pumps to your brake pedal to help you decelerate faster.

Downshift as you go out of the traffic

Shift to a lower gear to slow your vehicle down. As you slow down the car, steer safely out of the traffic and into a safety zone, such as an emergency bay. Slowing down your car to a full stop may also mean driving further down the road, so be ready to use an exit ramp when needed.

Finally, do not allow your brakes to fail

Although some car accidents are undeniably inevitable, some incidents can be prevented with preventive care. By keeping every components of your well-checked before hitting the road, you are keeping costly, sometimes even injurious car-related incidents at bay.