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Ensuring Optimum Brake Safety

Tips to Help Ensure Your Brakes Operate Properly

Summer is the season when we find ourselves driving more often as we enjoy family vacations and road trips during the warmer weather. Although these trips generally do not promote many hazards, it is still important to ensure the vehicle being used is maintained and operating properly in order to remain safe. Brakes are one of the most important components of any vehicle, and although disastrous brake failure is rare, incidents can occur. Here are some brake safety tips to should keep in mind.

Perform Routine Maintenance

In most cases, brake failure can be easily avoided by performing regular vehicle maintenance. It is important to make sure to check and change brake fluid according to the vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations, which can be found in the car’s owner’s manual. The vehicle’s brake system should also be inspected on a routine basis, and the vehicle should be brought in for maintenance should drivers experience any performance changes with their braking system.

Heed Warning Lights

Should the “brake warning” light come on on the vehicle’s dashboard, which is usually a red light, it is important to bring the vehicle in promptly for service. If the car cannot be driven safely to the mechanic, have the vehicle towed to help keep yourself and other drivers safe. Should the brake warning light come on when the vehicle is being driven, it could indicate a brake system failure – should this occur, pull over and stop the vehicle in a safe location as soon as possible, turn on hazard lights, and call for help.

Listen for Unusual Sounds

Some additional warning signs of issues with a braking system are unusual noises or vibrations. Grinding, high-pitched squeaking, and scraping noises can be an indicator of brake issues. Vibrations that occur when braking may also indicate that something is wrong with the brake system. Should drivers feel a rocking motion as they slow the vehicle or bring the vehicle to a stop, they should have their brakes checked.

Additional Brake Safety Tips

In addition to these warning signs, there are some other brake system safety tips that drivers should be aware of. First, vehicles should always be inspected for leaking fluid before they are driven, and if the vehicle is leaking brake fluid, it should not be driven. Additionally, keep drinks, trash, and other items off of the floor board of the vehicle, especially on the driver’s side – should an item slide under the brake, it could cause a serious accident if drivers are unable to depress the pedal to stop.

Think you or someone you know is need of Behind the Wheel Training? Training Wheels is a Ventnor driving school specializing in teaching new teen drivers how to stay safe on the road. For more information on our lessons, please click here.

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